As Memorial Day approaches, I’m reminded of a disturbing trend I’ve noticed over the past several years. I’ve been serving in the U.S. Army and the Georgia Army National Guard for more than 17 years now, and the amount of support we receive from the community is very much appreciated.
During last year’s Memorial Day parade, though, I noticed a lot of campaign signs attached to vehicles and trailers in the parade. I think that I speak for many service members and veterans when I say that I greatly appreciate the support of our community leaders and political candidates. Using Memorial Day or Veterans’ Day to solicit votes or build name recognition, however, constitutes an insult to those whom those events were designed to honor.
The purpose of Memorial Day is to commemorate those who paid the highest price in service to our great nation. Political campaigns, by nature, do not render a service to others but benefit only the candidates involved.
Out of respect for those service members who are no longer with us, I would think it appropriate to ask political candidates and current elected officials to refrain from using these types of parades and events to further their own careers.