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When a friend urged me to find a photo of my father in his military uniform (WWII Pacific front) to submit for the Press’ tribute to veterans, I opened the safe. I pulled dad’s war scrapbook of report-to-duty papers and train tickets, of pained letters, of YANK clippings, of Ernie Pyle’s reports, of photos of burned-out planes and bodies, of aircraft prepping for bombing runs to Japan. And I stopped. Struck as if by one of those bombs. Not by “Little Boy” of Hiroshima, but by the hypocrisy and irony of a veterans’ tribute in this time of history. I know my father would be incredulous and sick at heart to see how what he and millions of others sacrificed or died for, has been, if not trampled into the ground, then cast to the winds of lies, denial and disregard. If not to defend the banner tenets of democracy, why were these men willing to fight? And what are these tenets?

All men are created equal? Yep. They went. A fascist racist Hitler had created a propaganda and killing machine that said this tenet isn’t true. Fascists would decide who profiled as white. And today? White supremacists, their ideology, militias and rhetoric are being co-opted by the GOP. It s a useful tool. It stokes people’s fears. It strokes their egos. The 1861 War of Insurrection and 250 years of history be damned. Most don’t know the history anyway, and we’re sure not going to start teaching it now.

Nineteen states have created laws to suppress/obstruct equality in voting. No recounts, “audits” or legal challenges to 2020 have proven any voter fraud, yet the loser and his feckless GOP have sanctioned that “Big Lie” by either outright support or by their silence. Democracy be damned.

The Right of Man to a “Form of Government most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness?” Yep. They went. Fascist leaders had overthrown such governments of the people and ruled by authoritarianism. And today? Only one party is participating in governance. Each U.S. senator actually represents 330,000 Americans. GOP Leader McConnell has unequivocally pronounced that GOP senators will not participate in any legislative discussions, and that no matter the proposal, they will vote NO. So government “of, for, and by the People” and their “Health and Safety” be damned? Are we no longer the United States? Just states?

So no. I can’t look at Nov. 11 as I once did. It is a hypocrisy to pay tribute to these veterans for their service and let stand the willful destruction of democracy. He fought for democracy, not this. Not a country making a mockery of itself.

Elaine Nalee

Sheridan

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