Today we remember those who gave their lives for us in war. But what of those soldiers who did not — who survived? We call these “veterans.”
How curious is it that in the middle of a health care revolution in this country, those wounded, maimed, disfigured, incapacitated and in any way harmed by putting themselves in harm’s way should be be so discourteously treated by their — our — nation?
We are asked to show compassion for those who have no health benefits. We are told that our respect for humanity should embrace those sick and needy who live in our country with “no documentation.” These are urgent priorities, according to our leaders.
But for those without limbs, or in pain, or in peril of death, who have, in the words of Lincoln, showing “their last true measure of devotion” — we have only excuses, pettifoggery, blame-shifting and neglect.
Of course, there are many reasons for this. Some have pointed to the now-distant past and shrugged off our responsibility by blaming an administration now long gone from office. Strange, is it not, that the man who ran for office in part on a promise to protect and improve the lot of those we should cherish most somehow forgot about them?
Well, they are not a large voting bock. They cannot match the rolls of those who are here without sanction, or those who seek to better their own lives by impairing the lives of others.
Imagine a cynicism so vast and a poverty of imagination so deep that it wilfully or worse still, neglectfully, countenances condemning those who have given their best to the very worst of medical care.
Again, Abraham Lincoln:
I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant-General of Massachusetts, that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.
I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.
I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours, to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of Freedom. Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,
Yes, I know, there are historical qualms about the reality of this mother’s losses. But the sentiment remains the same.
“So costly a sacrifice.” But where mothers spend their children’s lives, our leaders countenance neglect, ignore depravity and go about their business, which is, as always, business “as usual.”
Don’t stand for it. Hold them to account. Demand better. And hang from their thumbs those responsible for this deplorable and completely intolerable behavior. People are dying for you. What does it tell us; that they are the lucky ones; that the survivors fare far worse?
Happy Memorial Day.