What Honor Commands
The other day a friend of mine who works in law enforcement
told me he’d be deploying soon to Iraq, working for a
private security company contracted to protect government officials
there. Like others I know who’ve gone, he couldn’t
quite explain, at least so that I could maybe understand, why
he’d made that choice. It’s an assignment so scary,
the military won’t even assign its own people to the job.
But the money, my friend said, was definitely a factor. The
guys working for Blackwater and the other mercenary groups are
very well paid. That’s an argument it’s hard to
argue with, just as it is for new recruits to the Iraqi army.
Those guys don’t want to be soldiers and targets. But
in a country with no economy or future, it’s the only
way they can figure out how to feed their families. And so a
lot of them are getting killed trying to do that.
Our view is we’re glad elections are over… or mostly
over. It’s been a bruising and brutally partisan spectacle,
encapsulated by the singularly disturbing images of former POW
John McCain stumping, as it were, against fellow veteran and
senate candidate Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, who lost her legs
There are, we believe, still circumstances where at the very
least, honor commands the respect of silence. No one knows that
better than McCain.
Veterans Day, which we celebrate November 11, is one such time.
We hope people will really take time to think about the sacrifices
so many have made, in defense of our freedoms and the constitution
which has kept them real and meaningful for over eleven generations.
Patriotism isn’t an abstract ideal or a symbol on someone’s
lapel. It’s a measure of our honor and respect for what
makes our country what it is, and the actions we’re willing
to take to protect those things.