Friday, November 11, 2016

Veterans Day

For my Father on Veterans Day-

Every year I post something for my Father, usually the same thing, a story about our trip to the Vietnam Memorial. But this year is quite different. Today I have been inundated with messages of, “It's Veterans Day, can’t we be civil? Can’t we be respectful? Can’t we take 24 hours to put politics aside and honor our Veterans?” And any other time, I would absolutely agree. But not this time. Because four days ago, in a historic and devastating turn of events, we somehow elected an Autocrat to the highest position in the land. I don’t need to rehash his campaign rhetoric; that is a much longer post. But this infamous election is the reason I cannot simply take today off to honor my Veterans because taking this day off does the opposite. Our complacency and our trust in this system is what has put us at the edge of this great precipice with a candidate who has manipulated the dialogue from day one.

So today, I honor my Veterans not by remaining silent but by remaining vigilant. I will not close my eyes and shut my mouth for the sake of ceremony when the very rights which our Veterans have so valiantly fought for are at stake from a man who spent his entire campaign maligning our Veterans, mocking our Democracy and dividing our country. I will not refrain from the free speech and peaceful protests which our Veterans risked their lives to preserve, often in other countries where these same rights have been systematically restricted, refused and criminalized. I will not refrain from holding our elected officials including our president elect accountable to their constituency and to maintaining basic human rights, constitutional freedoms, environmental protections and fortifications against threats to our national security. I honor my Veterans by doing all I can as a private citizen to prevent their children from going to war. I thank you for your service and sacrifice and I promise I will remain vigilant, today and always.

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