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What does Memorial Day mean to a country where one percent serve?

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Since the late 1860s it has been our national custom to set aside one day of the year, Memorial Day, to honor soldiers whose lives were sacrificed on behalf of our country. Yet, the rest of the year as a nation, we largely ignore the grinding daily sacrifice of the soldiers that are living.

And with the introduction of the all-volunteer military over 40 years ago that’s been increasingly easier to do since military service became a “voluntary” choice often driven by the most predatory aspects of late stage vulture capitalism that feasted off the profits generated by the collapse of wages that coincidentally happened right around the same time.

It was President Richard Nixon, who had prosecuted the Vietnam War he was elected to end, who signed off on the shift after a commission he set up to study the issue recommended it.

No doubt, Nixon experienced first-hand the blowback from trying to enforce universal military conscription to fight an unpopular war. If you eliminated that coercive aspect of overseas warfighting American policymakers would have a freer hand to wage was in whatever country they had in their geopolitical crosshairs for as long as they wanted.

If you could eliminate that mandatory civic obligation hokum you could shift that obligation to the lower economic strata of society and market it as a “golden opportunity” wrapped in camo.

Afterall, it was the universal nature of the draft during Vietnam that required everyone to pay attention.

Resistance to the Vietnam War cut across classes because everyone’s son was at........

© Salon