I intended to post this on Memorial Day, but I’m a bit late, having just gotten back from my little stay in the hospital. But I think it’s still worth a moment of your time.

John Kerry was sworn in as Secretary of State on February 1st, and I feel this is a kind of redemption for the "Swiftboating" allegations that were made against him when he ran for President in 2004.

The attacks against Kerry were heavy-handed, but what really bothered me about them was that, in questioning the medals he won, his critics called into question the medals and honors that EVERY soldier has won in war–something that we must not let happen.

In 2004, Whitley wrote: "The mastermind behind the Swiftboat commercials presently causing such controversy is Houston lawyer John Ellis O’Neill. John and I were close friends at Central Catholic High School in San Antonio, between 1960 and 1963. We were debaters and often debated as partners, sometimes as opponents."

"In our senior year, John got appointed to the Naval Academy. He left for the Academy, as I recall, with plans to follow his father into a naval career. He acquitted himself well, and was soon posted to Vietnam. He was in Swiftboats for a time, and it must have been dangerous, difficult fighting. As it happened, he served in the same Swiftboat that John Kerry had previously commanded."

"It is important to note that John commanded the same boat, not, as far as is known, the same crew."

"John was changed by Vietnam. When he came back, the joy was gone out of him. Mutual friends reported that the bubbling, delightful human being we had known was gone, replaced by somebody sadder and quieter, and very different."

No matter what these warriors’ motivations were when they joined up (or, in the case of Vietnam, were drafted), they fought valiantly, and we must not let that be forgotten. And especially, it must be remembered that decorations are earned for real valor, and awarded only after careful consideration of what the recipient did for his (or her) country.

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  1. Amen sister!
    There is no

    Amen sister!
    There is no honor remaining in the Republican party. Zip. Zero. None. Nor intelligence it seems, as there were far more salient issues to bring up about Kerry’s candidacy.

    It seems relevant to note that in 2012 Obama donated $117K to The Fisher House, an organization dedicated to providing temporary free/affordable housing for vets and their families. No better way to honor the memory of our fighting men and woman than to give money to charities like these.

  2. As always dear Anne,
    As always dear Anne, beautifully written.
    I look forward to the day that WAR is a thing of the past…it WILL come.
    My dear mother and father lived through two World War’s in Great Britain and used to say, “You do not know that you are born until you have lived through a war…how right she was!
    One discusses the ravages of war on the human condition which can be savagery in it’s tragic wake, but what about the war within us that rages on throughout our lives…the question here is…if we sort out the inner war going on…perhaps we would not have external wars! Interesting discussion!

  3. I remember it well Anne…I
    I remember it well Anne…I look at it this way: We hire the members of both houses…they are our employees…they work for us! “They” don’t think that way…”They” work for themselves and the other members of the “Oligarchy‎”.
    At some point a threshold will be reached worldwide…

  4. I would take umbrage with the
    I would take umbrage with the idea that my father’s awards for service in the Second World War should be put into question. Having spent three-and-a-half years in various Japanese POW camps, few could know more what the ravages of war are like. None of us, including myself, who haven’t experienced war first hand can really know. Coming from a POW family (and my mother’s first husband was also a POW in Japan who did not make it back) I do understand that such an experience has an effect on the family for life. To get even a remote idea of what POWs have gone through, I refer you to an excellent book by Brian MacArthur called, Surviving the Sword, Prisoners of the Japanese in the Far East, 1942-1945.

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