Memorial Day is a time to honor those who served our nation placing their lives on hold while standing tall against the enemies of America. No greater service can be rendered by a citizen than to act in the defense of the nation.
In so many ways and during various times our Vet’s have received nothing more from us than passing recognition. They seem a necessity mostly praised and sought after when the rest of us are in fear. Our response to our citizen soldiers borders upon the schizophrenic.
Few of us line the march lines’ applauding the Vet’s while others disdain the federal promises guaranteeing stated benefits. National anger and revulsion are manifest only when stories of multiple suicides or dismissal medical treatment appear in the news.
There is a national group, Missing in America Project (MIAP) that has sought to identify abandoned cremated remains of Veterans left in rotting tin cans in hundreds of basements across the nation. The walls obstructing their efforts are many with each State imposing limitations preventing cooperating with the Project.
There is no greater insult to the pride of the US than these abandoned Veterans languishing in squalor. Those who served were assured military honors upon their death. It is a breach of national duty, a failure of monumental proportions by each citizen and the government that this has been permitted.
Major General King E. Sidwell cried when he spoke as six Missouri war heroes finally arrived on hallowed grounds ending in dignity, honor and respect due from a nation they served without failure. Yet this was only a small beginning to address thousands left unknown and abandoned.
Memorial Day demands more than flag waving and a BBQ. We are commanded to fulfill our part of the bargain. Failing to correct this wrong we besmirch every Veteran and our men and women currently serving.