I understand the Port Angeles Mayor’s Sissi Bruch’s desire to take the armed soldiers off the gates at Veteran Park, at least the arms, and replace them with something more representative of all that our military does and who its members are.
Armed conflict is only a part of their efforts to make this a more secure country. Why hone in on just that aspect?
Naturally, they stand ready to defend us against danger from without, and treason from within, but active military and veterans should also be known for their quiet work — the work of diplomacy not signified by swagger, or macho posturing, working as they do to ensure that the citizens of this country have a fair shot to advance.
Veterans know that patriotism is not based upon self-satisfied salesmen singing “you’re either with us or agin us,” “mission accomplished” and “freedom ain’t free.” They know that true patriotism lies in building a legacy where our children are left with truly equal opportunities to live to the fullest of their potential.
Veterans don’t need to have caricatures of their likeness hanging on gates holding their weapons bragging that we are the richest, or the biggest, or the toughest or the mightiest.
That definition has been hijacked by the nationalists.
Every American service man and woman would rather be known for helping create not a gun culture, but rather a country where fair play, second chances, a capacity for diversity and disagreement, mutual obligation and an unimpeded access to the voting machine defines us.