BOSTON (CBS) – In his proclamation of the first Veterans Day on November 11, 1919, President Woodrow Wilson said that the day should fill us all with “solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.”
But not everyone shares that sentiment.
Listen to Jon’s commentary:
Earlier this week, a member of the staff at Suffolk Law School sent around an e-mail asking for donated supplies to put in care packages for our troops deployed overseas, including a Suffolk Law student who is serving in Afghanistan.
This request apparently infuriated a professor at Suffolk Law, who wrote in response:
“I think it is shameful that it is perceived as legitimate to solicit in an academic institution for support for men and women who have gone overseas to kill other human beings. I understand that there is a residual sympathy for service members, perhaps engendered by support for troops in World War II, or perhaps from when there was a draft and people with few resources to resist were involuntarily sent to battle. That sympathy is not particularly rational in today’s world, however.”
The professor goes on to denounce Suffolk for having a large American flag hanging in its main atrium.
“This is not a politically neutral act. Excessive patriotic zeal…permits, indeed encourages, excesses in the name of national security….We need to be more mindful of what message we are sending as a school.”
This person makes it clear he doesn’t approve of our current military involvements, and the polls show most Americans agree.
But his targets prove once and for all that education and academic stature don’t necessarily make you smart.
Supporting our soldiers and honoring our flag are not examples of “excessive patriotic zeal” that “encourage excess.”
They’re expressions of community solidarity, and love of country.
If you think war is never a necessary evil, that’s fine, go ahead and enjoy dreamworld.
But for heaven’s sake, have the decency to confine your snide foolishness to the faculty lounge where it belongs.
You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.