26 May 2008


Mankind is unique due to the capability of abstract thought, which has allowed us to progress from mere anomalies of the animal kingdom to our current modern civilization. As tribes of people began to congregate and unite under various banners throughout time, disputes have arisen. Various tribes were beholden to different ideologies and some were ruled by oppressors seeking to impose their harsh rule over their subjects. While leaders of these people often bickered with one another, a failure of diplomacy often led to hostile conflict. War could best be described as a crass, barbaric act, pitting man versus man in a struggle for survival. To the victor go the spoils. As people became more educated and allowed more freedom to express their opinion, many of these influential thinkers exposed the horrendous consequences of tyranny and its absolute power. The strength of a nation lied within the ideas and innovation inherent in all of its citizens, not one corrupted ideal of an all-powerful overseer.

A nation emerged, which was unique at the time, focusing on the rule of law and natural rights granted to all individuals. A courageous war against a terribly powerful foe was fought to ensure that the abstract concept of liberty could be enforced under a nation-state without the corruption imposed by a meddling outside authority. However, the implementation of equality and liberty did not come immediately to fruition, internal strife and hatred remained a norm in some aspects of society. Over time, these irreconcilable beliefs were exposed for the atrocities they were, and when things could not be resolved politically, war was imminent.

The last two centuries have been unique in that the extensive modernization and industrialization of our civilization have brought about the capability to shorten distance and communication between foreign nation-states. It has also allowed tyrants hell-bent on conquering land and resources the ability to conduct large-scale campaigns of genocide to purge society of elements they see as undesirable. This is a philosophically untenable solution as it is barbaric in its implementation, violating the very concept of natural rights to life and liberty which we collective arose from the ashes to secure. These horrific lunatics must be stopped in a modern society, as the collapse of even a small sector of our fragile civilization can have profound implications for our future existence.
Ironically, war has been a collective action necessary over time to prevent the destruction of the threads which binds our civilization together. The individual people who have so bravely sacrificed have not been a distinctive warrior class, but rather average citizens of our Republic who have performed extraordinary acts of courage. We choose to honor these men and women once a day on Memorial day, but we must carry in our hearts the high cost of their selfless sacrifice to orevent the destruction of our modern society as we progress on. Their death shall never be in vain, but rather is the highest cost to which we owe our modern existence.

Recommended Reads for Memorial Day: