I can remember being quite moved when my Family and I visited The Vietnam Memorial (“The Wall”), just a few years after it was dedicated (in 1982). Designed by Maya Ying Lin, it was uncannily moving–not as a Memorial, but due to its structure, its simplicity and its placement, on the Washington Mall. I have to admit that I had spent some time in (then) South Vietnam, and did look for the names of a few friends who are listed. But, it was truly The Wall that moved me.
More recently, Monuments have also been dedicated to World War II and the Korean War and, no doubt, future wars will be remembered, as well. And, I surely don’t wish to take anything away from the Veterans of on-going Wars. But, I believe that we are going in the wrong direction. If we don’t change, in time, the Mall in Washington will look like gridlock in Times Square?
Rather than glorify War, we need to change the National Mindset toward Glorifying Peace. Individuals have paid to build the Memorials for the several Wars, as they did for the Martin Luther King Memorial. Just think, if there was a Memorial to Stealth Bombers, Tanks and Battleships, I’m sure it could be funded quickly and solely by the Defense Industry alone. But, who will Contribute to Peace?
Yes, I have written blog Posts before, calling for the re-institution of the Military Draft–without any deferments whatsoever. To me, that’s the best way to reduce Future Wars. Washington surely will think twice–perhaps thrice–if they know that their Children or Grandchildren might go too.
I say this because it is quite easy today for what might be called “Chicken Hawks” in Washington to take the country into unnecessary Wars, and risk other peoples’ lives; but, without any personal contribution on their part–or that of their Families. When we reduce the attractiveness of War (through the Draft) by making it personal, we are really enhancing the Chances for Peace. That’s why I had Posted previously that I am quite happy to see Combat Vets who have been there, done that at State and Defense–thus helping President Barack Obama justify avoiding War.
So, let’s hope the Monuments to War become like the buggy whips and the typewriters of the Past, and we could just build one more humongous Monument to Peace–and, then, funds could be raised for things that really count: Education, Environmental Concerns and Promoting a Better World Understanding, among others. Just think of what could be accomplished if the money from a greatly-reduced Defense Budget could be reenergized to enhance Society and improve Society.
NOTE: The Defense Industry might need a Bail-Out as it re-invents itself to pursue sensible markets.