Staten Island Web logo

No topic Robert Sheridan FawCawnahs I know I said I didn't believe it and wasn't willing to take it at face value, without attribution.

I certainly questioned the quote's authenticity, and may have flatly said it was untrue, but it seems to me the one who wants the post to be believed has the job of providing a cite of some sort so we can tell whether we want to believe it's more or less legit.

Here's why I react as I do to some vets' posts.

A number of veterans adopt what strikes me as being a fairly typical position, the gist of which seems to be that by and large a great portion of the country doesn't seem to care about them, the vets, or it, the country.

Then the tone seems to get a little belligerent and the people who are non-vets appear to be called to task for the offense of being a non-vet or, allegedly, not showing enough respect to vets.

These are all questionable propositions, even allowing for some, meaning a very few, true examples of the type complained about.

At the time of the Vietnam war, the story became quite current, and repeated in the press many times, of instances in which returning veterans were spat upon or otherwise insulted in airports, train stations, etc. Maybe it happened. Maybe a few idiots did that. But that doesn't necessarily mean that from the examples of a few the rest of the country should be tarred with the brush of disrespect for the veterans who served in that unpopular, highly controversial war. The "spitting" story was repeated as gospel so often that it seemed to take on characteristics of one of those urban legends referred to earier, where a lot of people claimed it happened to them or someone they knew, but maybe it didn't.

It took a long time for the country to come to terms with Vietnam, as opposed to say, WWII, where service people were regarded generally as being heroes, because people identified much more easily with the idea that we were the good guys who saved western civilization and the world, basically.

It took many years and much controversy to erect the Vietnam War memorial in D.C. People are still coming to terms with that war.

The Korean War, or "Conflict," has tended to be downplayed as well, for various reasons, I suppose, including the idea that it did not have the sort of glorious resolution that WWII had for us.

It seems we judge our conflicts by how they compare with our role in, and the outcome of, WWII, when, we believe, the forces of good defeated the forces of evil, in a clear and decisive manner. And then the soldiers came home and put together their lives and the country as we know it today, a major feat, without a lot of self-seeking self-aggrandizement.

All over the country this year, as in many years past, there were ceremonies marking Memorial Day and the role of the service men and women who served through a number of conflicts dating back, say to WWI. These were duly reported in the press and on TV in communities all over the country.
It is a national holiday. Most jobs ceased. People went out for the day, to picnics and the beach. Some reflected, some didn't. Can't help that very much.

I saw flags all over, not on every house, but often enough to let you know the day was special and what it was for.

I thought that was pretty good, myself, letting everybody know.

Bush signed a bill on Memorial Day, or very close to it, authorizing the WWII Memorial to be built on the Mall in DC. The controversy surrounding this memorial is not over according the honor, but the manner and location of it. Odd how the biggest war with the best outcome had the longest delay in building the public memorial. It's as though as to WWII it was so big that no special memorial was felt to be needed until now, when so many who served then have died off, after 56 years.

It takes a lot people to make up this country of close to 300 million, and it's good for all of us to be reminded how hard it was to get to where we are now, and to keep it going in a positive direction. What's not good is the belligerent tone used by some who seem to take pride in saying, "I'm holier than thou."

If you want to create bad feelings, that's a good way to go about doing it.

I'm hoping this sets forth a point of view clearly and without getting sensitive feelings even more riled up. The question of respect cuts both ways. To get it you have to be willing to give it, otherwise there's apt to be a certain amount of disappointment in both directions. Some people are willing to accord respect, and others aren't, probably on a case by case basis. As I say, there's a lot people in this country and you can't necessarily judge the whole by a few examples, however tempting.

On a sensitive issue such as this has been for this country generally and on this site in particular, it may be that the fewer challenges made the better. Otherwise we get into discussions that tend to shed more heat than light.

Got a light, anyone?


Staten Island WebŪ Forums Index.