War memorial closures disrespected aging veterans

October 22, 2013 

Shame: a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior. As defined by Merriam Webster.

It is with deep sadness that our government closed the war memorials in Washington, D.C. I was just recovering from the recent cancellation of the Blue Angels air show at MacDill Air Force Base before this travesty of justice took place.

Anyone who witnessed the aging veterans in their wheelchairs arriving by Honor Flights to find their memorials barricaded should be furious. For most, this is probably their last opportunity to be shown respect for their military war service.

Another injustice was not honoring the families of the deceased veterans being returned from Afghanistan and denying them their benefits.

My twin brother and I served in Korea as Navy hospital corpsmen. We tended to many wounded servicemen and lost some of our best buddies. My brother paid the price and is a disabled veteran due to shrapnel wounds incurred in an explosion on the front lines.

This government fiasco ranks as one of the most embarrassing and shameful incidents of our lifetime. It is high time we let our members of Congress and president know that this is not what the United States of America is all about.

It is the government's responsibility to maintain free and open access to all memorials and give back the honor and respect these veterans deserve, and allow them to show their respect to their fallen comrades who gave their last full measure of devotion to our beloved country.

Dr. Charles F. Hudson

Bradenton

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