Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day is no time to politic

I agreed with something Mitt Romney said on Memorial Day: “Every veteran is the greatest of his or her generation. Today, and every day, we thank you for your sacrifices.”

It’s true. In this great wheel that is the United States, veterans are the cogs which have held us together in tough times. While a pacifist myself, I understand that importance of a standing army in times of peace or times of war. And I think setting a day aside to honor those who have sacrificed all is the very least we can do.


Of course, I also disagreed with something Mitt Romney said on Memorial Day. The presumed GOP nominee, said if elected he will make sure the US military will have "no comparable power anywhere in the world."


To be fair, it’s not as much that I disagree with the goal. More so I have a problem with when and how he said it. The candidate was at a “Memorial Day service” attended by 5,000 people. But with those words, he turned it into a campaign event. And I have a serious issue with that.


We are often reminded that American men and women fight and die for us to have the freedoms to do and say as we please. This much is true and we are all eternally in their debt.


But for Romney to take a memorial service designed to honor the dead and turn it into a sound bite disgraces that sacrifice. He might as well have asked those in attendance to join Amway or donate to his campaign.


Simply put, he cheapened the event. 


I’m sure that someone will come up with a sound bite of Obama doing the same thing. And I have no doubt he has. As have other politicians. The point I’m making isn’t so much that Mitt Romney is a bad guy, but to ask, isn’t anything sacred any more?


Maybe I’m old fashioned. Maybe I’m naive. But It seems to me as though some things should be held on high, unmolested by the dirty hands of politics. And one of those things, no doubt, should be sacrifices made by our soldiers. 


It’s a line that we shouldn’t stand for being crossed.