Okay… I’m going to demonstrate remarkable self-restraint here and try not to fly off the handle. I was catching up on some reading I had in my “to do” folder and tripped upon this. There’s this liberal columnist on the “St. Louis Post Dispatch,” named Bill McClellan, who wrote in his March 27, 2013, column:
“Both the federal government and the state government are broke. So why are we providing military funeral honors for all veterans? It is a nice gesture we can’t afford.”
Quoting an x-fan on Faceybook who didn’t agree with my articles about military cuts — “WOW!”
His dopey and wrongheaded rationale is that “most veterans did nothing heroic.” McClellan wants to reserve government funding for only those servicemen and women who died in battle.
What’s Wrong with McClellan’s Reasoning
First off, his reasoning is based on a false assumption about military benefits: military funerals honor the service – period. Virtually all honorably discharged veterans can receive the graveside honors, the playing of taps and the flag for the family.
A military funeral is one of the benefits of serving and it keeps the tradition of honoring and recognizing our citizen soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen at the forefront of our national consciousness. The funeral, of course, takes on a special poignancy when it is for someone who died defending our country.
Secondly, where does this guy come off defining what heroism is? Then he turns around and advocates denying funeral benefits to those he does not consider heroes. How many acts of bravery, personal sacrifice, heroism and going above and beyond the call of duty do our military people perform that go completely unnoticed and not reported? Going by McClellan’s criteria, those sacrifices and honorable service would not qualify.
I held off on this commentary, hoping that the predictable public outcry would force McClellan to reconsider — that’s why it was in my “to do” folder. Unfortunately, he was undeterred by the firestorm of public criticism and his grilling and lambasting by Fox News’ Laura Ingraham.
He followed up with an unrepentant column that was really all about HIM and how he hopes to get back to normal. He either missed – or refuses to acknowledge – the point that everyone who disagrees with him has made:
Let’s go after the fraud, waste and abuse in government spending before we take away from our veterans.
He ends his follow-up column with “My 15 minutes of infamy may be over.” Perhaps so, and maybe McClellan has learned something about priorities if only he just reads the comments on his article by “good soldiers” and Patriots. I sincerely hope so.
At *your* service,