Today being Veterans' Day, I have to note that there is some good news in New York State for veterans- a measure was passed giving additional credits on civil service exams to disabled veterans. On a downer of a note, the unemployment rate among veterans is all too high. On another horrid note, military survivors of sexual assault often find trouble when they seek disability benefits while a bill which would reform the handling of sexual assaults in the military may face a filibuster.
In the midst of all the parades, platitudes and pablum offered up on Veterans' Day, it must be remembered that veterans face many challenges, while their needs aren't met. The veterans aren't cartoon heroes or cardboard cutouts to be trundled out for photo ops- they are parents, spouses, siblings, children... humans who face genuine problems which are being ignored by those who should be serving them. It's time for this callous attitude to change.
How about a melancholy song about a disabled Irish veteran of the English war of imperialism in Ceylon? You'll recognize the tune of the song, which was "repurposed" into a triumphant Union fight song during the American Civil War:
Perhaps the best known version of the song was that performed by the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem... here's a version of it introduced by an American narrator who just doesn't get the point of the song: