As I write this…
It’s June 6th, 2020. It is 76 years after the invasion of Fortress Europe, or as it was designated, D-Day. The lack of attention to this occasion by almost all forms of media was a disturbing show of ignorance and apathy by America. The History Channel, I’m happy to say, showed a multi-hour coverage of the invasion, and the subsequent weeks. It was not a movie, it was all American news photographers and captured German film. It was not sugar-coated. It was brutal, and the statistics of the dead and wounded staggered the credibility. Was it really possible that SO many warriors were killed and wounded in the first 8 weeks of the invasion? Yes, it was, and is.
Today’s “young people” have NO idea what it took to win the war and make the world free again. Are they disconnected to an extent that history means nothing to them? Is there no one in their family that has worn the uniform of the United States and went off to war, never knowing if they would ever get back home? That is, to my way of thinking, an excellent reason for a mandatory stint in the armed forces. It not only protects the country, but the person has an opportunity to learn something that will benefit them, in some way, once they leave the service. It may be that it will straighten some out, and they will see the service as a place for a career. There’s an old saying, and it goes like this…”If America is good enough to live in, it’s good enough to fight for”. Yeah, maybe the grammar isn’t right, but that’s the way the saying goes.
I like to think I’m a patriot. I don’t always like, or agree with, whatever the President or Congress is saying or doing, but I’m always going to be FOR my country. Many people have put on the uniform of the United States, finding opportunities there…that might not have been available to a person of their color, heritage, or even what form of worship they practice. I heard, somewhere, that in battle you’re not fighting for your country, but for the person who might be next to you. It’s a matter of survival, and it comes down to looking out for the one who’s looking out for you… if you plan to survive. In my Navy career I’ve never been in, or even near combat, so I consider myself lucky in that regard. Whether or not I’d have been lucky on the field of battle, I cannot say. Incidentally, patriotism is not just for the military holidays, it should be all year round. Let’s promote patriotism, shall we?
A change of pace here. It’s getting more and more difficult for me to write a column because it appears that I’m preaching to the choir. The folks that should be hearing and reading what I say, are not and, even if they were, they probably wouldn’t like it. Our politics in America have deteriorated to the point where it can honestly be described as Americans versus anti-Americans. The recent riots and looting have nothing to do with George Floyd. Mr. Floyd was murdered, the guilty parties have been taken into custody and will stand trial. We can expect, but not guarantee, that the court’s decision will come to the conclusion we want. My thinking is that the highly-organized riots and looting are part of a larger plan, to take down the government, install something in its place, something that will closely resemble Socialism. One “feeler” put forth is the defunding and/or disbanding of various city police departments. There is NO logical thinking behind that proposed plan, believe me.
Now, let’s talk about something that SHOULD have been in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. It’s term limits, and it should have been right up there with the other amendments. The Founding Fathers never, in their wildest dreams, imagined that someone would WANT to stay in Congress once their term was up. After all, they probably had a farm or business to tend to, a family back home, and travel wasn’t as fast as it is in our modern world. So, term limits are to be a major talking point, at least in my not-so-humble opinion, at both conventions. The Democrats will be against it, and I’m hoping that the Republicans will not only talk about it, but will make it a part of their platform. My guess is that most of America, on both sides of the aisle, want term limits and if it gets on the national ballot it just might get passed by Congress.
Parting shot: Not a day goes by that some thoughts don’t go through my head. I think of my father every day because he taught me a lot more than I ever realized. The flag that I see when I drive by a school makes me hope that they still revere that cloth. As a veteran my thoughts go to all the buddies, here and gone, that have influenced my life through the years. The current political schism in our country remind me that is how our country was formed…a handful of men who dared to dream of something better. Do we, as Americans, dare to dream of that something better? Can we heal the wounds of today’s chaotic world?