To the editor:
This Veterans Day, I have been reflecting on the meaning of the sacrifices made by so many in our armed services. I can barely fathom what many of these individuals have really been through; the things they have seen and had to do in service of this country, whether they fully agreed with it or not. Most of the veterans I know, including my father (WWII) and my brother (Vietnam) have been disgusted by what took place on Jan. 6 in Washington D.C. They are sick of the continual whitewashing of that attack on the part of many in the Republican Party, the continual support for the former president who has time and again dishonored that office, and leaders in Congress who continue to put self-serving politics above the needs of the whole country, not just the wealthy. Leaders are supposed to model service to country. Their behavior dishonors those who have put their lives on the line time and again to preserve this democracy for all of its citizens. And many of them have been young men and women of color and working-class families! Too many in this country are taking it all for granted.
Likewise, we take our beautiful planet and all of life on it for granted. I heard a scientist today say that we are embarking on probably the biggest war in the history of this planet … the war on climate change. He stressed that we need to look at it in that way. I agree. Those of us in wealthy nations have contributed the most to it with our demanding lifestyle. The first step is owning up to that and then acting personally and politically.
We cannot ignore what climate change is doing to the most vulnerable people around the world and in our country. We have no right to take more than another or to take more than we really need. The Native American Culture has much to teach us on this. Jesus said, “to whom much has been given, much will be expected.”
The question is do we have the will to fight this war? We have fought other wars to preserve life. This is no different. This war is going to require sacrifices from every single one of us. Solutions are out there, you have to be open minded, look for them, and put some energy into it. It’s not a war we can send others off to fight for us. It’s a war that rich and poor, big business and small, right and left must fight together. We have to be in it to win because If we don’t, the casualties will ultimately be our children and grandchildren.