What to say when the words won't come?
In the United States today is Memorial Day, 2008, and our military, whose dead we honor today, are still in harm's way in Iraq. I have opposed the invasion of Iraq since before it happened, and and yet I have unqualified feelings of respect for those who fight the war in good faith, despite the bad faith of their leaders. It is because of this ambivalence that I have very few words every year on Memorial Day. Today is no exception. In place of what I cannot say, I borrow from others, who also have had trouble with words this weekend.
I begin with this photo that whispered something about the war to me the moment I saw it. My hat is tipped to my blog friend, Margaret, who comes from Lebanon, Glued Blue Glass, aka Margaret's Wanderings, who posted "Exhaustion" with a number of wonderful photographs that she recently took of the flood waters in her area. I have included one of them to illustrate this post. I regret to say it is without her permission ahead of time, because she does not have an e-mail address through which I can ask. I do not think she will mind, however, because of this quote at the top of her blog under, "Words I Live By." I quote :
Those of us who grow in war are like clay pots fired in an oven that is over hot. Confusingly shaped like the rest of humanity, we nevertheless contain fatal cracks that we spend the rest of our lives itching to fill.
"BlogIraq Murdered in Baghdad" is the cryptic headline of Saturday's post from my blog friend Fayrouz in Dallas. Her few words say it all about the war in Iraq:
Sometimes, Iraqi bloggers stop writing because the situation in Iraq is futile.
This time it's different; BlogIraq was murdered while investigating corruption in Iraq. It's a sad reminder that the situation in Iraq is far from being stable.
Echoes of the Vietman war are background behind a discussion thread at Forum Lucidity in recent days. PseudoCyAnts poignantly posted the video and lyrics to "Warhead"- Otep. The last verse speaks it for me:
The elephants march to war
Deny the big lie
An alliance of defiance, in the warhead
An alliance of defiance
All are welcome here
Give me your tired, give me your sick, give me your indulgence and decadence
He lied, they died, keep the peasants terrified
This is a catastrophe
You must lead if they get me
On my command
Just a little bit says a lot -- "La Popessa" at Make it Stop! Make it Stop! had to break her post up into smaller parts on successive days, each containing the minimum word requirement: Heading Towards Memorial Day - Part 1 on female veterans difficulties; Heading Towards Memorial Day - Part 2 on the military casualty figures; and Heading Towards Memorial Day - Part 3 on the associated other casualties of the wars.
To conclude -- This newly bookmarked website, Alternate Brain, has a great Memorial Day post that talks about the war. It begins with this:
Memorial Day is a time to reflect on the people who sacrificed their lives so you can live the life you do in this country.
(Cross-posted at South by Southwest.)