Rear Window Ethics Rear Window Ethics: Veterans Day - Thank You

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Veterans Day - Thank You

Today is Veterans Day.

Today flags will be hung outside of houses. Ceremonies will be held in cities and small towns across America. Relatives and loved ones who have served this country will be thanked and remembered.

And people will continue to buy yellow magnetic ribbons for their cars that read 'Support Our Troops', foolishly believing that the money they spend will go towards the men and women in our military rather than into the pockets of those who would exploit the recent rash of flag-waving in this country.

Veterans Day is not about whether you wear a red, white and blue tie, or how many miniature American flags you can tie to your car or put on your desk. It isn't about radio stations playing 'I'm Proud To Be An American' or network TV airing Saving Private Ryan. It is not about feeling good about yourself for 'supporting the troops' with pithy acts of pseudo-patriotism. Veterans Day is about reminding this country, just one day out of a year, that we owe a debt to those who risk their lives in our military, whether you agree with the action they were part of or not.

This means doing right by those men and women that have come back from combat. It means not underfunding the Department of Veterans Affairs by $1.2 Billion. It means not closing VA hospitals and centers, so that 300,000 veterans don't have to wait for six months to have their first VA medical appointment. It means doing away with extraneous medical fees and reducing, not increasing prescription drug co-pays.

It means making sure that when a soldier comes home, he or she has the reassurance of a supportive government and a thankful people. This nation owes those who have served at least that much, and I hope that is something that everyone is able to agree upon.