Facing the shadow side of America to honor what brave soldiers have died fighting for.
America is great and we need to look deeper
I’m a third-generation American. For the most part, I love this country. Even with all of the systemic racism/sexism, legalized corporate crimes against humanity, government dishonesty, and neocolonialist behaviors, It’s a place where you can make your life what you want it to be. No matter where you come from, there’s still opportunity to craft your dream life in America in a way that doesn’t really exist in other places.
Some people might not agree that America is great, or that they’re not free to craft their dream life. They might say that the Netherlands, Germany, or Costa Rica might be a better place. That’s great, no disagreement on my end. But those places probably don’t have the beautiful cultural melting pot that America does. They likely don’t have the incredible breadth of different perspectives, states, cities, and pioneering spirit.
Our soldiers have played a huge role in creating this American reality. Their bravery to fight for something they believe in is commendable, and I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to live in this country. However, we need to recognize the soldiers on the other side of the battlefield, and the injustices within America itself if we’re to really memorialize their service.
Remembering the dark side of America
If America is about the freedom to manifest our personal ideals, or form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, our government and military has a pretty shitty track record of living up to this.
Our first legions of soldiers post-revolutionary war were the force that finalized the displacement of Native Americans and confined them to reservations that were mere fractions of the land they previously inhabited. We then systemically tried to wipe out their culture and ways of being through manipulative government grants.