This December, my grandfather passed away, and my whole family gathered for his funeral. Having served in the National Guard, he was buried in a military cemetery. At the beginning of the ceremony, an honor guard reminded us all – the immediate family – to please silence our cellphones, and avoid using all electronics during the burial. Seriously.
You would think that paying respects to a departed loved one certainly takes precedence over checking Facebook, unless you’re one of the awful people that takes funeral selfies, but the fact that they felt compelled to remind us really makes you wonder, doesn’t it: how many people must have texted and tweeted through the eulogy before it became necessary to remind people to be respectful?
And it’s not just funerals – it would be a little weird if it was – it’s everywhere. If you look around in any restaurant you can see families and friends at the same table, ignoring one another and typing away on smartphones. Not to sound antiquated, but I prefer actual social interaction to meaningless “hey, sup”s and “lol”s. I’m not saying we need to return to the dark ages, but it wouldn’t kill you to put the damn thing down once in a while – especially if you’re quite literally tweeting over someone’s grave – the internet will still be there when you get back, I promise.
Since 1983 November 11th has been celebrated as a day to honor those who have served in the military. Soldiers, Airmen, Marines, and Sailors, veterans who dedicated their lives to selfless service are all hailed as American Heroes.
The author of this article applies what I like to refer to as the “everyone wins, so no one wins” philosophy, or in this case the “no one can be a hero because there are some people who are called heroes that don’t deserve it” philosophy.
This same concept can be applied to mothers and fathers. Why bother celebrating Mothers or Fathers Day when there are so many terrible parents. Every day social workers have to remove children from their homes because they are abused both mentally and physically. What about teachers? Teacher appreciation day should be immediately be stopped because of crimes committed by Mark Berndt.
Former Los Angeles teacher Mark Berndt who was arrested for felony molestation of 23 kids. Photocred: Ap Photo/ LA Police Dept.
It’s obvious we should determine teacher appreciation day based off this guy.
If I were to suggest that mothers and fathers, or even teachers should all be judged based on the actions of the mothers who abandon their children or fathers that abuse their children, I would be called ridiculous. It doesn’t make sense to judge all mothers or fathers based on the actions of others. Nor does it make sense to stop celebrating Mother or Fathers day based on those judgements. So why is it okay to judge the military as a whole based on the actions of a few? Why is it okay to suggest that Americans should stop honoring and calling people in the military heroes?
By no means am I suggesting that people who commit terrible crimes should be considered heroes. Actually I’m suggesting that why not for one day, November 11th we dedicate to those who deserve it. The real heroes. The men and women who dedicate their lives to service. Cant we just have one day we don’t focus on the few who ruin it for everyone?
And yes; I mean few. I’m not really sure why so many people feel that the number of sexual assaults that occur in the military is so egregious. Of course even one assault is too many, but being a realist I think we should speak comparatively and examine the national averages.
A comparative look at percentages of sexual assaults. Source: The Department of Defense, and The Center for Disease Control
We should be careful to fact check things we read. It’s easy to formulate opinions based on fictional or one sided information. Suggesting that practically everyone in the military commits sexual assault crimes, or that we are no longer fighting for our freedom, or that the only real heroes are those who oppose war is obnoxious and ill informed.
Lieutenant Hal Moore once said “Hate war, but love the American warrior.” Today at a Veterans day speech the speaker said ” Military personal are A-political, they’re just following orders.” I don’t care how much you hate the President, or the government, or what is happening in the Middle East, I actually encourage dissonance, however these are not reasons to strip the members of the military of their title of a hero.
God Bless America
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