At first glance, Doug Collins’s editorial on May 25 is an appropriate elegy for our veterans and their awe-inspiring sacrifices. Upon deeper consideration, however, his words also beg self-examination of us.
What do we really believe about our American values? Can we find common ground in these sacred values?
Collins stated beautifully that “defending freedom to the point of death illustrates the value we place on all 321 million particular American lives...”
I’d like to add that the rest of us must do our part by creating a government that also illustrates the value we place on these lives.
I understand the concept of personal responsibility that is so much a part of the American dream; I grew up with it and regularly heard my elders speak of their belief in pulling ourselves up by our own bootstraps. But at some point I became haunted by thoughts of those in our society who cannot do so: children, the sick or disabled, the elderly — and, increasingly, those who are so poor and disadvantaged as to be incapable of understanding the very concept.
Those human beings are among the “321 million particular American lives.” How do we show the value we place on their lives? By making good health care an impossibility for them? By cutting from our budget programs that might benefit them? I’m asking.