Lessons to be learned this Memorial Day

To the editor:

Memorial Day is almost upon our nation again. Preparations are under way in thousands of communities and a myriad of venues to honor those who sacrificed their lives for the republic. It is essential that we, as a free people, do so.

If we are to truly honor their sacrifice, we must learn the lessons that accompany it. In that instance, our republic and people have failed. Since the end of World War II, the United States has been involved in four major wars and several interventions worldwide. After expenditure of so much life, the world isn’t a safer place. Currently we are engaged in the Global War on Terror that will enter its 18th year with no end in sight. We have yet to learn the lessons of their sacrifice.

What are the lessons?

First and foremost, the lives of the men and women who serve in our armed forces must be sacred treasure. Safeguarding their lives must come before any of our enemies and civilian populations. As terrible and cruel as that may sound to many, there’s nothing humane about war. There is no such thing as civilized warfare.

Second, no committing of our armed forces without a Declaration of War. Cowardly political leaders must not be allowed to hide behind resolutions while men and women sacrifice their lives. A Declaration of War commits the entire nation to the effort. No declaration, no commitment of our military.

Lastly, no more Johnsons, McNamaras, or Rumsfelds. No more careerist generals and admirals who refuse to speak truth to power when the lives of our children are being sacrificed.

For the sake of those serving, for those who will, learn the lessons. Let this Memorial Day be a true remembrance of their sacrifice.

James Howard