On the World Series, the Banner and Honoring Veterans
I have been watching this great world series (I’m from St. Louis) for the past few nights and a couple of thoughts have come to me in doing so.
I have been really moved by the beautiful renditions of the Star Spangled Banner by different service men and women - they have beautiful voices and do both the song and the nation proud.
And I notice that as I watch these men and women sing I also feel a sense of dread, a kind of sick feeling that somehow something is being pulled over on me.
It is true, this is a kind of honoring of our men and women in uniform. Kind of like a parade. But with a background of waving flags and singing Americans in the stadiums, I think we are being sold a very soft and staged picture of what honoring veterans is. If we can get away with the hot dog and apple pie vision of America and sweet voiced men and women in uniform we don’t have to feel what is real for millions of Americans who have either fought in our wars or who are directly related to the men and women who have.
And I think it sells all of the rest of us short because as we have seen in taking The Welcome movie to communities around the country, Americans want to understand and to feel at least some of the truth of what is carried by the men and women who have actually fought. We civilians will never truly get it, but we have seen that a whole lot of us are hungry for the emotional truth, painful as it is. That is what really honors veterans.
So, sing away. But lets not forget what is really about for the men and women directly involved with making these songs and these games possible.
Monday, October 24, 2011 at 04:19PM