There were flags, flowers, widows, prayers, proclamations, benedictions, bands, marches and twenty-one guns salutes. Then we went home to hot dogs, hamburgers, beans and beer. A morning to honor the dead and a lazy afternoon to mark the beginning of another summer that they were missing from our lives.
Few wars are just but some have been. We all have our own definition of a just war. Much formal writing on that out in the world - some by people who have actually fought in one.
I won't pretend to have a good definition of a just war, but most people can probably recognize one when they see it. I doubt by this point that the Iraq war meets anyone's definition of a just war or an honorable one. Except for a lunatic fringe of the Republican party that appears to include every single Republican candidate for President. No one, it seems, has the courage to say "The Emperor has no clothes."
Even the Democrats, who can say it, still couldn't stomach the simple and just legislative fight involved in doing the will of the people - which is clear now in the wake of elections and polls. So both of our parties are without courage - and perhaps this means on some level that all of us are without courage. We are all complicit. Thousands of our young have died because our president equates stubbornness with courage, and the Congress has none.
The soldiers who have died in Iraq are honorable men and women.
The Republicans and Democrats who sent them, and keep them there, are not.