It was Memorial Day yesterday and Vice President Joe Biden was offered a chance to speak
Cemetery. It is easy to understand why serious people
have a difficult time concentrating the mind when such a profoundly
un-serious person is elevated to a lofty position like Vice President of
the United States and stands before them offering a meaningless stew
. There was no of mention of liberty; no mention of the
threats to liberty. To be sure, there were a few gratuitous remarks about the military
being our "heart and soul" and then "spine" (though it is unclear to me why he thinks a spine trumps a heart and soul). He had some genuine words of sympathy to offer to grieving Gold Star families--employing the usual (and, may I say, lazy?) practice of singling out a few and telling their stories to illustrate his point (and take up space). But sympathy, in Biden's case, had
everything to do with personal
loss. He even made reference to his own personal loss and tragedy--well-meaning and heart-felt, I have no doubt--but still, beside the point of the occasion.
Sorrowfully lacking in all of this display was any recognition of what the nation
lost when these men gave their "last full
measure of devotion." All honor to those families and friends whose hearts are aching for a
brave soldier who gave all on behalf of our freedom. But we miss the
, if we don't recognize how much we
in permitting such sacrifices to be made. Part of what makes our freedom so valuable, after all, is its cost. And, consequently, we can
never fully understand when and if those sacrifices are worthwhile if they are only presented outside of their larger context.
There is a place for acknowledging and honoring private grief. And it may even be the case that there is a place for it on Memorial Day--for their sacrifice is as much a part of the cost of our freedom as was the loss to the nation of a good citizen and soldier. Yet, if we fail to put these sacrifices in their larger context, we fail to honor the dead. Instead, we do what Biden did . . .
we feel pity for their families and we come close to insulting both family and fallen. . Yet
this, too, is revealing of the thinking of Biden and his associates. It is part and parcel of
the profound lack of understanding that this administration has shown when it comes to our fighting men and women and the cause for which they enlisted to serve. Joe Biden--though unworthy of the ground where he stood yesterday--did us a service in revealing the true sentiment of this administration on these matters. Again, we ought to pay attention when this court jester speaks.