ON FALLEN WARRIORS AND VISCIOUS PARTISANSHIP (Part I)
Not long ago I saw a bumper sticker that said, “‘Democrats: The Party of Traitors and Cowards”. I had to wait awhile for my blood pressure to calm down before I could begin to think of the implications of this statement. Please indulge me whilst I offer a response to this, what I consider to be probably the most unpatriotic statement that I have ever heard.
On June 15, 1944, 9 days after D-Day”, my uncle, Lt. Thomas C. McAllister, 388th Squadron, 365th Fighter Group, 9th Air Force, United States Army Air Corps, was flying a P-47 Thunderbolt, with the name “Lady Ann”, his fiancé, painted on the nose. His mission – the mission of the 9th Air Force, was to interdict the German reinforcements from reaching the Allied landings on Normandy and prevent the invasion from being thrown back into the sea. According to Army Air Force records which I have researched –(many records were lost in a terrible fire at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama in the late 1940’s), after shooting down a German FW 190 fighter, his plane, the “Lady Ann”, was hit in the engine by small arms fire. He lost oil and bailed out. Apparently he was struck by the tail of the plane and became entangled in his parachute. His body was found by the 3rd Infantry Division of the Canadian Army and was buried.
On June 6, 1994, the 50th anniversary of D-Day, the late Andy Rooney, a CBS reporter, who was actually there at the D-Day invasion as a war correspondent made a statement that I shall never, ever, forget. He said that these young men “did not give their lives for their country, their lives were taken from them.” I think that we should all remember this statement. It applies to all wars, including Iraq and Afghanistan, Let us not deceive ourselves, these young men and women heroically placed themselves in a position where their lives might be lost, but they did NOT wish to die for their country. This needs to be remembered.
We read the names of those who were killed in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. and they go on and on and on. Think of all of the contributions to humanity that could have been made by those English, French, Germans, Italians, Russians, Japanese, Chinese, Americans, New Zealanders, Australians etc. who died without being able to make a contribution to the welfare of humanity. What a loss to humanity!
Skip to the present – what about the loss to humanity of the contributions of those killed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Egypt, etc.?
But, let us reflect upon the political situation in the United States at the present, My uncle, Tom was a Democrat. Yet the above mentioned bumper sticker would label this man, who was killed in the defense of his country, as a traitor or a coward.
Where has civility gone? Can we not, all of us, place the welfare of the United States and the people thereof ABOVE the partisan rankling. We all, Democrats, Republicans and independents alike, need to remember that we are all Americans first and Democrats or Republicans , etc. a distant second
ON FALLEN WARRIORS AND VISCIOUS PARTISANSHIP (Part II)
In “On Fallen Warriors and Viscious Partisanship (I)” I vented my horror and frustration at a bumper sticker that I saw which said, “Democrats, the Party of Cowards and Traitors.” I still have not been able to purge this affront to patriotism and decency from my mind. In order have closure with this issue I have created an imaginary conversation with the owner of the pickup truck with the bumper sticker. Here it is –
“I saw your bumper sticker and I assume that you support our troops and fighting men and women,” I began. “You bet your sweet ass I do”, he responds, “not like those candy-ass liberals. Those are brave American men and women risking their lives to protect our rights and freedoms. Nothing is too good for them.”
“I certainly agree with you about the bravery and sacrifice of our young men and women in the military,” I concede, “but I have one thing that I really do not understand and would very much appreciate your helping me to understand.” “Sure,” he says. “It seems pretty simple to me, what is it that you don’t understand.” “How do you tell them apart?” I reply.
A confused look crosses his face, “What do you mean? How do I tell Who apart?” “The Republican troops and the Democratic troops, of course. Surely you don’t support “cowards and traitors, who your bumper sticker says that Democrats are, so how do you know which troops to support?” I respond and then continue- “That really must be confusing as to which troops to support. I don’t see troops under a Republican flag or under a Democrat flag, all I see are troops under the American flag. Also, when one of our brave troops is hit, how can you tell if that soldier is a Republican or a Democrat – both have red blood – Democrats do not have blue blood. From watching them fight, can you tell the difference? If all of them are fighting, do you assume that they are all Republican troops since you do not see any cowards and traitors? They do not have Republican uniforms and Democrat uniforms, they have American uniforms. This brings me back to my confusion; if, as your bumper sticker says, Democrats are cowards and traitors, THEN HOW, PRAY TELL, DO YOU KNOW WHICH TROOPS TO SUPPORT?”
(I would LIKE to think that he might think about this and that the bumper sticker would not be “long for this world”. Thank you, dear friends, for allowing me to “cathartate” and get this “monkey off my back”. I feel like I can now safely bury the bumper sticker and never have to be enraged by it again.)