Monday, May 31, 2010

They Served Too

Today is the day we honor the fallen members of our Armed Forces.

The question I ask is how many have fallen who have been given no honor at all.

Let's start with:

Blacks: During the American Revolution, any black soldier who fought in George Washington's army was promised his freedom, and generous payment for it. This promise was frequently never kept. Many of them were even returned to slavery after their service.

Women: Women served actively in the military during every war since the Revolution. And yet most of the time their service was never recognized or rewarded. In most cases, it was often ignored.

Homosexuals: The case of Margarethe Cammermeyer springs immediately to mind. This is a woman--not American born, but a naturalized citizen--who dedicated her life to serving America as a military officer. But when she revealed she was a lesbian, she was immediately dishonorably discharged. The narrow-minded military policy against gays once again deprived it of a valuable asset, a college-educated, highly skilled nurse, for no other reason than her sexual orientation.

On this day, when we remember our fallen military heroes, let us also pause to remember those who will never have a chance to receive the same honors, because they were simply born at or of the wrong place, the wrong time, the wrong gender, the wrong race, or the wrong orientation.

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