The day after Halloween, before we’d even removed all the pretend fear,
Christmas is starting, carols are starting, earlier and earlier each year.
People say they respect soldiers and veterans,
but instead of respect – Christmas everywhere?!?
Everyone down in malls, the tall and the small,
will stand close together, Christmas sales ringing,
waiting in line, their credit cards zinging!
They spend! And they spend! And they spend!
They’ll spend on tablets! They’ll spend on smartphones!
They’ll spend on toys, clothes, TVs, and even on drones!
Instead of contentment and helping where we can,
filling our hearts with tech, plastic, chemicals, what a plan!
Stop for a moment, look at a soldier.
Dressed all in honour, from foot to head,
Poppy on their heart, to remember the brave dead.
The box of poppies sits below a chest full of medals,
honouring the past with each poppy they sell.
Christmas isn’t before Veterans Day.
Christmas isn’t before Remembrance Day.
Christmas is in December.
It begins on the 1st,
No, not of November!
Christmas blaring through the stores.
Christmas decorations, ads, displays.
Crass and disrespectful.
To soldiers fighting.
Families who lost soldiers.
Soldiers who fought for us.
Shop all year round if you must,
Black Friday, Cyber Monday,
Months of sales!
Leave Christmas until December,
Can’t we wait for Christmas until after we’ve honoured our soldiers?
If we showed more respect to our soldiers and our veterans,
we might make our governments show them more respect as well.
Christmas Comes After Remembrance and Veterans Day.
The ongoing struggle between the government and veterans sometimes goes nuclear.
Whether or not you believe in war, it happens. Soldiers leave their family, friends, their homes to go to various parts of the world to serve their country, sometimes risking their lives.
Sometimes they return home fine, sometimes injured, sometimes in a casket draped in a flag to represent their country, the country they died for.
Oh, the government of the day will tell their citizens repeatedly, I mean over and over again, ad nauseum that they treat the veterans well. Patting themselves on the back and bragging in a self-congratulatory manner as rhetoric and champagne flows. Meanwhile vets are struggling for heat, food, medical care, even a home.
Robotic talking points about how this government has done more for vets than another other government.
I believe that most citizens respect their veterans. They know the price they paid or were willing to pay. They stepped up and left their families, friends, and homes to fight for us, to protect us, to serve us, sometimes making traumatic or even deadly sacrifices. We should repay them for their service.
Every government says they care.
All governments need to do more.
Remember our vets. Not just on Memorial Day or Remembrance Day or Veterans’ Day, but every single day.
Veterans commit suicide in countries around the world at a startling rate. Why? Because they’re not receiving the help they need.
They were of service to their country and yet services, benefits, and support they should receive are withheld, cut, and clawed back. Some vets are still looking for jobs, good luck with that.
Veterans have to once again fight, against their own government for what they were promised for serving their countries.
Meanwhile our governments spend money on important things like:
$150,000 to figure out a way to save the human race from zombies, ummm, did someone not get that The Walking Dead is fictional?
Millions to find ways to trim their budgets? I’ll give you this one for free – don’t spend $20 million on advice.
A million to research how not to burst a cooked sausage?
Millions spent studying love on the internet, intelligent life on Earth including the US Congress?
Lawyers’ fees for allegedly inappropriate activities?
Golf Club memberships?
Bridges and roads to nowhere?
Millions on computer systems that are dysfunctional, easily hacked and/or redundant?
People that work to collect taxes also owe billions in taxes?
Trips around the world hundreds of politicians and businesspeople?
Billionaires get subsidies for beachfront properties, companies, mansions while the average person, including Vets struggle to make ends meet?
Spending millions to study what food tastes like on Mars, let me help with this one, who cares?
Millions to promote governments and what they say they’ve accomplished?
Paying for Likes and Tweets, trolls to promote their viewpoints and put down oppositional viewpoints on social media?
Millions/year to find out what the media is saying about their government and corporations?
Are you reading this on Facebook? They get millions in tax refunds each year, no worries, they’re not alone, many, many other corporations got a helping hand too.
Plane and helicopter rides as well as limos, town cars and drivers?
$50,000 to study how to stop traveler’s diarrhea, in the Caribbean?
Professional sports teams listed as non-profits so they get bigger tax breaks?
Millions in audits and expenses?
Billions in procurements on planes that aren’t operational and some that might never be, libraries that will never open, empty military bases, empty warehouses, etc.?
Millions celebrating wars, but little money for those who survived them.
Legal fees fighting veterans over the claw back of military pensions.
Using drones to count sheep? Hey, maybe these people that waste your money can’t get to sleep.
And so much more waste. It’s a disgrace.
You can tell everything you need to know about a government and a society by how they treat their most vulnerable members.
How are we doing?
Politics needs to be about service, duty, and helping citizens, less about photo ops, game playing, and manipulation.
Soldiers fought for their families, friends, and countries. Democracy has been won in many other ways as well, but agree or disagree, their sacrifice is amazing.
Soldiers left their homes, their families and friends and they went to war. Some didn’t agree. Many didn’t understand. Most didn’t want to go. Most were scared.
All came back changed if they came back at all. Some were physically altered, some mentally. But they all gave something of themselves to keep our country free.
Veterans should be treated with dignity and respect. Given help, support, work, and should never be discharged just before they’re about to receive their pensions.
As for the white poppies, they’ve been around in one form or another for over 80 years. I love that they stand for peace. I just disagree with giving them out around Remembrance Day. That time is the for those who fought. You don’t have to agree, but what’s done is done. Give them out some other time.
So next time you see a veteran, buy a poppy, buy a few for family and friends and remember, they fought so you could be free. Whether or not you agree with war, this is a time for respect.
Remembrance Day and Veterans Day are about honouring those who fought for their countries, for others.
You don’t have to agree with war or the reasons for it to remember those that fought and those that died.
I’m saddened and disappointed to see stores, malls, and streets decorated for Christmas before Remembrance Day has been respected.
The commercialism of Christmas is bad enough, but this is rude and disrespectful.
In Tacky Stores
In stores Christmas decorations flow
between the candy canes, row on row,
With disrespect to soldiers gone
Christmas cheer doth early don
Cries scarce heard amid the carols blow.
They are the Shoppers. Short days ago
Was Halloween and now before the snow,
Bought and were bought, and now they shop
In Tacky Stores.
Take up the quarrel with the stores:
Pushing Christmas tackiness galores
The dignity of those we’ve lost.
If ye break faith and ignore the cost
If Christmas before Remembrance tore
In Tacky Stores.
With all due respect to John McCrae and all those who fought, were wounded, and died in service to their countries.
Christmas comes after Remembrance Day.