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Mecca: Those lawbreaking veterans
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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?

In their late 80s, into their 90s and several centenarians, these people have lived long enough to comprehend that laws must be obeyed. It’s embarrassing to witness men and women at that age exhibiting "civil disobedience" as if they had the same rights as the fruit flies of "Occupy Wall Street." I say back up the paddy wagons, toss the veterans in, and leave their wheelchairs on the lawn. Make it strenuous for them; make these "radicals" feel the pain of questioning our honorable politicians in Washington, D.C.

We are a country of laws. Laws must be obeyed. This country had laws to protect and defend the institution of slavery. I ask you, did we ever have problems with that law? Yes, you may argue it divided the nation, which caused a Civil War that killed a half-million Americans. But what other points can you make?

And let’s not forget the laws that forbade women and African-Americans the vote. And the law against boozing, called Prohibition, which kept alcohol out of society and greatly improved respect for law enforcement. True, a speakeasy or two served debauched patrons and Prohibition ushered in organized crime to an unheard of level of power and corruption, but repeal of the law wasn’t from its failure. Rather, the repeal of Prohibition meant extra revenue for the government, not criminals. Excuse the oxymoron.

Now, let’s review these WWII veterans that are causing all the trouble in Washington, D.C. So what if they landed on Utah and Omaha Beach to liberate Europe? I mean, wasn’t that their job? Yeah, thousands died on the beaches and are interred in the Normandy Cemetery, but 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 WWII Memorial is closed? I mean, he made it home, didn’t he?

The WWII 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 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 healthcare act would be beneath our dignity." Well, kiss my grits. I submit that our politicians 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 that 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 Capitol building 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.


Pete Mecca is a Vietnam veteran, columnist and writer. You can reach him at or