Memorial Day honors all military members who have died while serving in U.S. military forces. Most Trump supporters are patriotic and honor those who died for our country. The ages of many of Trump supporters range from 20 to 40, born between 1983 and 2003. They weren’t even around when the United States involvement in the Vietnam war ended in 1975. But let’s go back even further, to the most devastating war the United States ever fought against a foreign enemy.
On Dec. 7, 1941, Japan staged a surprise military attack on American military installations in the Pacific with the most devastating strike coming at the Hawaiian naval base at Pearl Harbor. The United States declared war on Japan one day later on Dec. 8, 1941.
Three days later, on Dec. 11, 1941, the United States declared war on Germany. Since 1939, despite our self-proclaimed neutrality, it had played a role by supplying Germany’s opponents – which, by 1940, after the fall of France to Hitler and Nazi Germany, included pretty much only Great Britain – with supplies for the war effort.
From 1941 until 1945, fighting in Europe went on until Germany surrendered. Some 17 million fell victim to the Nazi regime. That included 6 million Jews, 5.7 million Soviet civilians, 3 million Soviet POWs, and 1.8 million Polish civilians. Other fatalities included Serbian civilians, while institutionalized disabled people and other minorities added close to another 1 million victims. Innocent civilians in the millions were slaughtered and that included children of all ages including babies. Others including Soviet prisoners were also subject to inhumane atrocities.
Specially designed ovens were built that could incinerate over 7,000 bodies per day. Over three million Jews were killed in the gas chambers while bullets killed 2 million. Did any of you ever smell the burning of human flesh?
The United States suffered almost 200,000 dead or missing in action with over 560,000 wounded.
Today, there are Americans who believe in the same monstrous Nazi ideals that were responsible for the killings of millions who want us to accept them as fellow good Americans. That’s like spitting on the graves of those who gave their lives for our country.
But are these so-called good Americans aware that it was their grandfathers or great grandfathers who were killed by these same Nazis fighting to keep our democracy alive?
Should we, as real Americans, throw these Nazis out of our country? Do we as a government have the ability or right to deny people what they might say or how they say it or what they stand for or find that speech in other contexts will be regulated and suppressed? In support of the First Amendment, for many free speech advocates, they believe that if Nazis are silenced, other people will be silenced. You need to protect people who are marginalized people or marginalized people will be next.
But does that apply to marginalized people who are killers? The Nazis were organized killers and proof is in their historical killing numbers. What about a man who shoots another man to death in cold blood and is convicted of murder and sentenced to jail for life? After conviction, what rights does he and should he have? The answer is none. What if he and his group were responsible for the killing of 17 million people? Should they have rights? Yes! The right to serve out their sentence in jail.
What about those groups like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers who support the ways and methods of the Nazis? This heavily armed, Trump-incited mob attack on Jan. 6, 2021 was an attack not just on the U.S. Capitol building, but also on democracy and the rule of law. You want free speech? Throw them all in jail, that is unless Jan. 6 was not real.
Was the Jan. 6 insurrection real? Did you watch it unfolding on TV as it was happening? How about testimonials from real supporters and backers of Trump who said the following:
Mitch McConnell: “There is no question that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of that day.” “A mob was assaulting the Capitol in his name. These criminals were carrying his banners, hanging his flags, and screaming their loyalty to him.”
Kevin McCarthy: Mr. Trump’s conduct on Jan 6 had been “atrocious and totally wrong.” He faulted the president for “inciting people” to attack the Capitol, saying that Mr. Trump’s remarks at a rally on the National Mall that day were “not right by any shape or any form.”
I wonder what caused them to do a complete turnaround and deny the truth?
Memorial Day honors those who died for our country to fight against those who want to overthrow our democracy. Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen. And let’s make sure that we, as Americans, know our real history.