So, we went to our town’s Veterans Day ceremony this morning. This has been a regular thing for us since Punk joined the marching band; they play the Star Spangled Banner and America the Beautiful (and Taps, which pisses me off every year) for the occasion. It’s not exactly an enjoyable way to spend the morning; it tends to be long and drawn out, and the Master of Ceremonies is very old, not terribly intelligible (Punk’s comment this afternoon on the way home was, “DUDE! You don’t need to put the microphone IN YOUR MOUTH!”), and doesn’t seem to understand the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day.
This morning, though, he crossed the line.
Look, I can live around the idea that he doesn’t understand that Veterans Day is about celebrating LIVING people and Memorial Day is for commemorating those who have died. I can grit my teeth during the prayers and the constant intonations that war is glorious and noble and all about peace (do they even HEAR themselves?). I can make it through the endless pontification on duty and service and debts we owe. What I CAN’T abide – what I WON’T abide – is when a public exercise like this is turned into a forum for an individual’s personal political views.
While reciting a section of this poem (which one could argue was inappropriate to begin with), our illustrious MC decided to include a number of jabs about “broken promises” and about “people being able to keep their insurance policies and doctors.” I was completely STUNNED when he did that, and it was all I could do not to say “EXCUSE me?!” out loud.
I’m working on composing a letter of complaint to the town, the local paper, and to this gentleman in particular, and reminding them that the point of the Veterans Day celebration is to commemorate our neighbors who served in the armed services. There’s a time and a place for political speech; this was neither.