Public rhetoric exploit’s the politics of political deception
By Derek Joy
It bothers me still. . .
Seems easy enough to think distant memories of tragedy aren’t troublesome. Yet, at times, they really are that and more.
They come even as the war in Afghanistan is drawing to a close for troops in the U. S. Armed Forces. While the casualties in that war is minimal compared to the more than 58,000 deaths recorded in the Vietnam War, they are still casualties of war.
So, when the Miami Dade Public Schools convened its annual JROTC Military Ball at the Hilton Miami/Downtown last month, those ugly memories popped up again.
Haunting memories of the widespread public protests that checkered many American city streets. Burning flags, property destruction and scores of white Americans fleeing to Canada to escape the draft and possible combat duty in Vietnam.
I won’t repeat the answers to the one puzzling question I raised to several of my commanding officers. A very simple question. With all the weaponry and firepower in our arsenals, why keep sending ground troops out to be killed?
That was my question then. Another haunting question surfaced as I sat at that JROTC Military Ball. Where are all the elected officials?
There are some very valid reasons for asking that question. The most obvious is the freedom enjoyed in American democracy. Never would have come about were it not for the gallant efforts of those who fought and died in the American Revolutionary War.
And quite conceivable that the American ideal of freedom in a democratic society would have perished but for the gallant efforts of those who fought and died in the more than 20 military campaigns since the Revolutionary War.
Just think about it for one fleeting moment in time.
More than 300 cadets in the Miami Dade Public Schools JROTC Program gathered for the annual Military Ball. Their instructors are all retired U. S. Military Service Men and Women.
So, to, were the guests. There were even some active service men and women on hand.
Melonie Burke, the Community Liaison for Miami Dade County District 2 Commissioner Jean Monestine represented the commissioner and Miami Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez.
Burke presented proclamations from Monestine, Gimenez and the County Commission.
But not the District Schools Superintendent or any of the Board Members representing the many schools having JROTC Programs present at the Ball graced the audience with their presence.
Not a single member of the South Florida Congressional Delegation or the Dade Delegation of the Florida State Legislature. They all snubbed the memory of those who paid the ultimate price, those who served with honor and those who may one day serve so that life in America can continue in the freedom of democracy.
That was awfully naughty and negligent. Shame on every one of them. Makes it easy to see why so many disabled veterans struggle in obscurity without the benefits of U. S. Military Service Connected Disability Compensation.