The Dillard Doctrine

Urban Conservative Commentary on Politics & Life

Dishonoring the Honorable

My inner cynic has been showing a lot lately.

Frank Buckles, the nation’s last World War I veteran, died on February 27. His daughter has said that a fitting tribute would be for his body to lie in state at the Capitol Rotunda:

” ‘If the last American soldier surviving is not suitable to serve as a symbol around which we can rally to honor those who served their country in the Great War, then who can serve that purpose? There is no one left,’ she said in a letter released Saturday.”

I disagree with her, for the sole reason that there’s not that much of a connection to World War I from any national perspective. Kind of like the Korean War, the American populace is largely disconnected from it. But, if it does happen, far be it for me to object to such an honor for someone I shared the uniform with.

But that’s not what’s got me riled up. This-from the website

“Frank Buckles, the last living World War 1 Veteran, passed away recently. 

John Boehner has decided that this man is worthy of honoring at Arlington, but not worthy of honoring in the Capitol building.

Tell him we demand he honor this American veteran!”

Mr. Buckles served his country honorably in wartime. For that, he-along with countless others-deserves the gratitude of our entire nation.

Instead, what does he get? To be the latest focal point in America’s partisan divide, dragged into the spotlight most likely by someone who never wore a uniform-and probably never would.

George Washington said, “The willingness with which young people are likely to serve in war, no matter how justified, is directly proportional to how they perceive how veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their country.”

By dishonoring Mr. Buckles’ memory, legacy, and service…what message are we sending? Is this really how a “grateful nation” is going to show its gratitude?

Honor him in the Rotunda, by all means. But let’s not make a partisan battle over it. I don’t believe he would want that…because I wouldn’t.


Written by Coby Dillard

March 6, 2011 at 8:59 pm

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