In 2010, Memorial Day is Monday, May 31.
Here is some history on the origins of Memorial Day and, also, links appropriate for Memorial Day
Here is a brief explanation of the origins of Memorial Day—
Memorial Day originated in 1868, when Union General John A. Logan designated a day in which the graves of Civil War soldiers would be decorated. Known as Decoration Day, the holiday was changed to Memorial Day within twenty years, becoming a holiday dedicated to the memory of all war dead. It became a federal holiday in 1971, and is now observed on the last Monday in May.
The American death toll in Afghanistan recently passed 1000. Here are pictures of each of the dead along with their ages and hometowns.
(This representation of a disagreement between Tecumseh and William Henry Harrison is a reminder that sometimes U.S. troops were called upon to do harm to the native population. Tecumseh died in the War of 1812.)
Here is the article that broke the story of mistreatment of veterans at Walter Reed Hospital. We say we care about our veterans, but that does not always appear to be the case.
Here is Iraq Body Count. This organization counts the number of Iraqis killed in the Iraq War. All people have equal value.
( Both a strong military and a strong resistance against going to war are important aspects of democracy. )
Here is information about the Civil War. (Photo below is of dead Union soldier.)
War crimes take place in all wars and are committed by all sides. It is not a contradiction to acknowledge this fact and still respect the great majority who served honorably. At the same time, it is disrespectful to the concepts of democracy and human rights to ignore these facts.
I called my father from the Korean War Memorial and asked him about the historical accuracy of how the troops were sculpted. He said based on my descriptions, it was an accurate portrayal. ( Photo below)
I’ve been able to visit Punchbowl Cemetery in Honolulu. Many of our dead from wars in the Pacific are buried here. This is one of the most important and impressive locations you can visit in Honolulu.
Below is Arlington National Cemetery. I was fortunate to once visit Arlington on Memorial Day weekend and see the American flags at each gravestone.
Without people willing to die to protect the freedom of others, I would not be able to express my views in this blog post. Without such people, none of us would be able to enjoy the day-to-day freedoms we often take for granted.
There will be a protest against President Obama’s policies in Afghanistan and Iraq next week in College Station, Texas.
The protest is called Where’s The Change. It will take place on Wednesday, January 20 from 5 PM until 8 PM at the intersection of Texas and University Avenues in College Station. This location is quite proximate to Texas A& M University.
( Above–The Ross Volunteers at Texas A & M University. Formed in 1887, this is the official honor guard for the Governor of Texas. This picture was taken by Melanie Sarzynski.)
It takes guts to have an anti-war protest in proximity to Texas A & M University. Those folks over there are often very conservative.
This rally is being staged by the Brazos Coalition Against War.
Here is what the Brazos Coalition says about the protest—
“The Brazos Coalition Against War is sponsoring a protest against the Obama Administration’s escalation of the War in Afghanistan and the continued War in Iraq. The Brazos Coalition Against War is sponsoring a major protest on January 20, 2010, which marks a year since Barack Obama’s inauguration as a President who campaigned on ending the foreign policy of President George W. Bush. However, the Obama Administration has continued the foreign policy of the Bush Administration, continuing the occupation of Iraq and escalating the war in Afghanistan. The purpose of the protest is and to demand that our leaders end the United States occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, and that all military service members and civilian contractors are brought home. The protest will be held from 5:00pm to 7:00pm at the corner of University Drive and Texas Avenue in College Station, Texas. Members of both community chapter of Brazos Coalition Against War and the Texas A&M student chapter will be in. The Brazos Coalition Against War, active for over three years in the Bryan-College Station area, includes individuals, students, and community groups opposed to the War in Iraq. The Brazos Coalition Against War website can be found on Facebook.”
Taking a lead role in this demonstration is fellow blogger and good friend Teddy Wilson.
Teddy writes the blog Left of College Station-–A Liberal Voice in a Conservative Community.
Please visit Teddy’s blog.
Teddy also hosts the radio program Information Underground. This program runs from 5 PM to 6 PM each Sunday on 89.1 KEOS in College Station.
Teddy Wilson is the real thing. He is a great champion of liberal causes.
If you live anywhere close to College Station, please consider attending the rally on January 20 at 5 PM at the intersection of Texas and University Avenues.
A new administrator for NASA seems to be in the works.
Retired Marine Corps Major General Charles Bolden will be meeting with President Obama today to discuss the post.
General Bolden has flown on the space shuttle four times.
Here is astronaut Bolden’s NASA profile. Above you see his picture.
NASA has plans to go back to the moon and to go to Mars.
I oppose these plans because I feel it costs too much money and because I don’t see any clear reason to send people back to the moon and to Mars.
It could be that the manned space program is at core a giant government jobs program. Okay. I do support government jobs programs.
Yet is it sure will cost a lot of money to send people back to the moon and to Mars. I think that money could be better spent on Earth.
My hope is that if these missions are going to be conducted in any event, that they be as international as possible.
The costs should be spilt between nations and the missions should be flown by an international crew. In fact, there is no reason that an American would have to command these missions or would have to be the first one to take a step on Mars.
I suppose Florida has too many electoral votes for President Obama to go after one of its leading industries. And Democrats have hope of winning Texas some day. The Johnson Space Center is in Texas.
I’m certain NASA has contractors all over the country who are eager for new and expensive missions to the moon, Mars and to the center of the galaxy if that were possible.
Still, we can move past a global space race and move towards cooperation. The advance of peaceful global cooperation would give taxpayers around the globe a more certain return on their money than the nationalistic pursuit of glory for no clear purpose other than that of national glory.