Bluefield Daily Telegraph
A letter to the editor expressing frustration with the apparent lack of real appreciation for veterans got my attention and I want to pile on. America is the greatest country in the world. There simply is no comparison with anyplace else. If there was, people would be moving there in droves. There isn’t. Everybody still comes here ... so, end of story.
We have such a great country that you have the right to be a selfish jerk and nobody will deny you that. It’s a shame that people are so shallow but that is their choice. There are three kinds of people in the world today — those that make things happen, those that watch things happen and those that wonder what happened. The last group are those I speak of. Because they care little beyond themselves they just don’t appreciate the great things this country gives them, and asks for nothing in return. Those things are not free, our veterans have paid that price for them willingly. Some of their friends paid with their lives. Veterans make things happen.
People who watch things happen are simply on the fence. They care but don’t know what to do or have a lazy streak.
Well, today’s America is losing it’s “Greatest Generation” at what should be an alarming rate. Our World War II veterans are leaving us at a rate of 800 to 1,000 every day, and West Virginia has between 11,000 and 12,000 still alive. Our Always Free Honor Flight, sponsored by the Denver Foundation, has taken 31 West Virginia World War II veterans to their memorial over the last year on three separate trips. The average age this last flight was 90 years old. You do your own math. My math says that 10 years from now people are going to wake up and wonder where they all went and why so many never got a simple “Thank you” for saving the world while they were alive.
We’re so damn busy we don’t even notice that the old guy across the road needs his grass cut. We’re so wrapped around our politics that nothing gets done for 17 years about the 90-year-old who has to plan his whole week around a round trip to the Beckley VA for a doctor’s appointment. And we are so attached to our precious pennies that we do nothing to get these old guys to D.C. and visit, for the first and probably last time, the monument built in their honor. There could be 10 Honor Flights a year and still come short.
Memorial Day and Veterans Day come and go and, for the most part, we collectively pay a large dose of lip service to those we owe our very existence to. If you disagree, you simply don’t get it and I really don’t want to argue about it. Instead, we all need to take a look around, see what needs to be done, and be one of the few that make things happen.