I never wore the uniform although some of my friends, associates and members of my family have.
For those who are family of men and women killed in action today is a somber day. For others it's a day to wave the flag. And for still others it's a day for cheap shots and false equivalences drawn with straw-men arguments.
I've waited to post this today so I could see the best -- and worst -- of that which was put forward first, and take it all in.
Now you get my view.
We do not have a Constitution and Bill of Rights merely because of a handful of Patriots by the names Washington, Madison, Jefferson and others pulled out pens and parchment. We have a Constitutional Republic because thousands upon thousands of nameless, faceless men picked up muskets, powder and ball, and later manned rifles, airplanes, ships and submarines and went to war to defend that document.
In WWI and WWII it was not the Generals and other "flag officers" who were responsible for our nation maintaining its identity. It was the grunt on the beach at Normandy, the sailor below the deck of the Arizona who still lies 40' below the surface of Pearl Harbor and the men who went down over France, Germany and in the Pacific in defense of our freedoms. All were someone's son or daughter and many were another man or woman's husband, wife, father or mother.
There are many who abuse their former status in the military and still more who have through history, wrapping themselves in the flag while they perpetrate outrages in the halls of Government. But those are people who we can argue over on Veteran's Day, which is the place and time to debate whether service for our nation, standing by itself, confers some element of character that overrides one's actions since. I say no, but I'll keep that debate for tomorrow.
Today is the day when we honor those who died. Those who sacrificed -- not just arms, legs, fingers, mental acuity or illness, but their lives. Those who died protecting our freedom. Those who are the reason we have a Constitution and Bill of Rights, denigrated, ignored, abused and trashed though it may be through the years.
That sailor or soldier went to war believing in what they were doing. The argument that one is responsible for all implies that active deception is not chargeable against those who commit it first, and only last if ever against the deceived. History is written by victors, not the vanquished, but anyone who doubts that the British in 1776, the Germans in 1914 or 1939, the Japanese in 1941 or others did not intend and initiate violence against America and her people has their head on sideways.
Today I honor those who died fighting to create and preserve what has made America unique. I dedicate my day not just to a BBQ or a roast, but rather to those who have gone before and proudly served this nation. Not all that this nation has done has been good; like all people we have done bad, even evil things. Our leadership has abused the privilege granted to it by the people, rather than respect the unalienable rights of our citizens. And some of our military members have acted with dishonor; to deny that is to deny the truth.
But there are other days for that criticism and derision.
Today is the day on which I honor those who gave their life with honor for our way of life and our country.
Tomorrow I will return my attention to those who did not.
Where We Are, Where We're Heading (2013) - The annual 2013 Ticker
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