Memorial Day began as a day of remembrance for all those who died in defense of our country after the Civil War. It has evolved to include all men and women who perished while serving in the military. Interestingly, Confederate soldiers are not included in Memorial Day celebration and many southern states have their own day of remembrance for them.
I believe that all lives that were lost in conflict at our behest ought to be honored. What is conflict, what is war, what is rebellion are up to the reader to decipher.
I also believe that one way we can honor those who have given their lives to a country they loved is to make it a better place. Consider taking action on any number of important issues that deserve our attention this long weekend.
Unfortunately fitting for this weekend, Mercy Corps has a quiz available to test your knowledge of child soldiers around the world. One question I believe most would have a hard time answering, particularly without a multiple choice option is, “In how many countries are children currently fighting in wars?”
We are long past the time when it is acceptable to use children as soldiers, slaves, cheap labor, or pawns in adult idiocy. We all want an end to the violence against children, the victimization of children, yet too many are unaware of how to go about such a complex issue.
Friends of the Earth with several other prominent environmental organizations intend to end wasteful subsidies to oil, gas and coal companies, and there’s an important new bill in Congress that’s the boldest proposal yet for cutting them.
Senator Bernie Sanders (love him!) and Congressman Keith Ellison recently introduced the End Polluter Welfare Act. This legislation seeks to repeal more than $110 billion tax-breaks, handouts, and subsidies for the fossil fuel industry, the big polluters, over the next 10 years.
Act: Please sign the petition to support the End Polluter Welfare Act if you believe our tax dollars should not be sued to pay corporations to pollute our environment.
The EPA’s long-awaited Mercury and Air Toxics Standards are now under attack in Congress. These standards limit mercury, acid gases and other toxic pollution from power plants and had bipartisan support. The Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) are expected to prevent adverse tens of thousands of cases of health effects, yet also jobs and economic benefits to the tune of $90 billion.
Act: Senator Inhofe (Rep-Okla.) is leading the charge to eliminate this crucial ruling. The Moms Clean Air Force is calling on us all to contact to contact your members of Congress using their handy form.
I know there are countless other issues that deserve attention. What has touched your heart recently?
photo credit: New York Historical Society