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Posted: October 8, 2013 4:55 p.m.

It’s the veterans who are ‘honorable’

The World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., was barricaded following the government shutdown, yet veterans of the Greatest Generation have ignored the law by breaking down fortifications and forcing entry into the Memorial.

Really, who do these guys think they are?

Here’s who they are: They’re veterans in their late 80s, their 90s; some are even centenarians. They have lived long enough to comprehend that laws must be obeyed.

And here are these men and women exhibiting "civil disobedience" as if they had the same rights as the fruit flies of "Occupy Wall Street."

Some might say back up the paddy wagons, toss the veterans in, and leave their wheelchairs on the lawn. We are a country of laws. Laws must be obeyed.

Now, let’s review these World War II veterans who are causing all the trouble in Washington, D.C. So what if they landed on Utah and Omaha beaches to liberate Europe? I mean, wasn’t that their job?

Yeah, thousands died on the beaches and are interred in the Normandy Cemetery, and closing the Normandy Cemetery keeps relatives and friends out so they cannot honor the dead. Well, they should have planned their vacations more intelligently, don’t ya think?

I know a Marine veteran of Iwo Jima. He landed on the island with 240 men of Easy Company. After 36 days of continuous combat, he and 27 other men of Easy Company walked off the island.

Come on. Why should he complain if the World War II Memorial is closed? I mean, he made it home, didn’t he?

The World War II veterans need to develop a little respect, honor, and dignity if they expect ...

Uh, wait just a minute.

They have already earned our respect, and they served their country with honor. So far as questioning their dignity, well, shoot and gosh darn; they represent themselves with more dignity than the office-bearers inside The Swamp.

A law was stealthily passed called Obamacare. The law is disapproved of by a majority of Americans. The law is so bad that the politicians have exempted themselves and their staffs from its implementation.

Nancy Pelosi stated on national television, "Forcing us to participate in the affordable health care act would be beneath our dignity."

Well, kiss my grits. I submit that our politicians should first act and speak with dignity before they claim the virtue by decree.

By the way, why do we and the politicians refer to our representatives as "honorable?"

Among the many attributes of honor are: distinction, honesty, integrity and high public esteem. Those are the qualities of the Greatest Generation, not paid-for-life policymakers who can’t agree on policy.

And respect? Folks, that’s earned. It was earned in slow, vulnerable B-17s and B-24s in the skies over Europe, in the North Atlantic, on Pacific Islands like Guadalcanal and Okinawa, and in the jungles of Burma and India. Perhaps barricades would serve a better purpose if placed around the U.S. Capitol until the adolescents inside begin representing people instead of a political party.

And if they don’t?

Well, leave the Greatest Generation alone to appreciate what they’ve earned, then back up the paddy wagons to the steps of the Capitol building.

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Pete Mecca is a Vietnam veteran, columnist and freelance writer. You can reach him at aveteransstory@gmail.com or aveteransstory.us.

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