Listening Post Feature - US Memorial Day: A semantic mine field

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Al Jazeera English
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Every year on the last Monday of May, US news outlets dedicate their day's coverage to Memorial Day commemorating soldiers killed in action. This year, Chris Hayes, a presenter on US network MSNBC, sparked controversy when he questioned the US media's habitual use of the word 'hero' when describing American soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was a chance to ask a difficult question: whether those who die in war have perished in vain or, even worse, had been killed in a cause that was actually wrong – and to ask whose interests the rhetorics of military heroism serve. But his comments caused outrage among right-wing media outlets and Hayes was forced to publically apologise. What Chris Hayes learned, apart from a few new ways to apologise, is that to many Americans, this is not a discussion even worth having. In this week's feature, the Listening Post's Marcela Pizarro on the terminology that galvanises America's wars.

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