Statement by the Veterans Commission of the Party of Communists USA on the Occasion of Memorial Day

This Memorial Day, May 25th, 2020, the Veterans Affairs Commission of the Party of Communists USA would like to take the opportunity to honor all American and foreign servicemembers, combatants, and civilians who have lost their lives or have suffered from physical and mental wounds during war. As military veterans, we have experienced first-hand what being in armed conflict was like and must ask ourselves if the ultimate sacrifice paid by American servicemembers was in service for our country or for the profit making of capitalists?

As we celebrate this holiday, the American ruling class and the Military Industrial Complex push us further towards war and continue to raise tensions with multiple different countries. In the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, a time where international solidarity is more important than ever, those of us who know the true cost of war—whether having directly fought in one, or having lost friends and loved ones due to wars—must stand firmly against the capitalist’s warmongering. We urge that all Americans use this Memorial Day to reflect on the causes of war, the costs of war, and the need for peace. We value active duty servicemembers, military veterans, and their families for their courage and self-sacrifice in the service of our country. However, we reserve criticism of the U.S. government, its imperialist foreign policy, and its wanton willingness to sacrifice human life and labor—overwhelmingly from the working class, and peoples of oppressed nationalities—for the material interests of transnational corporations.

The military presence in high schools in the form of JROTC or military recruiting tables serves to begin the pipeline in which economically disadvantaged children are offered a one-way ticket to solving all their problems. The ranks of combatants in war are filled by working people of all nationalities who are used like pawns, as cannon-fodder, by military and government leaders to enforce a system ideologically concealed from them, a system of international exploitation and oppression, i.e. imperialism.

Imperialism is caused by monopoly capitalism. To prevent the continuation of imperialist wars, the bosses’ wars, we must remove their causes, causes inherent to the profit system. We must make it clear that we will no longer lay down our lives or the lives of our loved ones at the altar of profit for Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and the Trump administration. To abolish war, we need first to abolish the profit system. We should remember the fallen soldiers, the survivors, the families of fallen soldiers, but we should not forget all the victims of war, including combatants on either side and those civilians caught in the crossfire. Everyone affected by war is a victim of war. We urge all Americans, all service members, military veterans, survivors, and families of those who have lost their lives fighting in American wars to think critically about war and society this Memorial Day and to consider our collective potential for peace.

No to Imperialist War!

Solidarity and comradely regards,

Veterans Affairs Commission, Party of Communists USA