Memorial Day was originally instituted to commemorate the sacrifices of those who lost their lives in the American Civil War.
Since then it has become a day to remember and celebrate the sacrifices of American military service members in all military conflicts.
At its best, Memorial Day is a day to venerate sacrifice and courage for a higher righteous cause; at its worst it can become a day to celebrate American military strength, or to state it more bluntly: a day to celebrate militarism.
Paul Kennedy, in his book, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, argued that there was a cycle to the rise and fall of great powers. Initially they became great because of their economic strength which enabled them to amass great military strength. They then began to depend heavily on their military strength, which became economically unsustainable and they began to decline. Continue reading “Something to Remember on Memorial Day”