FROM Nadia McCaffrey
Origins of Memorial Day; Honoring Our Fallen Soldiers Memorial Day began after the Civil War, which killed 600,000 Americans, North and South. But the first day of remembrance wasn't really about them. It was started by southern women, mourning what they called the Lost Cause: the Confederacy. When the northern states got into the act, it was all about commemorating the soldiers who died for the Union. We bring the history up to the present holiday—which is also about barbeques, three-day weekends and the beginning of summer. Does America do a good job of remembering war dead? What about grieving families and living veterans?
Iraq and PTSD Pentagon policy calls for equal time on and off duty, but troops in Iraq spend 15 months in combat with just 12 months on leave. If President Bush decides to maintain the current build-up, tours may be extended. A military report says the constant threat of death and exposure to atrocities leads to depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress syndrome. Mental health issues may be more severe than they were during Vietnam or World War II. Senior commanders, veterans and their doctors agree that civilians don't understand the mental health consequences of combat and its aftermath. We hear about flashbacks, panic attacks, fearful wives and frightened children. Are Marines and soldiers getting the help they need when they have to return to combat or when they finally come home to adjust to civilian life?
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?