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Prioritize human needs

“Thank you for your service.” This is not adequate thanks to war veterans.

Where is our commitment to the homeless veteran so often shunned by society? Where is our commitment to diplomacy that might prevent the wars that so damage our soldiers? Until we prioritize human needs over military spending, “thank you for your service” is just not enough.

We now recognize the “front-liners” – medical personnel, funeral home staff, the people who pick and pack our food, those who deliver and stock the goods on which we depend – as heroes. Yes, they are doing heroic work. How will we thank them for their service?

These people do their work knowing they are risking their lives. Can we commit to giving all of them the protective equipment they need so they do not contract COVID-19?

Many are low-wage workers who cannot afford not to work. Can we commit to giving them a living wage?

Many are undocumented workers performing services essential to our survival or, at least, to our comfort. Can we offer them a path to citizenship?

Until we make a commitment to these essential workers who are making heroic sacrifices for us, they will remain heroes but also victims of injustice – and our thanks will ring hollow.

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