I exercise my Freedom of Speech at least as much as the next guy. We’re lucky given the many ways we can express it, whether it be spoken or written, in print or electronically. I also advocate for it, sometimes for opinions I disagree with. Memorial Day is a good time to remember how we got this freedom, among others, and how we continue to on an ongoing basis.
Simply put, Memorial Day commemorates those who have given their lives in military service to their country. It runs the gamut all the way back to the Civil War; from Arlington Cemetery, to burials at sea, to our local cemetery, to those never found. Our fallen military members – mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters. That’s it. But it’s become something else.
I’m not talking about the kickoff to barbeque season or the Indy 500. I’m talking about those who want to score cheap political points at the expense of those people above. We’ll have our usual marchers and politicians using this holiday to make their point, which I guess is an improvement over burning flags and soldiers in effigy that’s occurred in other places. Or that detestable so-called church that celebrates every troop’s demise by their ridiculous signs telling us what “God hates” at funeral services. Just different levels of hate, that’s all.
Need the proof for yourself? Watch the television coverage of marches around the country, or attend a march or demonstration right here in Longmont. Take note of the signs, slogans, and demeanor of the marchers. It shouldn’t be hard to find the negativity and exploitation in what’s supposed to be a memorial. Freedom of speech is pretty selective in this circle, so expect to be shouted down if you don’t agree. You’d hope that at least one weekend, this holiday, they’d show a little respect, but don’t count on it. I’d love to be wrong about this.
What’s ridiculous is the assumption that every military member is of one party or affiliation. Or that every one of them believes in and wants to fight this or that war. Imagine the Vietnam vet who was drafted and dragged off to war, totally against it, yet comes home only to be spat upon by the earlier version of today’s marchers. With the extreme examples I’ve given above, does anyone honestly believe today’s military member buys the “against the war, but I support the troops” line? Just a guess, but probably less than half of those that say it really mean it anyway, and probably less than half that hear it actually believe it. At the state level, Longmont’s representatives (Pommer & Shaffer) don’t help the situation with their co-sponsoring of SJM07-002, which despite its clever language was seen as a lack of support for the troops and their mission. Politics above all else, right?
So, my thanks go out to those that have fought for our freedoms. Not just this weekend or holiday, but every day, without conditions. The above is sure to tick off half of the people out there, but I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything. It’s just this one guys opinion, and not really up for debate. Don’t like it? Well, to borrow a term from the Battle of the Bulge, “NUTS”!