Sunday, May 30, 2010

Remember to Keep Sacred Truths Alive

by Dub Riley

Memorial Day was first proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, and was first observed on May 30 of that year, 142 years ago--today. General Logan enacted the ceremony to put flowers on the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers. In memory of the brutal fight between North and South, Memorial Day was declared.

Of course now, we have adopted the cry to honor those who have fallen in service to our country. Brave men and women who fight and die deserve to be remembered. There is no "but" nor "and" to the story. We do, however, owe it to future generations to stand in the way of governments, near or far, or here at home, so that brave young men and women are not led to war which can and should be avoided.

I flinch at poems and slogans that proclaim that we wouldn't have our freedom, were it not for our soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afganistan. Does "support our troops" mean that we should show gratitude for soldiers who are fighting and dying for control of world resources? These young people are put in harms way without being told the truth. And I will be labeled a traitor and worse for reminding all people that the principles of our great nation are based on my right to seek the truth and to speak it.

Might I be objecting to the fact that soldiers are fighting and dying for reasons unrelated to our freedoms? Yes, my brothers and sisters, and I address you as such if you are human, from any country, in any costume, of any color, under any regime, whether you point a gun at me or consider me a friend.

Is it possible that we "support our troops" by arguing that they belong at home and we support their families by insisting that they be removed from harms way? Is such an argument unpatriotic?

Is it patriotic to argue this statement--

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

People of the world. Bury your dead and remember them kindly. But don't be led blindly by the pursuit of governments, meeting the call of corporations, to disguise their ambitions as noble, while their flagrant disregard for people and planet shows plainly by the catastrophes which surround us.

Listen to the wisdom of this Indian elder. Does he sound different than leaders who lead the fight on our left or right? Maybe we should return to common sense. Is it common sense that we drop bombs and rain down fire upon villages with women and children because men in uniform in some secret room have determined that it is right strategy? Is it common sense that we believe them over our own instincts to protect our young men and women? Is it common sense that by sending our young men and women to drop bombs on women and children that we protect our freedoms? Which freedom is being threatened by these women and children, or even by their men? What if their men are simply protesting that we have men in uniform conspiring against them?


  1. Whoever might brand you a traitor for your passionate stance would be very ill informed, indeed. I would encourage everyone to read and reread this incredible essay to learn from a true patriot.

    The dictionary defines a patriot as 'a person who loves (and serves) his country passionately.' It doesn't say anything about blindly following every leader or every policy of your government.

    This essay demonstrates great love for your brothers and sisters in this country, and others, for that matter. Political and economic policies notwithstanding, you love your fellow servicemen and women who are serving in harm's way.

    This essay demonstrates great service to your country, too, for not only are you an Army veteran of the Vietnam Era, but you have also chosen to (as the Native American Elder suggested), become the leader of you, which can only serve our country even more.

    Finally, the passion in your message is palpable. I can feel the protective love you have for your fellow man, wanting all of us(again, using the Elder's words) to "come of one mind" in rejecting, as you put it so well, "flagrant disregard" for people and our planet.

    I wish every member of Congress, and indeed every leader within all our communities, would listen to the wisdom of this Native American Elder. When you remind us of the mandate of our founding fathers "That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it", you echo the words of the Elder, who reminds us that true power always lies in the hands of the people.

    As I heard his message, delivered in such a peaceful and logical way, it resonated deeply within me.

    Thank you for this truly patriotic post, Dubby.

  2. Thanks Jo. btw, the video is part II of six parts called Indigenous Native American Prophecy. If you'd like to watch all six parts, each is less than 10 minutes. I find the first five to be most instructive and the sixth to be largely ceremonial. If you start here, you'll see the next ones to the right on the YouTube channel, after watching the first one

  3. He is a beautiful man in every way. I will watch this as soon as I can. Thanks, Dub.

  4. "flashing for the warrior, who's strength is not to fight.
    flashing for the refugee, on the unarmed road of flight.
    And for each and every underdog, or soldier in the night,
    We gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing"
    Bob Dylan - 1964

  5. Great post, Dub. I could go on and on about how I think the archetype of warrior is absolutely part of our survival instinct, and gets triggered in people in so many different ways.

    That said, I wish I could make all the bombs, guns, swords, etc. disappear. Hand to hand combat can be brutal, but it would not, could not, create the same level of destruction that we now face.

    Wht is remembered, lives. Indeed, let us return to common sense. So may it be.

  6. Looking at the picture of the mushroom cloud I was reminded of the old 'duck and cover' drills we used to have in elementary school.

    Hopefully, one day peace will's a dream of mine as well.


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