Memorial Day, Did You Know?

Industry: Entertainment

Eight little known facts about Memorial Day and its relationship to war, peace and the current Middle East conflict.

Santa Cruz, California (PRUnderground) May 31st, 2011

Did you know that:

  • Memorial Day was instituted in 1868 to honor the dead soldiers of both sides in the American Civil War?
  • After World War I (billed as the “War to End All Wars”) Memorial Day came to honor the dead of all American wars?
  • The Civil War, the Spanish-American War, WWI & WWII, all together required 9.5 years to fight and to win? Clear goals & victories were achieved in every one of these wars.
  • The ‘War on Terror’ in the Middle East has been fought already for 9.5 years, having grown to four fronts (Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Libya)? It still has no clear goals, nor any victory in sight.
  • Recent polls show that at least 60% of Americans oppose continuing the Middle East conflict? [i.e., ABC News-Washington Post poll, Dec 16, 2010].
  • Peace time financially benefits all sectors of the economy, but wartime is beneficial mostly to the very few who are strategically placed to reap profits from manufacture of war materials, or from supplying war support services?
  • We can honor both our dead soldiers and our living ones by making greater efforts to create Peace in the world?
  • The Greeks also fought wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? 25 centuries ago the Greeks were bogged down in a situation similar to ours, mired for over 20 years in the Peloponnesian War.

A famous comic playwright of that time, Aristophanes, even proposed that the women of Greece take the matter into their own hands. The plan was to take control of the Treasury of Athens, preventing any further military expenditures, and withholding all erotic bliss until a peace treaty was signed. In his satiric scenario the women held sway and resolved the issue. The men capitulated and peace was implemented.

This fantastic classic comedy, Lysistrata, is a story that never actually happened. But one can reasonably suppose that it caused quite a stir in its time (411 B.C.), and the issue of war and peace was hotly debated in Athens because of the play’s performance at a major annual festival.

A small film production team in Santa Cruz, California is revitalizing Aristophanes’ ancient play as a feature film, Lysistrata Unleashed. Their intention is to make Lysistrata’s peace message of the 5th century B.C. relevant and vibrant today, and to stimulate more national dialog on how to create peace. One of the volunteers on the project, Christo Purdin, says of the ancient play: “The parallel with our own time is just inescapable.”

More information about the film is on the web at


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