Location: Minnesota, United States
Cost of the War in Iraq
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Sunday, September 04, 2005

What a Load

A few days before NOLA disappeared under the water, I heard this new patriotic song on the radio. The dj said it was called "Arlington," and I thought maybe it would be a nice tribute song, or maybe just something pretty about a dead loved one. No, it was this load of nonsense from Trace Adkins:

"I never thought that this is where I'd settle down,
I thought I'd die an old man back in my hometown,
They gave me this plot of land, me and some other men, for a job well done,
there's a big white house sits on a hill just up the road,
the man inside he cried the day they brought me home,
they folded up a flag and told my mom and dad, we're proud of your son

"And I'm proud to be on this peaceful piece of property,
I'm on sacred ground and I'm in the best of company,
I'm thankful for those things I've done,
I can rest in peice, I'm one of the chosen ones, I made it to Arlington

"I remember daddy brought me here when I was eight,
we searched all day to find out where my granddad lay,
and when we finally found that cross,
he said, "son this is what it cost to keep us free" Now here I am,
a thousand stones away from him,
he reconized me on the first day I came in,
and it gave me a chill when he clicked his heels, and saluted me.

"and everytime I hear twenty-one guns,
I know they brought another hero home to us

we're thankful for those thankful for the things we've done,
we can rest in peace, 'cause we are the chosen ones,
we made it to arlington, yea dust to dust,
don't cry for us, we made it to Arlington"

Um. No, see, the man in the big white house on the hill isn't interested in the shockingly high death toll within the military. He doesn't care one bit about the deaths of the Iraqis who are trying to bring some semblance of order to their country. He sure as hell doesn't care about any any one particular death.

Peaceful piece of property? I would think the Vietnam vets buried there might be wandering constantly, mourning the treatment their surviving fellows in arms received upon returning from serving their country and the politics that got them there in the first place; one might also expect the Iraq/Afghanistan dead aren't especially happy, either.

"We are the chosen ones...we made it to Arlington." Yes, the Iraq/Afghanistan dead are ecstatic they gave their lives for this venture. "Making it" to Arlington is so much better than living with the knowledge of one's service.

I've got no truk with good patriotic songs. Lee Greenwood's homage to the country and its servicepeople is lovely and affecting, no matter how many times I hear it. Maybe that's because it doesn't elevate death in the service of one's country above the freedoms such service is meant to protect - it merely thanks those who have served and states, simply, that this is a good place to be. "God Bless the U.S.A." makes me feel good. Damn "Arlington" song just makes me cranky.


Anonymous Chester said...

He's catering to the folks in those red states, the ones that have the IQ's of squirrels and think old Bushie is the greatest Prez ever. Anything to sell a record and unfortunately, blind patriotism sells.

September 06, 2005 10:17 AM  

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