Excerpt of the peech given by Howard Zinn in Rome, 6/23/2005
In the United States, every year at the end of May, we celebrate
Memorial Day, which is dedicated to the memory of all those who have
died in the nations' wars.
It is a day when bugles blow, and flags are unfurled, and you hear
politicians and editorial writers say, again and again: "They gave
their lives for their country."
There is a double lie in that short sentence. First, those who died in
war did not give their lives their lives were taken from them by the
politicians who sent them to war, politicians who now bow their heads
on Memorial Day.
Second, they did not give their lives for "their country" but for the
government in the present instance for Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld
and the corporate executives of Halliburton and Bechtel all of whom
are profiting, either financially or politically, from the military
action that has killed over 1700 Americans and countless Iraqis. No,
they did not die for their country. The ordinary people who make up
the country get no benefits from the blood shed in Iraq.