Where there is grief, I have sympathy.
On this day, however, I cannot help but question the extravagant exaltation of an individual on the national stage for an act of mourning.
This was a man who lived a good, long life surrounded by his family and many friends, who enjoyed both great wealth and power. Did the man do some good things? No doubt.
Nevertheless, on his watch, many other men, most of them mere youth, were sent into war on another continent. Hundreds of our own died in that conflict. Tens of thousands were victims. This conflict delivered the Highway of Death, where retreating troops – people, that is – were slaughtered as they drove toward home. This conflict also helped to lay the groundwork for the endless war with which we live today and for whom so many suffer their terrible losses.
If there is to be a national day of mourning, let us consider those lives lost to wars and military actions at the hands of actors never touched by the violence or destruction they wreak.
If there is to be a national day of mourning, let us consider those lives lost and those suffering through the inequality fostered and nurtured at the hands of those actors never touched by the lack, indifference, or contempt they engender.
Let us dispense with the accolades.
If there is to be a national day of mourning, it should be a day when we look at war and violence, remember the many needless victims, over and over and over again, and simply say, “No.” No more.
Where there is grief, I have sympathy. I wish you peace.