Veterans’ Day: living up to the Legacy

I took my son, St Thomas-the-younger, to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, LA, today in honor of Veterans’ Day.  There’s a good D-Day exhibit and “4-D” experience film narrated by Tom Hanks that summarizes American participation in World War II quite well. It also has a rather extensive exhibit on war-time industrial production.  And there’s a hall with restored World War II aircraft hanging from the rafters and elevated decks and walkways that let museum patrons get almost close enough to reach out and touch the airplanes.

It reminded me again of how the Greatest Generation truly saved the world from tyranny and fascism. It reminded me how courageous men and women braved impossible odds fighting implacable enemies and producing the materiel of war. It reminded me of the courage of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen and civilians who put everything on hold and everything on the line not for conquest, not for glory in battle, but to halt the advance of fascist tyranny and liberate the countries and provinces that the Fascists had previously conquered.

And then there was this article on Salon written against honoring soldiers and police officers as heroes.  (http://www.salon.com/2014/11/09/you_dont_protect_my_freedom_our_childish_insistence_on_calling_soldiers_heroes_deadens_real_democracy/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=socialflow)

Instead of tearing down those with ‘Veterans’ Privilege’ as Bergdahls and painting all non-Federal Law enforcement as Barney Fife, or worse, shouldn’t we rather look for those worthy of veneration? Shouldn’t we hold up men like Washington, Grant, Abrams, Pershing, Marshall, Puller, Hawlsey, Eisenhower, Arnold, the Tuskegee Airmen, Schwarzkopf, and Powell as models of courage and leadership? Shouldn’t we all aspire to be our best and highest selves?

These opinions are naturally my own, unless otherwise cited, and not those of my employers.

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