Democrats & Liberals Archives

Remembering the Fallen on Memorial Day

On this Memorial Day, it was nice to see both presidential candidates stop to honor the many fallen soldiers who have fought for out freedom. Let us all take a moment of silence to remember those brave men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for us.

John Kerry paid tribute to fellow veterans in a solemn reflection on lives lost at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, as he stood with the mother of the late William Bronson, a Navy officer who “died in 1976 from a seizure caused by a head wound he received in combat eight years earlier,” whose name Kerry was able to get added to the wall.

Pres. Bush praised U.S. veterans and war dead with a speech referencing the character "of the men and women who wear our country's uniform in places like Kabul and Kandahar, in Mosul and Baghdad."

Of course, in an (elongated) election season, such as this one, it was as expected that certain political elements seeped into the ceremonies and their media coverage.

During Kerry's walk along the Vietnam Memorial Wall, he "flashed a big grin at one local fan carrying a sign promoting no CARB diet: no Cheney, Ashcroft, Rumsfeld or Bush. " That's a new attention-getting sign slogan, as far as I know, but it sounds pretty good.

The AP articles pointed out some interesting observations about veterans on both sides of Kerry and Bush:

But Kerry's past cuts both ways with veterans.

Some admire his heroism in war and his efforts to end the conflict after he returned home; others still are angry over his anti-war activities including his decision to throw away some military awards and his accusation of war crimes committed by American soldiers.

Likewise Bush both benefits and suffers politically from his position in the national security arena. About the same percentage of voters approve of his work against terrorism and see him as a strong leader as disapprove of his handling of Iraq.

And the startling fact that will likely bring most people from reflecting on the contributions of the past to realizing them today is likely a change in a number of lost lives from one year ago until today:

A year ago at this time, more than 160 American soldiers had been killed in Iraq. The total since has risen to more than 800, and last week the Pentagon reported that the number wounded in action is approaching 4,700.
Politics is politics, but the men and women who have fought and now fight for our freedom must be recognized for the contributions they each have brought to our country. Posted by Anthony at May 31, 2004 2:41 PM