People tell me, oh, you have to go there, but it will make you cry. Well, we went there. We walked from just west of the capitol down the Mall to the Washington Monument then through the World War II Memorial then along the Reflecting Pool to the Lincoln Memorial, where the Civil War is brought to mind, then finally to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. When you realize that 400,000 of our troops died in World War II and 58,000 in Vietnam, it is easy to see why our government is not all that riled up about a mere 4000 so far in Iraq. Maybe it is just numbers to them. The average age of soldiers in World War II was 26. This means they had families. What a tragic loss of lives! The average age of soldiers in Vietnam was 19. This means they were barely done being children. The age of my college freshman son. Our capital is full of monuments to war as though that is the way to make a nation great, via a given, a neccesary evil. Is it? Are there other ways? What could have been tried instead of the Vietnam war? Let's say we didn't know better then and we had to learn that lesson on what little good is an invasion of many years into a country with a culture that does not want us and that we do not understand. Let's say we had do the Vietnam thing to learn that it was not worth the terrible price. So why didn't that lesson stick and permit or motivate us to find some other way in Iraq? Was war the only way? Was war even the best way to do whatever had to be done? What exactly had to be done anyway? So yeah, after an day of thinking about wars and more wars, by the time I got to Maya Ying Lin's beautiful and moving tribute to the 58,000 individuals who died in the Vietnam War, I was just too angry to cry. It was a terrible waste of lives and we have wasted 4000 more in this newest war and we need to stop it, now. Add one more memorial to the lawn and vow to never have the need to add another by vowing to find other answers to our disagreements with other nations. Young men and women are not disposable assets to be spent for some sort of gain. Their lives are not ours to ask for.