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A decidedly difficult Memorial Day 2022

The Millerton News Editorial

The Harlem Valley just joined the rest of the United States in commemorating another Memorial Day on Monday, May 30, for the year 2022. This year’s holiday was again a somber one, as are all Memorial Days, for we are remembering soldiers lost who made the ultimate sacrifice so that we could live free. As Americans marked this Memorial Day, it was as we and the rest of the world watched our fellow human beings suffer in Ukraine at the hands of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his troops.

It has surely been miserable, unfathomable, for those few who may still remain as survivors or veterans of WWII; those who heard the first-hand accounts from their parents or grandparents of that horrific war; and even those who learned the graphic history of the Holocaust, the gas chambers and the Third Reich and stored it tightly in their memory banks only to now watch what is happening in that part of the world repeat itself.

The many veterans who fought  and died during WWII trying to rescue the millions of Jews, Gypsies, Slavs, homosexuals, disabled — and, yes, Soviets — and so many others, were heroes. They remain so.

Yet here we are again, 70 years later, seemingly so much more advanced in terms of our thinking and our technology, dealing with the same problems — creating the same problems.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine mirrors the ethnic cleansing we saw not just during the Holocaust, but again in the ’90s in the former Yugoslavia, and if we were to look deeper, at so many other times and in so many other places throughout history. Putin is merely repeating the same pattern of so many others bent on getting rid of those who dare disagree with them.

It’s a disturbing pattern, and on a day like Memorial Day, when we, as a nation, should be able to mourn our military heroes freely and in peace, it is tragic that Putin is causing such a deadly distraction. At day’s end, though, we, the American people, will not let the Russian invasion of Ukraine deter us from mourning our late veterans on this or any Memorial Day.

We will continue to commemorate those who shed their blood to protect us and to ensure the U.S. remains safe and free. We are forever grateful for every soldier’s service, and we give our sincere thanks to them and their families, most of all on Memorial Day.

We must also bow our heads for those in Ukraine who are suffering so needlessly at the hands of Putin. Haven’t we learned our lesson yet? How many times must this kind of trauma be repeated before mankind stops killing and acts with some humanity?

Perhaps there will soon come a time when we can commemorate a Memorial Day in absolute peace, and with some peace of mind.

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