Recently we have heard the reports of a Connecticut candidate for the Senate who has consistently lied about his Vietnam War service and I was struck during one TV discussion of the issue by comments from Katrina van den Heuvel, Editor of the leftist magazine, The Nation, who wonders why we so revere our veterans and assign their military service such a high ranking in our criteria for serving in public office in the first place. After all, she says, we are glorifying war service. Meanwhile, Pat Buchanan reminds us that of all the generals who have gone on to serve the country as President, not one led America into a new war, and only one 19th century President who had seen combat as a soldier led us into war. This may be coincidental, but I think not. Of all people, warriors hate war the most. So in these days between Memorial Day and the anniversary of D-Day, I thought it appropriate to pass along the following anonymous observations recently sent to me that might help Ms. van den Heuvel and others understand why we honor those who served.
It is the veteran, not the preacher, who has given us freedom of religion; it is the veteran, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press; it is the veteran, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech; it is the veteran, not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to assemble; it is the veteran, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial; and it is the veteran, not the politician, who has given us the right to vote.
Hug a veteran this week.