It is the Soldier, not the minister
Who has given us freedom of religion.
It is the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the Soldier, not the poet
Who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us freedom to protest.
It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the Soldier, not the politician
Who has given us the right to vote.
It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.
One response to “A U.S.A. Memorial Day Poem”
To subvert all those noble parts of our democracy and to raise up war as our most noble institution and endeavor is just wrong, immoral and unthinking. Protesters, lawyers, organizers, politicians, ministers and reporters were essential parts of the creation of this country and if it were soldiers alone this would look like any other dictatorship.
Simple and pure of heart, soldiers often have the best ideals and the most bravery, and we should honor their sacrifice regardless of the morality of the particular struggle they were involved in, but we can also do it without denigrating the struggle in other parts of our society, made by brave and equally patriotic members.
To bring the flag into it is just pure jingoism and sentimentality and smacks of reaction to the 1960’s. We are in far more danger from those who use the flag as cover for their war crimes, corruption or unconstitutional behavior than we are from a few protesters who once pointed out, with a match, what your unthinking flag worship hides.