[May 24, 2023] Last year, during my township’s 4th of July parade, I saw a small child stand and salute our Veterans as they passed. These Vets were holding our American and service flags. Some folks came out to hug them, a few sang patriotic songs, and many thanked them for their service. This brought great comfort to our Vets. I find that most citizens are true patriots who love America and those who fought to protect our nation.
However, I see a troubling trend. More and more Americans no longer believe in patriotism or loving America or, sadly, no longer understand our Vets who have given their lives for our nation. Some are unaware because they are willfully ignorant, others out of malice. Unfortunately, in today’s America, we disrespect Memorial Day and choose to dishonor the fallen. This is the new America.
How do I know this? Recent opinion polls consistently show that Americans are less patriotic, less religious, less family-friendly, and less happy. Go figure. I also see how current U.S. military leaders are concerned about transgender rights but have taken their eye off the ball and now miss their recruiting goals, lower disciplinary standards, and oversee a declining readiness poster. This is a gross failure in leadership, and it is shocking.
An example is Jane Fonda, who has a more elevated place in society than any of those who sacrificed their lives bravely and honorably. She is more famous than Alvin York or Chesty Puller or Oliver Perry. Jane Fonda and her fawning, faddish followers preen their feathers as they drool over her latest ‘reimagining this new phase in our lives’ or exercise video. She is also fabulously wealthy and struts confidently in celebrity circles, knowing that her past of voluntarily participating in North Vietnamese army propaganda will be forgiven.
I lived across the nation, and I can say that many of our citizens I meet along the way do not know the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day. Those who do rarely know the origins of either or their significance. The average American cannot name which century World War II took place; those who do, believe it began in 1941. Overseas, our ignorance of history or our own government is famous. To them, the Vietnam War is not only ancient history but provides no significant lessons.
Those who died, whom we honor on Memorial Day, are considered suckers who supported an oppressive and privileged society. Simply put, they are invisible. Welcome to the new America.
Do we disrespect Memorial Day? Yes, and that is a sad commentary on the character of the American citizen.
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