Honoring the Fallen

“When men hire themselves out to shoot other men to order, asking nothing about the justice of their cause, I don’t care if they are shot themselves.” ~ Herbert Spencer

On a recent flight to Boston with a layover in Baltimore, I witnessed, firsthand, and in living color, American military idolatry in action like I have never seen before.

I was just beginning to wonder why boarding was being delayed for my flight to Boston when a Southwest agent announced over the PA system the reason why. Turns out that the body of a dead U.S. serviceman was being loaded on my plane in Baltimore for the trip to Boston.

Some passengers began looking out the airport windows to get a glimpse of what was taking place. I kept reading LewRockwell.com on my phone.

The agent requested that everyone stand and observe a moment of silence while the body of a “fallen hero” was loaded on to the plane. I kept reading LewRockwell.com on my phone.

The agent said is was a “solemn honor and privilege” to transport the remains of a “proud patriot.” I kept reading LewRockwell.com on my phone.

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Most of the passengers stood in silence and looked out the windows. I kept reading LewRockwell.com on my phone.

I noticed that some of the passengers looked like they were about to cry. I kept reading LewRockwell.com on my phone.

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The agent explained that when we arrived in Boston no one would be allowed off the plane until the serviceman’s remains were removed from the plane with full military honors. I kept reading LewRockwell.com on my phone.

The agent asked the passengers to maintain a spirit of reverence during the flight. I kept reading LewRockwell.com on my phone.

After a delay of about 15 or 20 minutes, we were able to board the flight to Boston. I have never been on such a quiet airplane flight. It seemed like even the babies and small children were quiet.

When the plane landed in Boston, I saw a group of servicemen (and women) in their uniforms. We waited about 10 or 15 minutes for the body of the dead serviceman to be taken off the plane and loaded into a vehicle for transport. You could hear a pin drop. I began again to read LewRockwell.com on my phone.

The pilot then exited the cockpit and spouted some pious platitudes about the military and honoring the fallen. I kept reading LewRockwell.com on my phone.

I did not made a scene, criticize the military, denounce U.S. foreign policy, say a word, or deliberately draw attention to myself in any way. Whether in the airport or on the plane I just sat minding my own business and reading LewRockwell.com on my phone.

I don’t protest at military funerals, chastise members of the military, or insult veterans. I just write articles in which I point out the evils of the military, try to keep people from joining the military, encourage military personnel not to reenlist, instruct Christians about the incompatibility of Christianity and military service, and try to stem the tide of military idolatry that is so rampant throughout the country.

But I don’t enjoy writing articles like this. The deceased no doubt has parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, and friends—all of whom are grieving over the death of their loved one.

But someone has to say it. And since I’ve said enough about the military over the years—and received my share of criticisms, cursing, swearing, verbal attacks, and physical threats for it—it might as well be me.

Should we honor slain U.S. servicemen? Did they die protecting U.S. soil? Are they fallen heroes? Did they die fighting for our freedoms? Were they keeping us safe from terrorists? Did they die protecting our rights? Should we be thankful for their service? Did they die in defense of the country? Did they fight “over there” so we don’t have to fight “over here”? Did they die patrolling U.S. coasts? Were they supporting and defending the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic? Did they die for a noble cause?

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Absolutely not.

I told you that someone has to say it.

The U.S. military—whatever it once was—has, for many years, simply been the president’s personal attack force to bomb, invade, occupy, and otherwise bring death and destruction to any country he deems necessary.

Fallen U.S. soldiers are not heroes. They deserve no glory, honor, and praise. They were not defending the United States. They were not fighting for our freedoms. They were not protecting Americans from credible threats. They were not keeping us safe from terrorists. They were not supporting and defending the Constitution.

Fallen U.S. soldiers died unnecessarily, needlessly, senselessly, in vain, and for a lie. They died a pawn in service to the state. They died for the military/industrial complex. They died for a reckless, belligerent, and meddling U.S. foreign policy that is deeply flawed, and has been for over a hundred years.

Since it is not honorable to serve in the U.S. military and engage in unjust and immoral wars and military adventures, I cannot engage in honoring the fallen.