Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day - 2011

Last year I wrote a serious piece about one of the fallen young men we honor on this day. He was a WWII bomber pilot who was shot from the sky over Europe in early 1944. He was also a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. As a young group leader he took his task seriously…seriously enough to offer his life to help accomplish his task.

We try to select leaders from among us who have either demonstrated their substance through their prior performance, or in a more hopeful sense, someone who has the capacity to grow into the job with which we entrust them. In my experience, until the early 1990s when a Wall Street Journal editorial wondered in print, “Are There Any Adults in Charge?” during the early days of the Clinton administration, I had never thought that we might have trouble finding adults among us as our leaders. To my knowledge that had never been a problem before.

A year ago during the Memorial Day weekend, our President chose to take a short vacation to Chicago and, as a nod to the reverence of the day, tacked on a quick visit to a local Chicago national cemetery to put in an obligatory appearance. God was not pleased and the skies opened up in a downpour and an electrical storm.

In accordance with tradition, this year he put in his appearance at Arlington National Cemetery at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. God smiled, and provided a beautiful day for the ceremony. Then, our President screwed it up and went out to play golf that afternoon, once again raising the question…are there any adults in charge?

I’m not one to criticize another man an opportunity for a pleasant round of golf when he has the chance, but I can attest to the fact that 95° and humid is not a pleasant day on a golf course. On the other hand, after recently being embarrassingly schooled by Netanyahu, writing the wrong year in the Westminster guest book, and messing up the Queen’s toast in a very public way, maybe he was due. But it surely did appear to be in bad taste.

The Telegraph writer, Nile Gardiner, had more to say on the subject in his article.


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