Be Ashamed

By: Patti Bankson

We should be ashamed. That’s what some in our country seem to think… that America, and Americans, should be ashamed. Shoot! Our own president feels that way, and has shown no shame of his own when it comes to saying so, out loud, and publicly, to people around the world. Friends, enemies… doesn’t seem to make a difference to him, or other apologists. They believe that, historically, our behavior around the world has been shameful.

Personally, I think that’s what’s shameful… that’s where some shame should be exhibited. But, I don’t see that happening, so let’s not hold our collective breath. In fact, whether we’re looking for shame or apologies, instead of holding our breath, we need to be educating ourselves. Because, the truth is, we have nothing to be ashamed of. To the contrary, we have much to be proud of.

Here’s where I can say that I really appreciate television, because during the Memorial Day weekend, some cable TV channels showed documentaries that really should be aired on a regular basis, for the enlightenment of the citizens who, apparently, follow blindly, those who want to denigrate the role we’ve played in securing freedom, not just for ourselves, but for all. Those who want us to either never know, or to forget, how big, and appreciated, that role was. And still is.

Of the several programs that were shown, the one that best made my point showcased American Military cemeteries around the world. World War II has been over for decades, but to this very day, while 1,000 WWII veterans die each day, there are some who will never forget. People in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, the Philippines, go to graves in those cemeteries to show their respect and gratitude for what our soldiers did to make it possible for them to live free. As strange as it sounds, each of those cemeteries is gorgeous… well-kept, meticulously attended. Of course, you say… why wouldn’t they be? They belong to the U.S. military. Yes, that’s part of it, but that doesn’t explain the individuals in those countries who “adopted” a fallen Soldier, Sailor, Marine or Airman’s grave, and decorate it, with flowers and flags, on the anniversary of their death, on their birthdates, and holidays. And they’ve done so faithfully for decade after decade. They say will never forget what the Americans did for them. Teachers there take their students to visit their military cemeteries, to tell them stories about the American heroes who helped them live the real human dream: Freedom.

By contrast, in far too many schools across our country, all that makes America unique, and exceptional, is being trashed. The military, and military service, is being trashed. Our history as a good, caring and selfless people is being trashed. For that, we should be ashamed.

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© 2011 Patti Bankson

The Way I See It / The Apopka Chief /

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