Seniors: Veterans Deserve Better

May 30th, 2010 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Of the surviving veterans from the Second World War, only 10% remain alive.  All the other wars we have fought in the interim bring with them their own who served and suffered.  This Memorial Day almost seems an afterthought, even when we are engaged in current wars and hearing of the numbers of deaths contributed by them.  America is, at worst, a country built on war with all kinds of rationales to keep the wars going.  The problem with that is it eats at the heart of us, steals our young, justifies violence in an effort to solve problems that need better means for quelling wars and achieving peace.

This year’s observance seems a temporary distraction.  We are in the throes of so many crises, eating at the heart of our democracy, that there seems to be little time to pause for even a moment to render tribute to those who served, those who died, those who still wear the ribbons of yesterday’s conflicts, as well as those of today.

Our veterans deserve better than that.  If their contributions were of any value at all, they at least deserve the attention and accolades of a day when all the other jumble of today’s chaotic world can be set aside for a few hours.  But we have become so accustomed to distractions, to the rumbling noises of wars and world leaders that lead us into an even deeper morass.  The moral question is “when did war ever solve the great issues of the world,” seems to have been shelved with the assumption that eventually all that we spend of our nation’s wealth, of our nation’s young, of our nation’s integrity will solve the problems of the whole world.

With swirling tides of oil spoiling the Gulf, with the economy in shambles, with the national debt now above a trillion, on its way to a centillion, with unemployment plaguing the lives of hundreds of thousands, with soldiers’ families paying the price of loneliness and heart ache, why can’t we show some compassion and caring, not just for 24 hours, but in our national priorities and policies?  Why can’t we take on at least one of the large issues, make decisions to reduce its need for so much of our attention, and move on to other of the plagues now affecting the body politic? 

This Veterans day, in some way, in some act of deep appreciation, whether we agreed or agree with the wars fought and the politics that prompted them, can we at least muster up enough sensitive compassion for all those who lost limbs, eyesight, suffered major trauma or died?  In the face of a time when there is so much discord let us find at least one thing that enables us to be solid Americans, united around something other than conflict and disagreement.

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