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By Katie Bourg
Senior Daze 

The cost of war remains high


So there they were. A few days from the beginning of what had always been. A bunch of farmers, fisherman, local politicians and everyone else who makes up a population. They were tired of watching a fool on the other side of the drink telling them what to do, and siphoning off much of their assets. They got together and sent a letter. Their assumed leader and owner threw it on the floor and stepped on it. So they raised an army, though not much of one. They were untrained and disorganized. Their local leaders were determined. The rest of the bunch signed up to make a change. For a short time. It was not uncommon for some of them to quit and go home at harvest time. Enough of them stayed the course and we finally severed our obligations to a foreign nation. Whatever happened on the other side of the drink was no longer our business. We’ve been celebrating the beginning every year since.

We call it the 4th of July. Independence Day. We watch parades, have picnics, and listen to speeches. We put flowers on statues. We are very proud of ourselves. The word ‘smug’ comes to mind.

Fine. Everybody buys it--me included. I’m proud of whatever that motley bunch accomplished.

But I’ve got questions.

How come we’ve still got army all over the world? How does it happen that we get out of one foreign mess, and immediately get into another?

We had to fight the same bunch again a few years after. Half a century later we split in half and had a nasty fight with each other. We had a small war at the end of the first hundred over a little island, just off our coast. Then we joined ‘our allies’ against the Kaiser. They called that one ‘The War To End All Wars.’ Twenty years later, the boys from that fight had to watch their sons go back and fight again. We didn’t catch our breath before we were shipping our kids to Korea. Vietnam sneaked up on us. We didn’t know what was coming, and the outcome is still in question.

Our focus seemed to change direction to the Middle East. We’ve been there ever since. We started in Afghanistan, then moved to Iraq. When that crisis was supposedly settled, we moved back to Afghanistan. We were about to remove ourselves a couple of weeks ago. Just in time for old problems to rise up again in Iraq.

I love this country. The whole world envies us. But I’ve got to wonder…how much of our blood is it going to take to get a real armistice all over the world? Does anyone in charge care?

Have a safe 4th of July.


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