The National Moment of Remembrance fell neatly in the middle of the fifth inning on Memorial Day in Baltimore.
That was fitting since no one in this country ever seems willing to be inconvenienced by soldiers. One died in Iraq yesterday and another in Afghanistan the day before that. More than 4,000 Americans – including 91 New Yorkers – have been killed in wars this whole country is supposed to be fighting. But the only ones who ever sacrifice are those in uniform and the families they leave behind.
We make our soldiers use substandard equipment – old helmets that won’t stop a piece of shrapnel and no body armor and patrol vehicles that aren’t safe enough to drive on the Cross Bronx Expressway – and we give them poor pay and lousy healthcare and crummy housing and virtually no hope of a decent life back home if they’re able to survive.
If this country wants to fight wars then we should all sacrifice. There should be a military draft in place so everyone – not just poor people – has to fight. Federal taxes should be tripled to support the war effort, there should be rationing on everything from butter to gasoline and all nonessential travel should be banned.
Wearing American-flag lapel pins and putting “I Support the Troops” bumper stickers on gas-guzzling vehicles and standing in the seventh inning for God Bless America and observing the National Moment of Remembrance is the height of hypocrisy. None of that supports the troops or the veterans. All it does is make a bunch of rich people who have never had to sacrifice anything feel good.
No one has the right to stand until we all sacrifice to support the soldiers.
Sorry for the inconvenience.