Cheryl Franklin

This Veterans Day week comes with sadness as our American flags fly half mast mourning the death 13 innocent people killed at Fort Hood by what should have been a comrade, a brother and fellow American.

† Our men in uniform and civilians on military bases shouldnít have to fear for their lives right here on American soil, especially on a military base, and especially from another military man.

† Again, it seems that red flag signs were ignored which might have prevented this tragedy. Cautions that people didnít want to raise because why? Because they didnít want to offend anyone? Because they didnít care? Because they didnít want to get involved?

Maybe all of those reasons, maybe none. But, the same thing happened with the students involved in the Columbine shootings. There were warning signs but no one jumped in and got involved.

† According to associated press reports, at a military medical school the gunman attended, fellow students complained about his anti-American propaganda but said a fear of appearing discriminatory against a Muslim student kept officers from filing a formal complaint.

† A military officer being anti- American and we are afraid to address it?

So, instead of possibly offending someone, instead of worrying that someone might shout discrimination, we have 13 people dead and 29 wounded.

† Our prayers are with the victimsí families but beyond that I wonder about the soldiers abroad who should feel safe when they are in the states.

That feeling of ďwhew, Iím home safeĒ could be forever shattered by this act of violence.

† Since the gunman was not killed, maybe he will reveal his motives. Maybe he will not. I just hope that Americans will be outraged enough to get involved when a colleague or student is obviously anti-American. Not to be confused with the anti-government, yearning to reestablish our country to its intended Constitutional roots, which is about as American as you can get.

† I challenge our readers to go out of your way to thank a veteran this week. Maybe even take some time ponder what they sacrificed so that you and I can sit here writing and reading this very newspaper in broad daylight.

Also, talk to a child this week about veterans and what it means to have the freedoms we have in our country and other countries because of American veterans.

† My dad fought in WWII and in Korea and my oldest brother fought in Vietnam.

Neither one of them talked much about it, at least not to me. Iím sure they did with others who could relate to them.

† I guess when I was a child I didnít appreciate the significance of those wars and the men who fought them. I do now. Because I have found that I need to appreciate it, I need to care. And so do all Americans.† We canít afford to take it for granted and we canít afford to not know our history and the history of our country.

† We owe it to them.

In Real Life Cheryl Franklin is the publisher of the Grove Sun and at press time we should be enjoying the United States Air Force Band of† Mid America at the Grove Civic Center.