Travel adventures.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Welcome Home Fallen Soldiers

*** WARNING: This post contains brutal honesty about my opinions on many US policies and failures of the US government. Please do not continue reading this post if you offend easily, or if you don't want to read about how the US government fails to meet the needs of its people and sets a terrible example to the world. ***

I was driving home from work this evening, and I was amazed to hear the traffic report. A procession carrying the remains of three fallen Canadian soldiers was the biggest traffic incident being reported during every traffic update. These soldiers were being repatriated into their home land after the loss of their lives serving their country in Afghanistan. This caught me off guard, because I had grown used to the ban on press coverage of the repatriation of US soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan. In case you were not aware, back in 2004 the Bush Administration banned the release of photos of the caskets returning home draped in flags. In Canada on the other hand, the public come out on a freezing day to stand on freeway overpasses along the route traveled by the remains of the soldiers. People come out to welcome home the soldiers and to honor their service and the sacrifice of their families. This story was at the top of the hour on a couple of the news broadcasts I watched. Click here for an example of the coverage

Today's news was just another reminder of the many reasons why I moved to Canada. Every time I tell people that I have recently moved from Texas to Toronto, they react as if they think I must be crazy. I can summarize most of my reasons for leaving the US in one simple statement, "In my opinion, the US is morally bankrupt." In the Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln expressed his desire to ensure that the US would have a "government of the people, by the people, for the people". That is not the case in the US today. The US government is heavily influenced by corporate lobbying and greed. Insurers have been allowed to charge for coverage that they do not deliver. Lenders have been allowed to lend money to people who do not deserve loans. Many civil rights have been stripped from the American people. The US tortures prisoners of war, and holds them indefinitely without a trial and without even telling them why they are being held.

To a large degree, the duty of government is to protect it's people and to do what is best for all of the people who are governed by it. The US government fails to satisfy this basic need of US citizens, residents and and guests in America. I did my part to make a difference in the US before I left. I registered for the draft, paid my taxes, followed most of the laws, served my time in jury duty, and voted. I wrote e-mails, faxes and made phone calls to my senators and representatives in congress. And then finally, I volunteered many hours of my time handing out flyers and educating voters in lower class neighborhoods of their right to vote and how and where to vote. I helped over 600 lower class and minority voters find poling places and left them with no excuse not to vote. I take great comfort in knowing that I helped get Barack Obama elected, and I hope that he helps make some positive changes in the country. It may take decades to get the US back on the right track, but I have hope that America will once again be a moral leader in the world. So take that George W Bush, and watch out, because you may find yourself being tried in an International war crimes tribunal some day!

I'm not sure why I felt a need to say all those things in this story of my move to Canada, but there you have it. It's said, and it's posted here in my blog.