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The Energizer Blog

  • Writer's pictureEileen McDargh

Veterans Day Demands More Than Words

Two years ago, my sister and I stood in the theater at Arlington Cemetery for the premier of the documentary “We Served Too - The Women’s Air force Service Pilots of WWII." It was a moving experience, made even more so by the view of so many who died for us.

But if I could stand and speak to the nation from the briefing room at the Pentagon (as I did in this mock press conference), here is what I would say:

While we wave flags, buy red poppies, and march in parades today, there is a grave matter that should shame us all.

Today, more men and women have died or been horribly wounded—physically and/or mentally by engaging in the longest wars our nation has fought. And yet, unemployment is rampant for our veterans (25% for those ages 18-24). Food insecurity and lack of housing is a reality. Families have been ripped apart. And our VA medical services require huge repair. It is beyond pathetic. Where is the outrage?

Our voices are silent when only 30% of registered voters cast ballots in this last election…

Only 30 % on behalf of the values and democracy that these men and women have fought to protect and advance.

It is beyond pathetic.

I’ve heard the arguments for remaining away: “Only money matters now.” “Powerful lobbies have bought the politicians.” “My vote won’t make a difference.”

There’s a part of me that shakes my head in agreement and yet… and yet…

Our nation can’t continue this road of apathy. Without carefully standing at a voting booth, there is no chance for creating a nation that works for all. Our veterans deserve protection and assistance with more than words and bugle blares.

Today, make a resolve to let your voice be heard. The citizens of countries around the world are dying for the one right that we have and yet 70% refused to use: the power of a vote

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