I come from a family with a proud military history. My father was a Leatherneck in WWII, seeing heavy action in the South Pacific. He was in the invasion of Okinawa and stood awestruck one August morning when he saw that mushroom cloud over Hiroshima. My younger brother also served his country in the First Gulf War in the Navy, ultimately deciding to become a family man rather than take the PST to qualify for the Navy Seals after he was approached by his CO.
Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day mean a lot to me, personally and of course as an American. This is why what I heard on MSNBC really floored me. On a show called Up with Chris Hayes they had a panel discussion about why it isn’t proper to use the term ‘Heroes’ when talking about our fallen military personnel.
I feel uncomfortable about the word ‘hero’ because it seems to me that it is so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war. Um, and, I don’t want to obviously desecrate or disrespect memory of anyone that’s fallen, and obviously there are individual circumstances in which there is genuine, tremendous heroism, you know, hail of gunfire, rescuing fellow soldiers, and things like that. But it seems to me that we marshal this word in a way that is problematic. But maybe I’m wrong about that…
The left never will get it, I’m afraid.
It isn’t HOW these folks died, it is WHY they wear the uniform in the first place. Anyone who dons that uniform and puts their life on the line qualifies as heroic in my book. But putting that aside, the mere fact that our brave military sons and daughters; husbands and wives; fathers and mothers have made the ultimate sacrifice by dying in combat for their country, well THAT is what makes them HEROES.
Birthdays, Christmases, Thanksgivings, Graduations and myriad countless other days and nights will pass without someone being there, ever. There are families all across our country that have to pick up the pieces and go on with their lives, trying to pacify a child who keeps asking for Daddy or Mommy and doesn’t understand why they aren’t there anymore. Parents must continue to deal with the fact that their child who they raised and nurtured and instilled values in so that they could be a contributing member of society will never have that chance to become one. Husbands and wives who forever will have an empty place where their loved one once was know the sacrifice made, for they pay the freight each and every day on that sacrifice.
No, the left just doesn’t understand. They abhor war of all kinds, and actually any sane person should. War is hell. It is fiery and violent and devastating and horrible, and it exacts a price on all who have to endure it; but more so on the ones who don’t survive it. The change it brings about, good and bad, intentional and collateral is permanent. It shouldn’t be celebrated, but the sacrifice made by those who volunteer to fight for America ought to be honored.
Taking the word ‘Heroes’ out of the equation does such a disservice to those who have earned that title, that no amount of words I can write can do justice to what MSNBC has done.