Tuesday, May 3, 2011

TWO LIVES


On Saturday April 30 they closed off the streets around the VFW Hall in my town for a memorial service.  A young man from my town, Army Specialist Jameson Lindskog, was killed in Afghanistan on March 29.  He was 23, the age of my son.  A young man under his command flew in from the Middle East and was hosted by our hotel while he attended the service.

On Sunday May 1 a guest came into the hotel and asked if I had heard the news that Osama bin Laden had been killed.  I spoke out loud my first reaction - it won't change anything.  He seemed surprised by my reaction.  I have been surprised by the reactions of many Americans considering the fact that they call the people of other countries barbaric and sub-human for celebrating American deaths.

And, really, what have all these deaths gotten anyone?  And why are they continuing?  And it isn't just death, is it?  There are nearly 200,000 disabled vets now.  Two Hundred Thousand young people whose lives are forever altered, whose families lives are forever changed no matter how happy they are that their soldier survived.  The suicide rate of vets from these wars is occurring at a rate of 18 per day

So we managed to kill Bin Laden.  Hurrah.  What does that change?  We went to war in two countries and he was sitting around in a

third country to which we have been sending millions of dollars that our vets could really use to try to put their lives back together.  Not to mention the people of this country who need jobs and education and health care.

So really, what is it we are celebrating?  Are the wars over?  Is everyone coming home?  Will the military budget be shifted from the industry of war to the needs of those who have served? 

6 comments:

writingtowellness said...

I'm not celebrating anything. The death of bin Laden does bring some sort of closure to 9/11 but not to the aftermath - the wars, the deaths, the trauma, the disabilities, the families ripped apart, our economy in shreds, Medicare/Medicaid/SS threatened to pay. Somber reflection is all this death is getting from me.

hokgardner said...

I didn't have it in me to celebrate. Instead, I took time to think about the lives lost and bodies broken and money wasted to accomplish not much of anything at all.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I find the celebration a bit unseemly, but I am at least proud of how the U.S. disposed of his body.

Yes, all this is a self-perpetuating cycle.

knittergran said...

There are plenty of people to replace him. I suppose his death does give comfort to those who lost friends and family on 9/11. Probably nothing will change as a result.

Nan said...

Well said. Nothing's changed, except now the Dept of Defense and the CIA have an excuse to ask for even more money for their black ops because they've had a "success." I see nothing to cheer about in the fact the US is glamorizing death squads as heroes.

sandy said...

Definitely not something to celebrate. Though I do think, or hope, on some level at least, that the fact that USA followed through and found Bin Laden and killed him is some justice that perhaps some terrorists will be deterred. When we're talking about suicide bombers,though, not sure anything will deter. A radical shift in the political landscape of the Islamic countries would have to occur, say, spreading the oil wealth to their poverty stricken people instead of a few uber wealthy families.