Today is Memorial Day, a day each year that I spend praying for those lost in the futility of protesting war and trying to change our national character from that of a country leaping into unnecessary wars to one of resisting war until there is no other choice.
The heroes in my scenario are those who have fought and died to bring the troops home alive or to avoid sending them in the first place. These are the people who fight with protest signs, letters to the editor, sit-ins, passive resistance, non-violent protest and on occasion blowing up an ROTC building or the offices of a war-profiteer when nothing else will work.
War is almost always optional, greed-inspired, stupid and unnecessary. We have been fighting two of them simultaneously for 10 years because our leaders did what American leaders always do. They didn't even consider options to Afghanistan and Iraq. We've fought in Korea, Vietnam, Granada, Bosnia and a dozen other places since World War II, not because we had to, but because we chose to.
We have decimated generation after generation of teenagers and 20-somethings, kids who have not even had a chance yet to feel anything of life before they lose it or have it so devastatingly altered that is of little use to them any longer. They come home so physically and mentally damaged that they can't find work, their marriages become torments for all involved and they are often in deep despair for years. We don't need to be doing that and those who fight against it are my heroes.