Yesterday was Veterans Day, a day of honor!
Since November 11, 1918 -- the end of World War I -- Americans have honored veterans who served our country to preserve and protect our freedoms. It was an honor to serve in uniform and the people of a thankful nation proudly acknowledged their service.
Veterans had a revered place in our society after World War I and again after World War II. They were celebrated for their heroics and sacrifices to keep America safe. Gestures of thanks were honest and heartfelt.
On this day in the past Veterans were respected.
Though we, as a nation, still celebrate Veterans Day, it's significance is less important to the American people than ever before. Unfortunately, things have changed.
Yesterday, like so many Veteran's Days in the recent past, was a day of hollow and insincere thanks from a big swath of Americans -- those who think nothing of sending our young men and women into battle but loathe supporting them when they return home.
Veterans should be honored everyday, not just one day set aside so Americans can feel patriotic, do a little flag-waving, and go back to their lives never thinking about the plight of veterans until they're forced to do it all over again next year.
Should we be doing more for our veterans?
The answer is unequivocally, Yes! But Americans need to change their attitudes for that to happen.
We must trade in our counterfeit praise, our phony allegiance, our inflated exceptionalism and do what's morally right for these American heroes.
This time every year corporations feign concern with patriotic commercials, networks put on an air of nationalism with their pretentious minutes of public spirit honoring veterans.
Veterans don't want artificial thanks, superficial celebrations, or contrived commercials. They want respect.
Respect for veterans includes electing politicians who care about them and their families. Those who care about their assimilati0n back into society. Politicians who will fight for quality education, decent jobs, and comprehensive healthcare. Politicians who are as concerned about sending them to war as they are about taking care of them when they come home.
On this Veterans Day we look back a few days at an election where the American people told veterans they don't care! The 37% that voted elected or reelected politicians who have stripped, blocked, or attempted to deny veterans their benefits and opportunities that would help them recapture their disrupted lives. The 63% who did not vote told veterans that they don't care either, allowing people who don't care about veterans to join Congressional members who are already eroding veterans benefits.
Shame on us -- those of us who elected Republicans who wish to destroy our republic, limit our democracy, obstruct legislation that helps veterans, and destroy everything these brave men and women fought for. Shame on those who sat on their lazy asses or were too be busy, or too selfish to vote, thereby disrespecting veterans and their sacrifices.
How many of us offered hollow and insincere thanks to a veteran yesterday? How many veterans did we extend this false appreciation to?
If we want to really honor veterans we must first change our 'gratitude!' Change our gratitude into actions and not just words.
We need to support them by electing politicians who genuinely respect them, not right wing zealots who cavalierly send them to war then block their benefits when they return.
The people who we honored and acknowledged yesterday cared so much for our country that they gave their souls, their limbs, and their very lives to preserve the freedoms we often take for granted. Now show them that we really care.
Give them your honest and sincere thanks by telling your Congressmen and women to support them with everything this country has regardless of the cost.
And still... it will never be enough!