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U.S. veterans, dead and alive, deserve our gratitude and support on Memorial Day — and every day • Brooklyn Paper

U.S. veterans, dead and alive, deserve our gratitude and support on Memorial Day — and every day

Monday, May 23 is Memorial Day and an opportunity to salute the brave military men and women who gave up their lives for American values, and whose bodies are buried in nearly every graveyard in the country.

They have preserved our founding ideals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and made the United States the greatest force for freedom and security in all of history. Their memories shape our present and mold our future, but our sinking national appreciation is a blow to their selfless sacrifices.

Many towns no longer hold Memorial Day parades. Our flag etiquette is in shreds. The graves of war heroes have been left to rot at many cemeteries. And sponging misfits are given more consideration on Capitol Hill.

A much-celebrated bipartisanship federal budget deal last year slashed veterans’ benefits, but didn’t touch taxpayer-funded entitlement programs for illegals and other moochers.

Our living veterans — many of whom return home desolate, limbless shells of their former selves — must bear the added pain of witnessing the preposterous diss. They are relegated to stepping on political land mines so partisans, politicians, limousine liberals, and other bottom-feeders can legislate, bloviate, and push for low-level causes from the comfort of their chambers, offices, and armchairs.

American soldiers are dying because of delays in diagnoses and treatments at Veterans Administration hospitals or made into charity cases while Congress squanders money on ungrateful, uncooperative nations: Pfc. Cody J. Patterson, Sgt. Patrick C. Hawkins, 1st Lt. Jennifer M. Moreno, and Special Agent Joseph M. Peters died in Afghanistan last fall defending their country, but their selfish bosses at the Department of Defense — the world’s mightiest military agency with a whopping $500-billion budget — didn’t want to cough up a red, white and blue cent for their funerals or for death benefits to their grieving families during the government shutdown, until a public outcry embarrassed them into restoring the payments.

America triumphed during World War II chiefly because of a patriotic pop culture that fueled troop morale and raised money for the war effort. Hollywood played a major role, with stars and film industry workers enlisting or reporting for duty, helping boost relief funds and war bonds through benefits, and volunteering to perform for service members here and overseas. Today’s Tinseltown is in denial about the war on terror and deserves no Academy Awards for indulging our sworn enemies with its destructive, milksop neutrality.

Ordinary Americans have answered the call of duty to become extraordinary human shields on the front lines since the nation’s formation, and we remain in their debt for securing and advancing our national stability, abundance, and economic health while making the American Dream possible for you and me.

On Memorial Day let their valiant service count in every home, school, and community because America would be just another problem land — instead of the greatest one ever — without her battlefield bravehearts.

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Read Shavana Abruzzo's column every Friday on BrooklynDaily.com. E-mail here at sabruzzo@cnglocal.com.

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