The Memorial Day celebration in Harrisville moves me deeply every year. It reminds us of the tremendous cost of war.

It dishonors our veterans and military to manufacture a crisis that could lead to war. This is what LBJ did with the Gulf of Tonkin resolution and G.W. Bush did with the nonexistent “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq. Now, President Trump is trying to sell us on war with Iran.

Let’s honor our military by putting diplomacy first and by spending on those who serve and served rather than on weapons that make us less safe.

For instance, the administration plans to spend more than $1.5 trillion — yes, trillion — to “modernize” our nuclear arsenal, including new weapons designed for battlefield use.

A large-scale nuclear war would kill hundreds of millions of people and cause environmental catastrophe.

Previous administrations, beginning with President Reagan, had the wisdom to rein in the nuclear arms race with treaties such as START. But U.S. and Russian leaders have now chosen to pull out of a longstanding agreement on intermediate nuclear forces, and the new START treaty may not be renewed in 2020.

We would do better to invest in diplomacy and in efforts to build a just and green economy not only here but around the world. Addressing climate change, poverty and injustice will make us safer than pouring money into weapons and wars that we don’t need. Let’s take care of our veterans and avoid unnecessary conflicts that only add to the list of those we remember on Memorial Day.

Sincerely,

DAVID BLAIR

77 South Road

Harrisville