I will never forget the comment an Israeli made to me about our Memorial Day. “In Israel, on the day we honor our dead, at a certain time, everything and everyone comes to a stop. All traffic just stops and people bow their head in memory of their dead. Here you have three day sales.” Gulp.
As with everything in the United States, it depends what lens you view thru. He was right. If you knew nothing about us, you would assume it was a commercial enterprise, this day for remembering our servicemen and women, specifically those who died in service to our country. But, and it is a big but, choose another lens and this is what you will find throughout smalls towns, cities and states across our vast country:
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetary:
Cemeteries across the country filled with our servicemen and women:
Parades in memory and to honor our dead:
We set aside two national days to remember our veterans: Memorial Day and Veterans Day, separated by about six months, one at the end of May and one on November 11th.
Today and throughout this weekend, I need no urging to remember my family members who served and the men and women I consider extended family by virtue of their service. Last year, at this time, I wrote a post honoring my father, my brothers and my cousin and my uncles and I think it a good one. Perhaps you will, too.
While I believe in this Day and honor it with my heart and hands, I also believe to the last cell of my body that our veterans and serving men and women deserve our best and I am very angry about the reports surfacing on their medical care via the Veterans Administration. It is not that their care is poor, it is getting to that care so needed by our veterans and serving men and women. Long wait lists, screening evaluations with a margin of 17% error – meaning one in five servicemen and women have been incorrectly diagnosed and/or treated. And, if we do this to the ones most deserving of our care, respect, and thanks, how well do you visualize our health care being administrated by and through Obamacare? Just a thought.
God bless America, the men and women who serve her, and those who are proud to be named Americans. Not a hypehated American. Just plain and simple: I am an American.