I quote from a post I wrote five years ago; my opinions have not changed:
Memorial Day is dedicated to the men and women who lost their lives in defense of the USA, it is not a celebratory welcoming of summer.
It doesn’t matter your politics, we owe a debt of gratitude to those people who did as they were asked. They may not have agreed with the politics of the wars they fought, but most did. Regardless, they followed orders and did their duty. Well over one million men and women have died while fighting, or supporting, wars in which the USA has been engaged. I offer my respect and admiration for them; I only hope their sacrifices lead, eventually, to peace and to an environment in which war is recognized as the ultimate insanity.
I still maintain my appreciation for the women and men who have died in service to their country. Many of them, in my opinion, died needlessly in unnecessary wars. Still, they responded to their country’s call to service, even when that call was misguided or utterly amoral. Their sacrifices remain awful reminders of the unholy costs of war.
Civil society cannot condone war. Decent human beings cannot condone war. If attacked, we legitimately can fight back, but we cannot provoke the attack simply to justify war. Leaders worth following acknowledge the idiocy of war and they do their best to avoid it. They do not glorify war, nor power, nor military might; those who do should be autopsied so we might learn what deviance might have caused their insanity.