Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Half-staff

Flags in Maine flew at half-staff yesterday in accordance with President Obama's order honoring the dead of Fort Hood, Texas, and today in honor of Marine Major Samuel Leigh, formerly of Belgrade, killed in a helicopter crash over the Pacific last month. The flags are apparently unrelated to Veterans Day.

Why aren't we in a state of perpetual mourning for our dying soldiers? Is Veterans Day the most forgotten of holidays? At least the Portland Press Herald carried a prominent picture of the Portland parade, and several articles about vets. Disgracefully, The New York Times home page had no mention at all of Veterans Day, although if you scrolled down past the fold, you got a link to an article about the French and Germans marking Armistice Day. The Boston Globe's page had a feature on the parade in Boston, but again it was below the fold. Above the fold were articles typically pandering to "demographics": a report critical of the Boston Fire Department, a piece on a missing woman, and in prime position, "A fall sampling of season's sipping," adorned with a picture of the Concord Grape Cobbler as featured by the bar Drink.

I'm about as far from a military man as you can get, but even to me the lack of respect for our veterans and the way the government ignores them when they return home is shameful. I applaud Obama's actions in Iraq and Guantanamo; I can't understand why he's dithering about Afghanistan. Bring our soldiers home and take care of them when they get here. Why is this so difficult for our leaders (and our urban elite) to understand?

No comments: