On Memorial Day

It arrives once a year, a day on which, supposedly, Americans pay homage to those who fought for the nation in a war. President Obama decried that many “denigrate” the bravery of those who fought in Vietnam. It always fascinates me how those in the Republican party who make the loudest protestations of respect for the military are the ones who made certain when war came to the country, they were elsewhere. Dick Cheney got 7 deferments because as he so aptly put it, “I had more important things to do.” His buddy George Bush had a dad who made certain war never was an experience in his life.

Mitt Romney, who speaks bravely of staying the course in Afghanistan, had an opportunity during the Vietnam War to prove how brave he really was, alas, he had more important things to do–spreading the word of God in France. In other words, those whose words demand action, are the last ones to actually be involved in an action that did not result in more money.

I suspect that twenty years from now an American president will decry how veterans of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are “denigrated.” Frankly, few Americans give a damn, few even know the geographical location of Iraq or Afghanistan, and few know anyone who actually has been in battle. The forgotten wars of Iraq and Afghanistan are most unusual in they were forgotten even before they concluded.

Until all serve, then all will forget.

  • IconQ

    Salient points.  As Israel has goose-stepped to the right this is the one aspect that deserves emulation, all should give a couple years service to the nation.  ALL.  I believe I recall that ‘all serving’ was an integral notion of Greek democracy, especially as each eligible voter was expected to serve in a political capacity, too?