Why Arlington National Cemetery is not the Gap

As many know, the Gap recently moved to replace the traditional Gap logo with a new hideous company logo that looked like this:

Was it bad? Yes. Was it too bad? Perhaps.  The immediate swell of support for the “old Gap” on facebook and twitter was definitely reminiscent of the “new coke” campaign in the 1980s. The idea being that Gap introduces a lame product in order to remind people of how much they loved the old product and get their brand in the news. It is clever and possible. I mean, the new logo is that bad.

However, the Gap being the Gap, it simply rescinded the logo and moved on.

Sigh. If only it was that easy for the U.S government. Earlier this year, the government re-branded “Operation Iraqi Freedom” to “Operation New Dawn,” to symbolize the draw down of U.S. troops. Yes, they re-branded the Iraq War. This week, the Washington Post reports that Arlington National Cemetery will be etching “Operation New Dawn” onto the tombstones of those that died during this stage of the conflict.

Yikes. So basically where other soldiers’ graves read “the Korean War” or “World War II,” theirs will read the propagandized and stupid “Operation New Dawn.” Like “Operation Enduring Freedom,” the inscription will make no mention of where the operation was located (“Enduring Freedom” is the War in Afghanistan), so people have no idea what conflict the soldier died in.

"New Dawn" Iraq (i.e. the Great Valley from Land before Time)

Loved ones are angry and I don’t blame them. Aside from the fact that etching “New Dawn” on a tombstone seems like a cruel joke, the whole move is false advertising.  The “New Dawn” is still a conflict. It is still a part of the Iraq War and soldiers have died fighting in it. To couch it in this superficial false sentiment is disrespectful. Not to mention the name is just bad. When you hear “New Dawn” what do you think of? Rehab clinic, born-again church, post-apocalyptic civilization, a new brand of scented detergent??! Perhaps. One thing you don’t think of?  The draw down in Iraq.

So yes. I wish Arlington Cemetery was more like the Gap. I wish we could exclaim “kidding!” and just take back the idiocy behind “Operation New Dawn.” Sigh. But such things are never that simple. Like many unilateral decisions, we will just have to wait and see what happens.

3 thoughts on “Why Arlington National Cemetery is not the Gap

  1. Yet another propagandized glorification of a abject war. I can only imagine who ever created the verbiage “New Dawn” must have just finished reading The Secret.

  2. I guess it does sound better than:
    Operation Quicksand, Operation Christian Vengeance, Operation Bushmeat, Operation Neo-Conquer, Operation Cheney Gang, Operation “We’re better than the Russians”, Operation “What were we thinking!”, Vietnam Part II “The Desert”, Vietnam Part III “The Mountains, Operation Where’s Waldo’s WMD’s, Operation Clusterf***, or “The NeverEnding Story”
    Nothing you call it could justify having tombstones to place it on.

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