I never served my country in the armed forces. So not only am I in debt to those who have for my freedom, but I also hold them in awe.
It bothers me when they are used to score political points. Perhaps I am playing politics by responding, but I'd rather think that I am trying to keep their memory sacred by not allowing others to drag them down into the mud of partisan bickering.
I managed to get myself on the mailing list of the local Tea Party. Today, I received this message from them:
Remind those of our sacrifice and don't confuse arrogance with leadership.
The American Cemetery at Aisne-Marne France .. A total of 2,289
The American Cemetery at Ardennes,Belgium A total of 5,329
The American Cemetery at Brittany,France A total of 4,410
Brookwood, England at American Cemetery. A total of 468
Cambridge, England ..3,812
Epinal, France American Cemetery.. A total of 5,525
Flanders Field, Belgium .. A total of 368
Florence, Italy.. A total of 4,402
Henri Chapelle, Belgium, .. A total of 7,992
Lorraine, France .. A total of 10,489
Luxembourg, Luxembourg .. A total of 5,076
Meuse-Argonne .. A total of 14,246
Netherlands, Netherlands .. A total of 8,301
Normandy, France .. A total of 9,387
Oise-Aisne, France .. A total of 6,012
Rhone , France .. A total of 861
Sicily, Italy .. A total of 7,861
Somme, France .. A total of 1,844
St. Mihiel, France .. A total of 4,153
Suresnes, France .. A total of 1,541
The count is 104,366 dead brave Americans.
And we have to watch an American elected leader who apologizes to Europe and the Middle East that our country is "arrogant".
HOW MANY FRENCH, DUTCH, ITALIANS, BELGIANS AND BRITS ARE BURIED ON OUR SOIL, DEFENDING US AGAINST OUR ENEMIES?
To honor those who fell in Europe helping to fend off, first German Imperialism enforced through a policy of "frightfullness" and then, later to face Nazism and defeat is ABSOLUTELY CORRECT.
But the radical right go further, as they always seem to do. They use this solemn American Day to try and an paint the president as unpatriotic, AND they accuse the French, Dutch and British of being cowards, of not having fought for "us".
Perhaps it is worth considering, as these radicals try to appropriate Memorial Day to their own ends, that it was right-wing groups in the 1930s, namely the German-American Bund and the America First Movement, who ensured that, while Great Britain began her fight against Hitler in 1939, America did not enter the war against evil until December 1941- over two years later.
So, Tea Partiers, while you are correct to honor Americans who fell on foreign fields, you are wrong, very wrong ...and arrogant...to insult our allies.
The Dutch, the French, and the British DIED where they stood to defend AMERICAN freedom to oppose the fight against fascism. While right-wingers in America had the freedom to criticize FDR for his sympathy for the struggle of England, France, Denmark, Holland and Belgium in their fight against the dark powers, our European cousins lost their homes, cities, families and lives...sacrificing ALL to buy us time to decide to do the right thing. Just as you do today, these other American right-wingers of days gone by complained about "European Arrogance".
Just as you owe the American Solider a debt today, you owe an equal debt to those from other lands who fell in their own countries to keep you safe.
So, you've said you're piece, I've answered with mine. I suggest now that EVERYBODY shut up and pay some respect to those to whom we owe everything.