By Debbie Gregory.
A military funeral is a memorial that our nation provides to those who have served our nation when they pass away. It is the very least we can do for men and women who have make so many sacrifices. This final farewell to comrades is steeped in tradition with a ceremony with a flag-draped casket. The flag is folded and presented to the family of the deceased service member or Veteran. This ceremony is usually performed by an Honor Guard detail of not less than two members of the Armed Forces. The ceremony is concluded with the playing TAPS.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bill McClellan published a very controversial column. One wonder’s if McClellan’s motive was to create controversy? McClellan states in his column that only those who have died in battle deserve military burial honors. He attempts to justify his position by bringing up the precarious financial health of state and federal governments. McClellan goes so far as to state that “Most Veterans Did Nothing Heroic”. He goes on to say that they served and that’s all. He feels it is more than enough to provide a Veteran and their spouse burial plots and headstones at national cemeteries.
We strongly disagree with McClellan and his ill-conceived position on military funerals.
We live in a nation where less than one percent of our population steps up and serves in the military. Service members place themselves in harm’s way. They literally write the people of the United States a blank check up to and including their lives. It doesn’t matter if they died in battle, died of Agent Orange, died from PTSD even decades later, or died of suicide, or died from a non-service related condition or anything else. This is a benefit that Veterans have they earned. It should not be taken away under any circumstances after they have done their duty. Doing so would be breaking a sacred covenant with our Veterans.
Veterans of all eras have gone to war and left their homes and loved ones to defend this nation. Veterans have allowed us to live in a nation that is safe and where we can prosper. We are able to live the lives we do in the greatest nation in the world because of the sacrifices of so many who have served in our armed forces and worn our nation’s uniform.
We invite you to send us your comments and opinion on this issue.