Housekeeping: Memorial Day, book recommendations, archiving, and adding links.

My dream house.

As I’ve mentioned on the last several Fridays, I’ve been writing a regular book column for the Americans for Peace Now blog. I decided it would be a good idea to create a dedicated archive for those posts, and so I have. Just over there to your right, under “Pages” – Reading the Conflict: An Israel/Palestine Reading List.

I also added the intensely brilliant and often rather funny (if occasionally in a painfully sharp way) Bernard Avishai — professor, speaker, essayist, author of The Hebrew Republic — to my Israel/Palestine blogroll. He doesn’t always focus exclusively on the conflict (today, for instance, he’s got a post up about the Chevy Volt — hence the blog’s tagline, I suppose: “Responses, mainly to rash opinions about Israel and its conflicts”) but he is a very important voice — sane, deeply informed, and passionate — on the topic. And I had no idea he had a blog! Very embarrassing.

And that’s it from me today! I have folks coming over to eat hamburgers and watermelon for the holiday and I have to get a move on (there are fewer potato chips available than there were earlier in the three-day weekend, but I’m sure I don’t know anything about that).

It being Memorial Day, though, I want to leave you with this: “Memorial Day’s New Younger Generation,” a post by Don Gomez, Jr, a spokesman with Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), on what Memorial Day means for the veterans of those wars that this country is still waging.

For the quiet few who have shouldered these wars, Memorial Day is no longer an abstract holiday honoring a faceless mass of heroes from a history textbook. It’s a list of names of people you know, reluctantly accumulated and growing ever longer. It’s a reminder of the awkward long-distance phone call to tell a friend that his old squad leader and mentor was killed in an IED blast in Afghanistan. It’s the swirl of emotions felt when informed that a friend was just killed in Iraq, leaving behind a young wife and children. It is the unavoidable sinking feeling, deep in the stomach, of “Why me? Why am I okay?”

Please click through and read the whole thing.

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