Memorial Day, 2011

A personal note:

My family never made much of Memorial Day — my father was a young man during WWII, but wasn’t healthy enough for military service; my brothers and I managed to weasel our way out of service during the Vietnam War. But like many, I’ve often wondered who went to that awful war in my place. and what price he paid.

There is no equivalent of Memorial Day for those killed or damaged by addiction. Perhaps there should be. More are killed by alcohol alone than in war, and the survivors carry scars that are just as slow to heal, if they heal at all. “But you did it to yourself!” we’re told, and often tell ourselves. Only the most callous and blind would say that about cancer victims, or heart attack victims or, for that matter, victims of war who volunteered for service.

So I hope we can feel appropriate respect and gratitude for those who gave their lives, and their health, for a cause that they believed in. And maybe we can renew our commitment to providing help to others who are being killed and harmed, not by bullets but by addiction.

Craig Whalley
Executive Director,