Much pomp, much ceremony, many words.
And the question continues to arise in my mind: why are Conservatives so mindful of rituals and mere things, so enamoured of triumphalist reconstruction , but so deeply uncaring about real, living, flesh-and-blood veterans?
Why do they bow their heads at faraway war memorials, but deny poor veterans the dignity of a decent burial here at home? Why do they persecute veterans who stand up for their comrades, breaching their privacy, smearing them as mentally ill, and then covering up their vile manoeuvers? Why are they even now routinely denying benefits to which our veterans are entitled, burying them in bureaucratic obfuscation?
Remembrance is not so much a duty to the dead; it is, or should be, a commitment to the living. We set aside a special day as part of an on-going tradition, an annual attempt to maintain contact with the past, but it means little if we continue to refuse its lessons, and, furthermore, to permit our government so obviously to disrespect those who failed to die.
How will this government be remembered? As one that fetishized stones, traditions, memories and abstractions, but could not bring itself to look a living veteran in the eye.