Duty, honor, service; Buffalo Public broadcasting just completed an incredible series called “American Veteran.” In it, veterans from World War II up to the present, reflected on their military and post military lives. The consensus was an expression of duty, honor and service to democracy, our Constitution and the American people. Absent was blind fealty to a single individual or a false sense of nationalistic patriotism.
Numerous political analysts have held discourse on the extreme divisiveness in our country today but Garen Wintemute (director of the California Firearms Violence Research Center at UC, Davis) has taken a step further and through his research states “polls paint a grim portrait of alienation” and “many Americans have entered a world of paranoid delusion.” How can we ignore the Jan. 6 insurrection or self-proclaimed anarchist Steve Bannon characterizing himself as a victim and martyr? How can logic and analytics counter delusion? If you think that sounds extreme, consider that Republican Congressman Andrew Garbarino was shocked at the vehement reaction to his support of the Biden infrastructure bill and commented “it’s amazing people want to kill me over paving roads and clean water.”
Strictly out of spite (the former administration was unable to pass an infrastructure bill) congressional obstructionists voted against a bill that would benefit their constituents.
At the conclusion of “American Veteran,” military personnel agreed that the general populace cannot truly understand what they have experienced but there are ways every American can serve their community and country. Just think of the progress we could achieve if everyone took that to heart. That may be the best way we can honor our service personnel: Duty, honor, service.