Saturday, November 11, 2006

Election Day - Veterans Day

Tuesday, millions of American citizens accepted a minor inconvenience in their weekday schedule and performed their civic duty by participating in the selection of our leaders and casting a vote. For many of us, this will be the only sacrifice in time or effort that we will make this year in direct support of our country and it's institutions.

Saturday we remember those who, both now and in the past, have been asked to sacrifice much more by the very leaders we elected, in our name and on our behalf.

Saturday, we spend a few minutes considering the sacrifices of hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens that we have sent into harms way in Afganistan and Iraq.

Saturday,we spend a few minutes thinking about our veterans.

Regardless of what you think about Donald Rumsfeld, it is worth considering this question and answer from his Thursday speech at the Landon Lecture at Kansas State University:
QUESTION: "My concern about the global war on terror is that there are so few people fighting it. Besides the military and their families, nobody else seems invested in the war. In World War II, the whole country was making sacrifices, trying to conserve and rationing and all of those things where everybody was involved in winning. Nowadays, it seems like the average American gets up, goes to work, comes home, watches "American Idol" and goes to bed, never contributing to the war effort. And that not only are they not contributing, but the average person isn't even inconvenienced by the war. My question is, what can be done to get more of the American people invested in winning this war?"

SEC. RUMSFELD: "That is a critical question, and it's something that troubles me and that I worry about, just as you obviously worry about it. I grew up in World War II and had a victory garden and used to buy the war bonds -- $18.75, and if you held them long enough, it was $25. We, as you say, collected scrap and old rubber to be made into retread tires. The -- that was a period where the entire nation was mobilized, as it had to be, to deal with that, and it was for a relatively short period of time, and we prevailed."
If you are inclined to be a just bit more inconvenienced this week in support of your fellow citizen soldiers in uniform, check out IAVA, America's first and largest Iraq and Afghanistan veterans organization. If you are a blogger, give them a link and a little real estate on your blog. If you are not,watch the video, click this link and give them $100, or click this link and spread the word to help IAVA support our Iraq and Afganistan veterans in an important and meaningful way.

Iraq and Afganistan Veterans of America

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields. - John McCrae (1915)

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