For the umpteenth time, I was invited to speak at the Veterans Day ceremony in Woodbury Heights last Saturday.
The master planner behind the annual event is Councilman Eshia “Jake” Jacobs. Jake is convinced I have something important, interesting or at least relevant to say at the ceremony and I have done my best over the years to not disappoint him or the folks who come out to the lovely little veterans park the borough has created along West Jersey Avenue, by the railroad tracks.
(Passing trains have only interrupted the event once, as far as I can remember.)
No matter what I have to say, Jake and, by now, the people who attend the Veterans Day ceremony — and, more recently, the Memorial Day ceremony — know how much I respect and honor those who have served in the military and who swear to uphold the Constitution of the United States.
Pretty much every body who’s ever sworn into public office or the military swears to uphold the Constitution. I often wonder how many of those people actually realize or remember that after they’ve taken the oath.
I think cops are forced to think about it, because someone is always insisting something is unconstitutional or a violation of their rights.
Soldiers, sailors and marines? I don’t know. Maybe they think they’re protecting their country, serving their flag, fighting for democracy, following orders from their Commander in Chief. I’m not sure.
Politicians? Don’t get me started on politicians, please. As some wags have pointed out already, here we are just a few days after the elections and already the words Ebola and ISIS seem to be less prevalent in the media — although, surprisingly, some of the local road work is still going on.
I am always honored to be invited to the event, to be in the company of the fine men and women who have served our country and, in some cases, fought for our freedom. I am thankful for their service on Veterans Day and every other day.
Maybe some day, I really WILL have something important, interesting or relevant to say to them.