POLITICS

DESPITE BAN ON MILITARY SERVICES, GEORGE FLOYD FUNERAL DRAWS SCORES OF ATTENDEES

"See the little children play, always a game of war!

 

Little do they realize, what's gone before!

"How can the debt be paid to those, warriors they never met?

 

"Give them the peace in heaven, Lord, they were denied on Earth.

 

"Father rest their souls on high, such is their worth!"

May 3, 2020

Bushnell, FL - The moving poem above exemplifies the true spirit of most Americans, a prayer of gratefulness to honor those who served our country in the armed forces or even gave the ultimate sacrifice. The poem comes from the lines of a military hymn, "Lest We Forget." The next lines of the song begin with the words: "We who are left to gather here..." The "here" in the song refers to the many military burial grounds scattered not only across the United States but the entire world.

    Even now as the Coronavirus lockdown comes to a close federally, national military cemeteries remain closed for burial services and ceremonies. The government continues to restrict families from even witnessing the burial of their loved ones, including both retired members of the military and those mortally wounded in combat. Sadly, political leaders also forgot about those warriors from the Greatest Generation who so gallantly fought for this nation in the most desperate of hours: World War II. One among the many thousands of veterans from the Second World War who die every die, Captain Roger Swanson's family arrived at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell in utter horror. When the hearse came through the gates, government officials blocked the motorcade and placed the veteran in the back of a utility truck. V.A. officials allowed only a few family members to follow the truck. Once at the burial site, officials prohibited the family from viewing the burial any closer than 1000 feet as a bulldozer placed the coffin on the lowering device. No military honors were carried out and no rifle salute conducted.

    Despite the depressing circumstances around Captain Swanson's burial, the family later learned that the government implemented this protocol as a blanket policy on all national military cemeteries. However non-military cemeteries may conduct services and burials unencumbered, with only a few regulations in Florida and several other states. In fact, George Floyd's funeral garnered scores and scores of attendees. Among the attendees included former Vice President Joe Biden. Indeed, our leaders did seem to forget those warriors who defended our nation, but did take the time to honor the tragic but very rare killing of an African American man by a police officer. Thousands of African American men joined the armed forces over the last 100 years, many serving in World War II. But many of the very same leaders attending the George Floyd funeral cannot bring themselves to grant, condone or even acknowledge those men's service and sacrifice by simply advocating for access to veterans' ceremonial services at national cemeteries.

    Why then a double standard? The answer is simple: in an election year (and anytime, really), voters in certain constituencies cry foul over alleged racial tensions. Fortunately for those seeking office, that's just the platform they're running on. But veterans? Not enough votes to matter.

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The "utility truck" the cemetery used to deliver the veteran's remains to burial site

The distance officials forced the Swanson family stand away from the burial site

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