INTRO: Each passing Memorial Day brings an ever-higher tally of this Nation’s war dead and wounded. Annually, each town and village in this Nation holds commemorations to remember the dead and their contributions to their country. From New Port Richey to New York City, Memorial Day observances salute America’s fallen. But is it enough to hold ceremonies to the sounds of 21 gun salutes, bag pipes, taps and the incessant chatter from politicians who shake their collective heads saying, there should not be war? On this most reverent of days can we look at where we have been in order to determine where we will end? In a special Memorial Day Documentary, WMNF’s Mark Antokas has this.

SCRIPT: In 1865, Henry C.Wells, happened to mention at a social gathering, that honor should be shown to the Civil War dead by decorating their graves. The Civil War produced the most dead and casualties in this nations short history. Brother against brother. The first official recognition of Memorial Day was issued by General John A. Logan, first commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. This was general order No. 11, establishing a “Decoration Day� in May of 1867. Arguably, America has been the most aggressive society that mankind has yet to know, a startling statement given its short two-hundred-thirty year history. According to the web page U.S. Civil War Center which has done statistical summaries on war, from the Revolutionary War to the first Gulf War, Combined, this Nation has produced almost four million American casualties not including the wars in Afghanistan and currently in Iraq, at a combined cost of 30.5 Trillion 1990 dollars. It is estimated that the war in Afghanistan cost----------and continues to cost. Iraq? The price in dollars is in excess of three hundred billion dollars with no end in sight. This post 911 amount is enough to fund Global Hunger efforts for 11 years, build an additional 2.5 million low-income public housing units for America’s poor, or enough to fully fund world-wide HIV/AIDS programs for an incredible 28 years. But still, we continue to produce veterans, some of which never return to their families. SOUND: “Forward….March!� (Bagpipe military music) 1:03

All through America today, in small towns and large, sounds similar to these have been heard as this nation  remembers it’s war dead. But as wartime president Herbert Hoover once said, “Older men declare war. But it is the youth who must fight and die.� At a recent anti-war demonstration in Tarpon Springs, WMNF spoke to G. Kelly, a Viet-Nam war Vet. He participated in the protest, stood upright in his boots asserting his right to dissent; he supports his brethren in the Military, but equally, he was there to condemn war. He could have been dead, another Vietnam casualty, just like many of his compatriots. Instead, he spoke out of his experiences, and his wartime disabilities, which continue to plague him even after thirty years. Roll Tape: 1:03


 Kelley said that if any change is to happen, it is the populace who must make it so. In ancient China, it was said that “the slightest motion of the hand can send ripples throughout the universe. Is it not wise to be careful in our actions?� Kelly, a psychologically disabled vet, suffers to this day. Roll Tape: 2:09


 WMNF attended a Memorial Day event in New Port Richey in 2004. We spoke with…Roll Tape: 0:36

Music selection: 1:06 This land is your land.

 This land is your land, Bruce Springstein. Two weeks ago, on a recent trip to New York City, WMNF visited the 23rd St. Vet Center in Manhattan. The 23rd St Center is one of the busiest Veteran Facilities in the nation. We spoke with Robert Hirschman, a Viet-Nam vet. Since being wounded in South-East Asia decades ago, unable to work, his only alternative has been to live with his aging mother. He says this country just doesn’t get it. Roll Tape: 2:52


Music selection: Universal Soldier, Phil Ochs. 2:10

The philosopher Sophocles in 450 BC said that “War loves to seek it’s victims in the young. George McGovern three quarters into the twentieth century said “I’m fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.� Ask U.S. General in Central Command Tommy Franks about the rising number of Iraqi dead, and he has said, “We don’t do body counts.� Ask any of this nations “Greatest Generation�, those lucky enough to have survived the worlds biggest conflict during the years 1941-1945, ask any veteran about war and you will get conflicting testimony. At a recent commemoration of WW2 in Zephyrhills last year, WMNF spoke with Oda Houskey, Bill Baker, Jim Young and John D. Jones. We began by asking how this post 911 aggression stacks up against WW2, a war in which this nation was attacked at Pearl Harbor. Roll Tape: 3:11

Music Selection. Maxine Waters. 1:50

 A speech by Maxine Waters, Democrat California, Pacifica Archives, set to music by the Polemic Connection, courtesy of WBAI in New York. Congressional District Five’s Ginny Browne Waite is not one to linger long with reporters on her position on this current war in Iraq. In fact, Brown-Waite dodges questions on this current war with her own constituents It is not uncommon for anti-war activists in her district to chase her down the hall looking for answers. Florida’s District Five has the highest concentration of retired Veterans in this Nation. Congresswoman Brown-Waite preference is to offer up and hand out various service medals to Vets like penny candy. She has given out, according to her press office, over five hundred medals in her three years in office. Brown-Waite, having been cornered recently at a veterans event answered WMNF’s questions on whether Iraq was a strategic place, the question of weapons of mass destruction, and whether the U.S. is in Iraq for oil. Her answers were summarily dismissive. Roll Tape: 0:33

The UPI reports that as many as 1 of every 10 soldiers from the war on terror evacuated to the Army's biggest hospital in Europe was sent there for mental problems. Between 8 and 10 percent of nearly 12,000 soldiers from the war on terror, mostly from Iraq, treated at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany had "psychiatric or behavioral health issues," according to the commander of the hospital, Col. Rhonda Cornum. That means about 1,000 soldiers were evacuated for mental problems. The hospital has treated 11,754 soldiers from the war on terror, with 9,651 from Iraq and the rest from Afghanistan, according to data released by the hospital. By far, the most disturbing conversation we had on the issue of the war on terror recently was with Congressman Mike Bilirakis, Florida District Nine, a member for over a decade of NATO and Vice-Chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee. Bilirakis is another, like Brown-Waite, who takes from the Bush Administrations playbook on limiting information to the press, and as a result, spins the war issues sticking to familiar talking points. Roll Tape: 2:44


Musical Selection: 1:51 Dennis Kucinich

A speech by Dennis Kucinich, Democrat Ohio, Pacifica Archives set to music by Polemic Connection, courtesy of WBAI, New York.“We did not authorize…..�

Benjamin Franklin said, “Never has there been a good war or a bad peace,� Earnest Hemmingway, a war journalist and writer has said, “Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime.� Issac Assimov, a writer of fiction said on the subject that, “Violence is the first refuge of the incompetent.� Further, scientist Albert Einstein has said that, “I know not with what weapons World War 3 will be fought, but World War 4 will be fought with sticks and stones.� The board of the Nathan B. Stubblefeild Foundation, parent organization of WMNF has come out in opposition to this war in Iraq, and in extension, all wars. But it is with great respect that this reporter closes this documentary with the words of Mahatma Gandhi, who said, “What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism, or the holy name of liberty and democracy?� Memorial Day, Mark Antokas, WMNF in Tampa.

                                                             (TRAX Aprox. 7:00.)
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                                                             TOTAL Aprox. 28:13 W/O INTRO  

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