Memorial Day Missive

2011 May 29

On behalf of the Moose, I would like to wish everyone a Happy Memorial Day.  Please use this weekend not only to honor the sacrifice of our Armed Forces and their families, but use this weekend to think and talk about choices we make as a nation.

I think those are fair words that would be accepted, unanimously, by those of us running the Moose.

I say that because what follows are my own opinions:

When was the last time our Armed Forces were used to actually defend our freedoms?  I recognize, accept, and (under certain circumstances) support that our Armed Forces have been used to defend our interests or the interests of allies throughout the world.

I do not, however, accept the notion our military engagements of the past fifty? years were undertaken to protect the actual freedoms of our nation and its citizens.  While I have the utmost and undying respect and appreciation for the work, accomplishments, professionalism, and sacrifice of our Armed Forces and their families during that time frame, I feel it necessary to separate the actual fighting, bleeding, and dying they have endured, from the reasons that fighting was undertaken.

I believe that one of the greatest challenges facing our nation is that too few people view themselves as citizens, with all the rights, responsibilities, and privileges that come with that title.

Citizen is just as important a title as soldier, especially in a nation such as ours, in which we maintain civilian control of the military.  The civilian control is us.  We elect our civilian leaders and the military agrees to obey that leadership.  That’s the bargain: we take responsibility for the choice to send them into battle and they accept the fact that some number of them will die because of that choice.

We have abdicated our responsibility as citizens and, therefore, failed in our duty to our military.  It is my hope that, if we truly wish to honor, respect, and commemorate the sacrifices our Armed Forces make, we, the People, will begin again to fulfill our side of the bargain.

Whatever your political beliefs, know why you hold them.  Whichever party you generally support (if any), know why you support them.  Think about the actual issues, not party positions, talking points, and the effect on the next election cycle.

Honor our military by only sending them to uphold their end of the bargain after we have fulfilled ours.

Happy Memorial Day!!

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