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Ed Poll
  Week of May 28, 2010

Memorial Day Message

Memorial Day is an important holiday. This day commemorates all men and women who have died in military service for the United States. This holiday reminds me of several of our former Presidents and their messages about war and the military-industrial complex.
On April 16, 1991, President George Bush said we do not plan to occupy Iraq. We are defending Kuwait. We will not get entangled into another Vietnam morass. Ah, but if the son had only listened to the father.
On April 16, 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower in his "The Chance for Peace" speech delivered before the American Society of Newspaper Editors, said:

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
This world in arms is not spending money alone.
It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.
The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities.
It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population.
It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals.
It is some 50 miles of concrete highway.
We pay for a single fighter with a half million bushels of wheat.
We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.
This, I repeat, is the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking.
This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron. These plain and cruel truths define the peril and point the hope that come with this spring of 1953.

And in America's first President's farewell address in 1796, George Washington said: "Hence, likewise, (free, united people) will avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty."
We could all learn from three highly regarded American presidents. Best wishes for a safe and happy holiday.
Best wishes,
Ed Poll
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