Remember those who serve

In two weeks, it will be Memorial Day, and this year it might behoove us to prepare for the holiday by thinking about John McCain, who now faces death as bravely as he faced torture at the hands of the North Vietnamese.

Unfortunately, the majority of Americans will spend the holiday paying absolutely no attention to the men and women who died for this country. They will barbecue and have a great time while joining the nation’s politicians in continuing to ignore the men and women serving the nation today.

And why not? It’s not as if their kids have to go off and do anything for the United States, except live within her and bask in her freedoms.

It’s not like it was 50 years ago when, in order to escape military service, you had to get five deferments like Donald Trump and Dick Cheney, those great vocal patriots, champions of “Do as I say, not as I do.”

Remember, that as a candidate, Donald Trump said of John McCain, “I prefer people who weren’t captured.”

He was certainly at no risk for that.

Fifty years ago there was a nasty little war in a nasty big jungle where too many American boys fought for nothing, as even people too young to remember can learn by watching the movie “The Post.” The governments of Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon lied and lied and even when they knew the war in Vietnam couldn’t be won, kept saying it could and kept sending American kids off to die, which more than 50,000 of them did.

For a war the government knew couldn’t be won, for a war ducked by Donald Trump and Dick Cheney, the latter of whom helped to send American boys to die in Afghanistan and Iraq and the former of whom is well prepared to send American boys off to die just about anywhere.

But 50 years ago there was a draft, and if you are too young to know what that is, listen to Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant Massacre,” which explains it quite well in a most absurd fashion.

And it was absurd because guys like Dick Cheney and Donald Trump could duck it, while other kids went off to boot camp, learned how to shoot an M-16, and went off into the jungle. Too many of them came back dead, if they came back at all.

We have a chance, this Memorial Day, to actually spend time remembering them and all the kids who died in all of our other wars. Take a few minutes off from the barbecue and think about the dead.

They died for you.

And think, too, about the soldiers still out there somewhere, fighting – yes, and dying – for you. Soon enough, when they come home and need help from their country, we can forget about them. That’s part of our glorious history, too.

You’ve got two weeks to prepare, to think about heroes like John McCain, who endured the kind of torture that few would dare to even contemplate.

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