The Need for Memorial Month

May is Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Month, “to reflect and celebrate the important role that Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPIs) have played in our shared history.” June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month, “to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement.” By contrast, “the men and women who sacrificed their lives while serving in the U.S. Military,” get only a single day when they surely deserve more.

A Memorial Month could set aside a day for the 416,800 Americans who died in World War II. That could be broken down into the nearly 2,800 at Anzio, 2,501 on D-Day, 19,246 in the Battle of the Bulge, and so forth. Approximately 36,000 Americans perished in the Korean War, and that too could be broken down into the various battles. A full 58,220 Americans died fighting in Vietnam. Memorial Month could stage a marathon reading of every name on the Wall. Remember, these American soldiers, many of them conscripts, were vilified even in death.

To give them, the respect they deserve, is not to glorify that conflict or warfare in general. As Jeane Kirkpatrick observed,“It isn’t war that’s the greatest danger. It’s tyranny. Tyranny has killed the most millions of people.” Meanwhile, for all the various months now officially assigned, check out Morgan Freeman on Black History Month.

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