What a difference a day makes!

What a difference a day makes!

Ted Folkert – November 12, 2018

Yesterday was Veterans Day. Today is the day we honor it with bank, school, and government office closures. Most of us probably didn’t reflect much on the meaning of all the sacrifices of minds, lives and limbs damaged or lost by those who became our veterans.

Remember the song: “What a difference a day makes” and the line: “Only twenty-four little hours?” Our veterans probably understand that more than most of us. I suppose if we had spent 24 little hours on the battlefields of WWI, or WWII, or the Korean War, or the Vietnam War, or the Iraqi Invasion, or Afghanistan Invasion, we might really have an understanding of “what a difference a day makes” and a true appreciation for the bravery, diligence, and sacrifices demonstrated by those who either willingly or unwillingly represented our country and our freedom and survival.

We can read the history books and get many varied opinions about the causes of these conflicts and the propriety or rationality of decisions to involve our women and men in those battles. Which authors were right doesn’t matter now, especially to those who participated in the battles and their loved ones who remain.

Perhaps we can honor these fallen heroes by thinking more astutely and more unselfishly about who our chosen leaders should be in the future. We are somewhat stuck with what we have now, but many of wish we could have a do-over. Unfortunately, we usually choose not to take such action as would be required for a do-over. It gets ugly and divisive, two conditions we don’t want or need.

To show the utmost respect and appreciation for our veterans, maybe in future elections we could just ask ourselves questions like: which candidate will do the right thing, which candidate will make rational decisions, which candidate shows concern for all citizens, which candidate displays compassion for those who are less fortunate, which candidate understands the world we live in and the political ramifications of actions taken and importance of alliances with world powers, which candidate has an astute understanding of the concerns of others and the maturity to negotiate in a mutually cooperative manner, and which candidate reacts in such a manner as to reduce the likelihood of having additional war veterans in the future while maintaining our beliefs and standards for equality and fairness.

It is becoming more obvious day by day that we have been remiss in our electoral decision-making, which many of us still deny, and that like Ronald Reagan said about trading arms for hostages back in the 1980s when he made some rash decisions: “we didn’t do it and we’re not going to do it again.”

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