Not the country they fought for

November 11, 2017

Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1981 honor guard post the colors and salute the flag during the Veterans Day Service at Furman High School on Thursday.

At 11 a.m. today in Courthouse Park, American Legion Post 11 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1981 will conduct Veterans Day services with music, speeches and the laying of wreaths on the Madera County War Memorials.

An impressive aspect of the local observances is the display of the Avenue of Flags in the park and at Arbor Vitae and Calvary cemeteries. These exhibits are comprised of the burial flags donated by the families of former service personnel.

The day was originally celebrated here and abroad as Armistice Day and now in the United States as Veterans Day. This is the day we set aside as a remembrance to honor all military veterans alive or dead.

Unlike many federal holidays this one doesn’t usually bounce around to create a three-day-weekend. The schools closed Friday this year because Veterans Day falls on Saturday.

In the year 1918 at the 11th hour, of the 11th day of the 11th month the Armistice for the cessation of hostilities was signed between the Allied Forces of World War I and Germany at Compiegne, France.

A commitment to serve in the military is one of great sacrifice on behalf of each service member and his or her family. For some it is the greatest adventure of their lives. Many use it as a steppingstone to a career in law enforcement. Some people are so severely damaged by the experience they never completely recover.

Our country doesn’t do enough for our military while they are in the service. They are paid poorly with an entry level solider earning $20,000 to $23,000 a year according to Compared to teachers and other less dangerous professions this salary is very near the federal poverty level. The country has a huge military budget but doesn’t spend enough of it on the salaries of our soldiers and sailors. Veterans’ benefits are sorely lacking as well.

The World War II members of Tom Brokaw’s Greatest Generation are dying off at the alarming rate of 600 
per day according to

Locally, the Central Valley Honor Flights have sent 800 World War II and Korean Conflict Veterans to visit the War Memorials dedicated to their service in and around Washington, D.C. These trips are a very fitting thank you to these heroes for the sacrifices they made in defense of freedom.

Today the country is in great upheaval. Mass shootings and bombings have turned America into a place where at any time a person is in great danger at home or in public. The homeland these former service personnel commit to protect has changed and become a really dark place to live. There is no one to blame and yet everyone bears responsibility. It is the responsibility of every person in America to try and make their hometowns better places to live.

I can only surmise that politically correct speech initially began as a way to show respect to others and put into practice the Golden Rule, as spoken by Jesus in Matthew, chapter 7, verse 12: “Do for others what you would like them to do for you. This is a summary of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.”

Being nice and using politically correct speech is designed so the speaker doesn’t offend anyone who overhears the speaker’s comments. The practice has progressed to the point where people risk being in the wrong if they don’t censure every word they say. It is as if too many people are just waiting in the wings to become offended victims.

It should come as no great surprise that I am not a fan of political correctness. Once a practice grows to this level of public consciousness there is virtually no way to stop it. Intolerance of society’s wrongs is an admirable goal. Being afraid to offend to the point of allowing bad behavior is not.

The weather this weekend is set to be mild. If a party is planned please don’t consume adult beverages and get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.

Bless our military and veterans and have a great weekend.

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