My Dad was a US Marine in Vietnam and my grandfather served in the 100th Infantry Division during World War II. Much to the chagrin of my mother I was interested in military service growing up. I thought the uniforms and equipment were cool and I like to camp, right? I had no idea about the mental and physical costs to paid serving in the military. It is nothing like the Hollywood version of war (Platoon, Saving Private Ryan, and Band of Brothers excepted). I tip my hat to all those who serve or have served in the military.
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 the guns fell silent across the Western Front in Europe. That’s why we mark November 11th as Veteran’s Day to honor not only our war dead (like my father, pictured on the right) but to celebrate the living men and women who put themselves in harms way. Raise a glass to honor and thank them all and hope, one day, no other sons and daughters, moms or dads, or brothers and sisters have to go to war. Here’s a classic poem about war titled “In Flanders Fields”:
Today is Memorial Day when we honor those who have served and/or died for this country. One of those military members was my Dad. He was killed in Vietnam in 1968. To those members of the Armed Forces who answered their country’s call, I tip my hat and say thanks.
I created a memorial page for my Dad so I can honor him every day of the year not just on Memorial Day. He was killed in action in Vietnam in February 1968.
Memorial Day Tribute to Michael John Kelly KIA 2-15-1968
The troubles in the Middle East flared up this past week as Israel went after Hamas in the Gaza strip. First there was air strikes and now with the weekend came a ground invasion. Of course it was all set off by Hamas and their agents firing rockets into Israel. Unfortunately in this situation there won’t be any winners and neither side have a good defense for their actions.
The root causes of these troubles began when people of Jewish heritage began to move into the Palestine area It is their historical and religious homeland. The state of Israel was created in 1948.
The problem is that Arabs also claim the same area as their historical and religious homeland. They don’t care for Israel or Jews since it has meant being displaced from their homes and treated as second class citizens since 1948.
That conflict has seen several wars, terrorism, and protests.
There have been calls for a solution to end the pattern of violence and either the Palestinians reject it or Israel does. Any real solution would reduce the size of Israel and it s power over the Arabs in the area.
A real solution would require Palestinians sharing land with the Jews in a two state plan and to stop the ineffectual terrorism and rocket attacks. These slights might rev up the people in the neighborhood but rockets against one of the more technological advanced militaries in the world is just plain stupid.
Israel is not going anywhere and neither are the Arabs.
What I do know is that allies of these two groups need to stop enabling their fighting and force them to work out a solution.