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This Week in History
May 24-30, 2015

Memorial Day 2002

By Susan Bowen

In 1868, Memorial Day was officially proclaimed a holiday to be celebrated each May 30 beginning that year, by the national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, General John Logan. (Memorial Day is now celebrated annually on the Monday nearest to May 30.) Although the Grand Army was not the official army, but an organization of veterans of the Civil War, the idea took hold. General Logan's objective was to honor those who had saved the Union. The Declaration, known as General Orders No. 11, began, "The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance, no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will, in their own way, arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.."

Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr. in 2002.

In 2002, as the British Empire orchestrated a new series of unnecessary wars and conflagrations, the following brief statement was issued by American statesman and economist Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr., as a call to rally the people of America, and friends of liberty from all over the world, to participate in a Memorial Day International Webcast of that year, entitled " The Lessons of Wartime for Statecraft Today," It was conducted to further the process of bringing together an international combination that could turn the world back from the precipice of global religious war, and a New Dark Age.

In announcing the webcast, Mr. LaRouche wrote, "After the close of the first of the two world wars of the last century, our republic committed itself to remember in perpetuity those who had fallen in battles. Let us remember them today. Thus, when I returned from the last world war, I passed the house of a boyhood friend, Leon, the sole companion of the aging grandparents who had raised him. As I came up the sidewalk to a place by the front windows of that house, I saw a gold star in the window. I shall never forget that awesome moment. Let us therefore pledge, as President Abraham Lincoln did, that if government must send men to die in war, let the war end as quickly as possible, and let the leaders of our nation be assured in advance, that the citizen's sacrifice not be in vain. Let us pledge as much wisdom as we are capable of calling forth today, to that end."*  

In his May 28, 2002 Memorial Day presentation, Mr. LaRouche developed a clear alternative to genocide and warfare, and in the section subtitled, "Ideas as a Source of Courage," he elaborated the axiomatic underpinnings of a real peace policy, which is echoed today in the statecraft of the BRICS nations.

Ideas as a Source of Courage

… And there's the source from which you find your strength also you find another source you have to call upon. It's called ideas. Some people believe, that what's important is what they know from experience. Experience is sense perception, what I can see, what I can taste, what I can touch. What I feel in my neighborhood, my community, my personal, immediate, physical sense of self-interest. Some people think that way. That's a foolish way of thinking. Because you don't understand then, the difference between man and animal. Think of all the people you know, who say that mankind is just another monkey, or just another ape. Now, I admit that we've elected some politicians who might lend themselves to that view. But man is not an ape. Man has a quality which no animal has. Look, if man were a higher ape, whether on high stuff or not, the human species, in the past 2 million years, would never have reached a level above several million individuals. We now have billions of people. How do we get billions of people, out of a being which, as an ape, is only capable of maintaining a miserable bunch of monkeys, so to speak, at about a few million members, planet-wide? How'd we get that? Because mankind has a quality which no monkey has. So don't monkey around with mankind! Mankind is capable of discovering universal principles which cannot be smelled, tasted, seen with the senses, but which the mind is able to define, and we're able to prove experimentally.

This is what we mean, when we say in Christianity, Islam, or Judaism, that man and woman are made equally in the image of the Creator of the Universe. Because we each have within us, that power to discover truth, the truth of universal principles which no monkey, no lower form of life, can do. And through this power, we are able to change man's relations with nature; we're able to change ourselves, to improve and develop ourselves. We're able to transmit these discoveries to our children, over successive generations. We're able to build societies where there were nothing but jungles. This is why man is sacred. This is why every human life is special and sacred. This is why every human being, man or woman, is equal, in this quality, which need but be developed and expressed.

What gives you the power to deal with great crises, is to recognize that; to think in terms of principles that you can discover, and prove, as Kepler discovered the law of gravity, universal gravitation, in a book he published in 1609. You can discover these principles; you say, that if I can learn an idea, discover, re-discover an idea, or contribute a new discovery of principle; and if I can pass along these discoveries which I've taken in part from people before me—if I can pass them to the next generation, if I can enrich these discoveries with something I contribute myself, then I live forever, as a human being. Because in the time I occupied mortal life, I picked up the heritage of ideas from the culture, people before me; I picked it up from other cultures than my own, I put these together in part, I transmitted these to young people, as good teachers transmit these discoveries to children, and when I die, these ideas, which I've helped to make possible, these achievements, will be transmitted to those who come after me. And therefore, the greatest thing about being human, is to be truly a person who acts in a way, which justifies the characterization of a being, man and woman equally, made in the image of the Creator of the Universe. Given the power to transform this Universe, capable of transmitting these discoveries from one generation to another, to build the human race from its initial imperfection as a beast-like creature with this quality, into something much better.

And therefore, if I can do something, with my life, which helps that process, then my life really means something. And I can go out of this life wearing a smile, because I have won. I have won the battle for the meaning of a personal life.

Therefore, when it comes to war, or things like war, the person on the other side is a human being, made in the image of the Creator of the Universe as we are, of the same nature and the same true, fundamental interest, if they but know it. Therefore, the function of war, is to defend this heritage, this cultural heritage, that we have been given, but to invite others to share it with us. Invite them to enter into fraternity with us. And say, stop being a fool. We will defend—if you go crazy, like a madman, and do something evil—we're going to stop you, if we have to. But we will rejoice, when you become human and accept the conditions of fraternity and peace. And that's the proper object of warfare: to defend what must be defended, so that it can be preserved for humanity, to preserve the dignity and the lives of our people, the purpose of our culture. But it is not to conquer or destroy like a beast trying to destroy another beast. We do not eat man.

The purpose is to bring the human race together, as a community of sovereign nation-states, each perfectly sovereign, but united by an understanding of certain common principles, by which we can live together, but not only merely live together—not merely get along and not kill—but live together in the sense that we are busy living our lives, making a contribution which is not shameful in the eyes of those who came before us. We're contributing something to the future. And therefore, when you are future-oriented in that way, you have a source of courage which no other human being has, who lacks that sense of the future.

The British oligarchy’s historic and current view is a different, bestial one, which is why it, like Zeus, manipulates nations into wars to depopulate the planet. The full text of the Webscast presentation is found here: /lar_related/2002/may28ann_wbcst.html



* During World War I, the Service Flag, which included a blue star for each family member in the armed forces of the US, was flown when the US was engaged in hostilities. If the loved one died, the blue star was replaced by a gold star.