MEMORIAL DAY – America’s Day of the Dead drew a comment by Mal that I want to highlight. This Kiwi offers a well stated perspective unburdened by America’s sacred cows. He also gives us a glimpse of how the people of New Zealand remember their war dead.
You hit the nail on the head identifying the comfort people take in believing, misguidedly, that the deaths are for some greater good, purpose, noble cause… I don’t. My country has been involved in far fewer conflicts than America, but having lost 2% of its population in the brutal Great War, and after reading the engraved memorial stones in every small town in the country, I always considered war to be a disgraceful crime. And I always felt sorry for the poor foot soldiers who go, ‘patriotically’ (read ‘conditioned’) to die, “for Queen and country”. Mass psyche is strong, especially when encouraged and manipulated by governments, churches, songwriters… for defending, um, what was it again?