Saturday is Veterans Day, one of two days Americans have dedicated to the memory of those who have fought to protect and preserve this country. It is fitting that Veterans Day and Memorial Day fall about six months apart. We should not go more than half the year without a public reminder of the sacrifices made to keep us free.

          Memorial Day originated at the end of the Civil War, which reunited the nation. Veterans Day had its beginning as Armistice Day, from the Nov. 11, 1918, truce that ended World War I, when, for good and ill, the United States  emerged as a world power.

          Weather permitting, I’ll put out my flag Saturday. But, I do that every day to honor my dad, who helped defeat nazi Germany – and was rightfully proud of his contribution, unaware that fascism would be championed openly by American politicians.

          Since then, of course, our military personnel have been deployed to situations where the morality of the cause has been murkier, the politics often pungent.

          But, that fault lies with politicians , not the troops. They risk their lives answering whatever their call to duty is. Those lives are valuable – to themselves, their families and the overall well-being of the country.

          So, it is fitting and proper to remember those who have helped get us to this point in our nationhood and those serving in that capacity today.

          And, we should remember, too, the assessment of retired Marine Gen. John Kelly of one Donald J. Trump, whom he served as White House chief of staff for 18 months. In an October interview with CNN, he remarked:

          “What can I add that has not already been said? A person that thinks those who defend their country in uniform, or are shot down or seriously wounded in combat, or spend years being tortured as POWs are all ‘suckers’ because ‘there is nothing in it for them.’ A person that did not want to be seen in the presence of military amputees because ‘it doesn’t look good for me.’ A person who demonstrated open contempt for a Gold Star family – for all Gold Star families – on TV during the 2016 campaign, and rants that our most precious heroes who gave their lives in America’s defense are ‘losers’ and wouldn’t visit their graves in France….

          “A person that has no idea what America stands for and has no idea what America is all about. A person who cavalierly suggests that a selfless warrior who has served his country for 40 years in peacetime and war should lose his life for treason – in expectation that someone will take action. A person who admires autocrats and murderous dictators. A person that has nothing but contempt for our democratic institutions, our Constitution, and the rule of law.

          “There is nothing more that can be said,” Kelly concluded. “God help us.”

          Among those denigrated by Citizen Bonespurs were:

          • military personnel buried in Arlington National Cemetery after being killed in Afghanistan and Iraq;

          • former Sen. John McCain, a Vietnam POW and “loser,” who endured five and a half years of torture at the Hanoi Hilton. “I like the people who aren’t captured,” said the guy she shied away from harm’s way.

          • retired Gen. Mark Milley, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who reassured China of American stability even as Trump became increasingly unstable after losing the 2020 election.

          And, with Veterans Day this Saturday, it is fitting and proper to remember that, representing all of US in the U.S., Trump refused to observe the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day at the Aisne-Marne National Cemetery in France because his colossal comb-over might get disturbed:

          “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s full of losers.”   

          This is what a former Commander-in-Chief thinks of those who serve. And, since the only plank in the GOP platform is “whatever Trump says – today,” this is the de facto sentiment of all who support him.

          Stephens County Democrats will meet Thursday at 7 p.m. in Room 506 of the Morris Business Building at Red River Vo-Tech on West Bois D’Arc.

          (Gary Edmondson is chair of the Stephens County Democratic Party.)

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