Why Would Commentator Chris Hayes Insult Our Fallen Soldiers on Memorial Day Weekend? (VIDEO)

MSNBC commentator Chris Hayes may have meant something different than what he said when he said over Memorial Day weekend that he feels uncomfortable calling fallen soldiers "heroes." In a ridiculously ill-timed discussion, Hayes used his show Up With Chris Hayes to question the troops. On Memorial Day weekend.

Does that seem strange to anyone else? Isn't Memorial Day weekend the time where we honor our troops and especially those who have fallen?

I am all for free speech and even for shocking speech when it makes people rethink things and shakes them out of ruts, but come on. There is some real irony to the idea that Hayes' right to say what he said was largely defended by those he refuses to call heroes. The full text (and video) of his comments is below:

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The main thing he said was this: 
 
I feel… uncomfortable, about the word because it seems to me that it is so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war. Um, and, I don’t want to obviously desecrate or disrespect memory of anyone that’s fallen, and obviously there are individual circumstances in which there is genuine, tremendous heroism, you know, hail of gunfire, rescuing fellow soldiers, and things like that. But it seems to me that we marshal this word in a way that is problematic. But maybe I’m wrong about that.
 
Taken contextually it is just a discussion. And it is a discussion that has merit and probably should happen at some point. But time and place, right? Maybe Memorial Day is not the time to bring up whether or not someone who dies in battle is "heroic."
 
The reality is, there is room for (and a need for) what Chris Hayes said and much of the conservative commentary about it is overblown. If you watch the video you can see it is not just Hayes saying it. His panelists mostly agree and the whole point is more or less that war is bad and by saying everyone who dies in a war is a "hero," we justify more war.
 
Hayes also points out that service is voluntary, which does lend a measure of heroism to every one who serves. But he also plainly says that he is uncomfortable with the word because he fears it justifies more war.
 
Is that true? Maybe. It is a discussion worth having. At some point. But not on the weekend where we honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Maybe we don't have a word yet for the people who put their lives on the line voluntarily to defend our country from threats. But "hero" is as good as it gets right now and I'll take it.
 
My great uncle who I never met died in World War II at the age of 20. He gave up his entire future so that others in his country could have one. I would say that is heroic, indeed. It is certainly brave and worthy and I am grateful. This is what I would rather spend this Memorial Day contemplating.
 
Maybe there is room for a discussion about the language of war some day. But that day does not come on the weekend we need to remember and be grateful for the tremendous sacrifices made by our troops
 
Does Chris Hayes commentary make you mad?
 
 

 

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