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November Is Full Of Holidays Focused On Giving Thanks

In November we think about giving thanks, but there are other important days on the calendar.

November is election month. Our local election was on the 7th, and Republicans in Virginia took a trouncing.

I will give thanks that our governor, now without any legislative support, will not get to track women’s menstrual cycles. Nor will he get his abortion ban.

Democrats now control our legislature, and that is a fine thing. Voters across America realize that this election was between the party that wants to take away our rights and the party who wants all citizens to have the right to control their -own lives without governmental interference.

Most Americans know that we, the people, should be in charge of what we do with our bodies and who we love, not politicians.

Another - often overshadowed by the others - holiday in the November calendar is Veteran’s Day. It used to be called Armistice Day, to celebrate the end of WWI and pay homage to the many who gave their lives in that war. World War I ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.

The holiday has since been enlarged to include the participants in other wars for democracy.

However, it never seems to be much of an event in America. When I lived in England for a year, I was amazed at how important November 11 is there. It’s called Remembrance Day. Everyone – on that day -wears the poppy of peace. All the shops are draped in black crepe.

Those English customs are somber reminders of how we should be honoring veterans every day, not just Nov. 11. We should commemorate those in the military who gave their lives so we can live in a democracy.

We should also be honoring those who are in military service so we can live in peace. Those who serve should have the benefits they deserve.

Unfortunately, Republicans do not respect our military.

In 2011, the Republican-led House of Representatives attempted to end care for those who have conditions not recognized by the VA, like conditions caused by Agent Orange.

The Comprehensive Veterans Health Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act of 2014 would have repealed the military retiree cost-of-living adjustment reduction and would have protected veteran pensions and educational payments from future Congressional budget fights. Senate Republicans shot this act down.

Donald Trump and congressional Republican leaders tried to pass budget proposals that would have damaged the economic security of veterans and their families—all to pay for tax cuts for millionaires and corporations. They wanted to hurt veterans, but they didn’t succeed.

Under President Biden, Republican Senators voted against the PACT ACT when it was first proposed, but significant public pressure forced them to pass it the second time. Our current president, who lost his own son, signed the law. It opened life-saving medical access to hundreds of thousands of veterans exposed to burn pit toxins which can cause to lung diseases, including cancer.

By all accounts, Donald Trump will be the Republican candidate for president in 2024. This is a man who has only disdain for those who gave their lives serving America.

On Memorial Day in 2020, in Arlington National Cemetery, Trump said to his chief of staff, “I don’t get it, what’s in it for them?” At the time they were visiting the chief of staff’s son’s grave. He was killed on patrol while serving in Afghanistan.

Of Senator John McCain’s time as a five-year POW in North Vietnam, Trump said, “I like heroes who don’t get caught.”

Trump was scheduled to visit a WWI memorial site in France during his first year as president. He refused to go because of rain. The leaders of Germany and France paid their respects.

But not Trump. And after that he called the fallen soldiers losers and suckers.

And yet, there are actual voters who think he is a patriot.

Donald Trump is not going to change. Three ghosts won’t be visiting him one night to make him empathetic or kind. Or honorable. Nothing will make him respect gold star families or anyone in the military.

This year, President Biden went to Arlington National Cemetery to honor the fallen buried there.

What did Trump say to honor the military on that same day?

“We pledge to you that we will root out the communists, Marxists, fascists, and the radical left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country.”

Using Nazi speech, he showed his true colors, and never said one word about those who gave their lives to defend democracy.

Donald Trump will never end any remarks the way President Joe Biden does – every speech:

“And may God bless our troops.”

In this month of gratitude, I’ll be thankful for the man and patriot that Joe Biden is, and for the great work he has done for America.

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