In honor of Memorial Day here are three songs that deal with those who went to war, both those that came back and those that didn’t. All three of these songs feature great writing, with lived in characters that are fully formed. There is no mindless flag waving going on here. They all treat veterans like people, not like political imagery. In the first two there are even some short injections of dark humor.
Johnny Cash – Drive On
Marah – Round Eye Blues
Bruce Springsteen – The Wall
On a personal note I feel mixed emotions on Memorial Day as I scan the headlines. In our country we are always told to “support the troops”. But usually after the fact, after we have sent them out to be broken, after we have sent some to the final place they will see. Nothing to me says support the troops more than not sending them into war in the first place unless absolutely necessary. On Memorial Day you often read in the news about people getting easily offended over some kind of symbol they find disrespectful or something someone said. But where were these people when we allowed our leaders to send our young men and women to places they should have never been? Many of them were waving flags blindly. There are real lives that are damaged, families broken up. I’m for all kinds of healthcare, etc., when our troops come home. However, the best way to support the troops is through peace.