This happens to be a long week-end, in America, “Memorial Day”, a federal holiday originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War.
Many people celebrate it with trips to the mall and to the beach, or, failing that, to a nearby park, to barbecue great amounts of hamburgers and hot-dogs, in the designated picnic areas.
In New York City this also coincides with “Fleet Week”, a tradition in which active military ships recently deployed overseas, dock in a variety of major cities for one week. Once the ships dock, the crews can enter the city and visit its tourist attractions.
At certain hours, the public can take a guided tour of the ships as well as mingle with the military and partake in demonstrations of their weapons and special vehicles.
The picture above was taken in the middle of Times Square during one of the aforementioned military demonstrations.
As I am taking pictures I ask myself many questions I have no answers for.
War is always the same and at the same time always different.
With the relatively recent “computerization” of war, with the rampant popularity of sophisticated online war games (already an approved recruiting tool for the military), with the increased (self)-censorship and lack of will and resources in many news organizations, allowing the general public not to see the most graphic horrors of the battlefields, the guts, the blood, the putrefying bodies, I fear that today’s youth might have developed an increased sense of “virtual reality war “than any previous generation.
This worries me deeply.
Should we try to remember one more thing on this Memorial Day, alongside the courage of heroes who courageously died in the battlefields defending an ideal?
Could we perhaps also remember the brutal, horrific, unjust, randomly annihilating, inutility of war?