Each of us on Memorial Day should reserve simple, single moments of reverence—spots of time, as Wordsworth called them—that allow us to look back and reflect on lives lived and moments lost.
For most of the 20th century, regardless of what our political stripes were, Americans stood as one when it came to the military and its role as our country’s protector. That changed during the Vietnam era, when U.S. political and military leaders systematically deceived the American public about the nation's ability to win the war. It reached new heights during the Iraq War when, for a variety of reasons, President George W. Bush and his top advisors desperately wanted to believe Saddam Hussein was producing weapons of mass destruction (WMD). While Saddam was a tyrant and a murderer, he did not produce WMD, as it was later shown. But the war came anyway and further soured the reputation of U.S. military policy makers in the eyes of the American public.