Did you know today is Veteran’s Day? Well, how could you not know with the hundreds of reminders in advertising, political tweets, and a few meal specials at your local diner. Underlying that, though, is the sense of veteran fatigue. Perhaps that while we as a county may be grateful to our living warriors, I also wonder if maybe we’re a little weary of thanking our veterans.
Newspapers reflect the moods of our communities, so I took a peek. Several independent and reputable newspapers across the country do not have an active story about veterans on their front web page, and some that do could have been written five years ago or five years from now (whispers: “canned stories”). The WaPo has a link to a Veteran’s Day story at their “hot stories” row across the top of their page, but you’ll have to scroll down a little to find their veterans story of the day. The New York Times tells us how Armistice Day became Veterans Days in America. Whoopee.
So, yes, I think a little weariness has set in, perhaps due in part to the current political climate where if you don’t salute and kiss the American flag, you risk being buried in it by extremists who believe in a weak man, but not in a strong Constitution. Oddly, as a veteran, this was not the country I was defending when I enlisted. I believed then and now in three co-equal branches of government, doing all that checks-and-balances thing, but times change, as they say.
I’m probably not the only veteran who wonders what’s next for our great country. Me, I’d like a return to sanity in Washington where Congress and the President are mature thinkers who hold each other to a higher standard. I’d like these same people to spend less energy hugging their token veteran two or three times a year during a photo op, and more time approving legislation that paves more pathways to higher-paying jobs, improved health care, and better educational opportunities.
If y’all want to thank a veteran, stop the ten-percent discounts and handing out those small American flags for us to wave around. Vote for responsible adults who can help us become better citizens. The end benefits of your actions will make us all grateful Americans.