“The cost of a thing is the amount
of what I will call life
which is required to be exchanged for it,
immediately or in the long run.”
- Henry David Thoreau, Walden
The Tomb of the Unknowns is a monument dedicated to American service members
who have died without
their remains being identified.
It is also known as the
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier,
but it has never been officially named.
It is located in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, United States of America.
Thoreau moved into his Walden Pond cabin on this day in 1845.
In Walden, Thoreau claimed that his move occurred on Independence Day only “by accident,”
and that others should find their own time and path to personal freedom.
Politicians will pontificate endlessly today about the cost in millions of American lives for our freedom.
But what did those deaths really buy and were all our wars necessary?
Certainly, the Revolutionary War ...
And World War I:
First, America had no choice:
The Germans sunk Lusitania which was a British ship and contained American soldiers, 128 died.
Second, it was the Zimmermann Telegram,
Germany told Mexico to declare war on America which outraged them.
And lastly, Germans sank anything in their way with their deadly submarines.
So what else could America do?
The Civil War?
Basically, it was about clinging to power and the inability to see all humans as beings of worth.
States were given congressmen in the House of Representatives based on the population of the state.
But the Northern States objected to the South having it both ways --
people as property AND as countable population.
So a Sad Day in America came to pass with
the 3/5 Compromise
Congress decided a slave would be counted as 3/5 of a person.
And things rapidly went downhill from there.
So over 600,000 Americans died tragically because politicians
could not abide by the Bill of Rights and common decency.
World War II
was thrust upon America,
and we had to fight it.
Yet. study History, and you will find that the majority of our wars sprang from a breakdown in clear thinking in Congress
and politicians acting to entrench their personal and political power.
So what is the value of
political power and ambition?
Millions of American lives.
But our military must always remain strong,
for tyrants around the world
are amoral and predatory.
Because most wars are unjust does not negate the fact
that eventually some insane world leader(s) will force America to defend its citizens with its armed might.
"The condition upon which
God hath given liberty to man
is eternal vigilance;
which condition if he break,
servitude is at once
the consequence of his crime
and the punishment of his guilt."
- John Philpot Curran