By BILL SHARKEY III
Martinez Gazette Columnist
MEMORIAL DAY, the historic and traditional annual event celebrated in many ways by millions of Americans of all ages, and once again saw our nation decked out in the beautiful stars and stripes, bunting and posters celebrating and remembering those Americans lost in the wars past and present. A day of reflection, too, hopefully.
We also heard stirring music by bands and orchestras which caused us all to stand just a bit taller with pride and tears, standing along streets as military units passed by, mostly made up of veterans from past military duty, but still proud in their veterans regalia, many attempting to maintain military posture taught years long past, but on legs and bodies no longer ready for such activity. But, the American pride in what once was, and with determination that our citizens of the future will continue to pursue what has made our nation great, our men and women of days and battles gone by, and those involved still in the challenges we face today around the world, at least for one day of remembrance and memories, will enhance the spark to keep our national ‘patriotic fire’ burning ever more intensely.
The TV coverage of the ceremonies at cemeteries across the countryside was awesome and, perhaps, startling and eye-opening to many of those who may not have seen so many thousand white grave markers before. The national cemeteries, many with small American flags in front of each white marker, placed there by Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, veterans groups, civilian volunteers and military reservists, bring home in a face-to-face reality lesson the enormous loss of American lives in past conflicts. Why, we ask? Was the conflict worth it? How to avoid such loss of the wonderful men and women who have volunteered to giver their lives if needed. But, was their life lost due to a lack of thoughtful leadership at the top of our nation? The world is a cruel place filled with challenges, some of which cannot be resolved by leaders of good will on either side. Some situations escalate and get out of control. Thus, we have conflicts and more cemeteries have more white markers to remember those who gave their all, hopefully for a necessary cause.
The solemn and traditional ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown at Arlington National Cemetery was performed by Vice President Mike Pence, standing in for the Commander-in-Chief, who was in Tokyo making a usual jerk of himself on the international stage. What he did standing next to the Japanese Prime Minister at a beautifully-decorated press conference, could only have been done by a blithering idiot with no class, no idea of behaving in polite society, no idea of diplomatic protocol and no common decency. What a buffoon! What an international embarrassment to our nation and its citizenry.
First, in front of the Japanese leader whose country is just a short distance across the water from the Korean Peninsula, he commented that the recent firing of missiles by the North Koreans really did not bother him although “some of my people were concerned”. He, who in love with the murderous North Korean dictator who continues to thumb his nose at the international community by violating UN sanctions prohibiting missile testing.
To add to the faux pas string at the press conference, he ‘tended to agree” with the Korean who had called former Vice President Joe Biden ‘low IQ’. At an international press conference as the guest of the Japanese government, our resident ding dong did what?? Holy moly!!
We still haven’t heard, as of this writing, what he my have said while visiting with the new Emperor, on the throne only since May 1. I guess nothing will surprise us? Good to hear the Oval Office Guy is back in the US again. But, he still has four more overseas visits planned for the summer. Four more opportunities to make us look bad for having such a leader. (And, he gets to ride in that beautiful Air Force One. A shame!)
FOURTH OF JULY is a month away. As we mentioned recently, Il Duce, who is the ‘calm genius’ by his own assessment this past week, has decided, as usual, that he knows more about planning July 4th celebrations, thus will plan this year’s, including a speech by him on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Doesn’t the thought of such a speech (name it rally for 2020 re-election!) with campaign posters, red ball caps, stupid hand clapping, and President Abe Lincoln’s statue with his hands over his ears sort of give you a twinge of some kind?
Wonder why you seldom see the First Lady with a smile? Really?
EVERY DAY that we live in our local ‘God’s Country’ is one more day for which to be thankful. Watching the evening news and seeing how the Midwest areas and often, the east coast, are clobbered with devastating storms with entire towns and residential area flattened into kindling, is gut-wrenching. How those folks can ever recoup, yet alone survive the immediate aftermath, must take more than most of us who do not live there probably cannot understand. And, they will rebuild, just like our neighbors in Northern California who are already looking at their nearly-completed new homes. Strong people. Bless them all!
CHEERS to all who helped and took part in Memorial Day events, including Martinez folks. Such a blessing that we have the nation we live in. May it not be torn asunder by thoughtless, mindless leadership.