Readers Write: Trump: A president who doesn’t seem to know history

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Readers Write: Trump: A president who doesn’t seem to know history

In a Memorial Day entry on Twitter (05-28-18), the current president apparently stated, “Happy Memorial Day!” 

The president’s tweet smacked of ignorance, as Memorial Day is a day for remembering the ultimate sacrifice that hundreds of thousands of Americans have made since America’s original birthing pains. 

American families who have lost loved ones or whose loved ones sacrificed years of their lives in military service to our country winced when they read the President’s tweet that day…including me.

My husband lost two brothers in the Vietnam War, my 90-year-old mother lost a boyfriend and neighbor in World War II, my father and father-in-law spent years fighting during World War II on both sides of the world (my father-in-law received a Purple Heart), and my uncles, in total, racked up decades of service in the Army, Navy, Armed Guard, and Marines during the past century.

Last week, when the president went to France to participate in Armistice Day observances, he neglected to visit a hallowed cemetery of American war heroes due to bad weather.   The president’s failure to pay tribute to our war dead buried on foreign soil, in my opinion, was an outrageous neglect of duty…in addition to his disrespecting the sacrifices of our soldiers both past and present.

To add insult to injury, when the President arrived back on American soil, he, again, failed to pay tribute to our war dead, living veterans, and currently serving military members, by neglecting to visit Arlington Cemetery, visit any veterans’ facility, or have a veteran/veterans’ group visit the White House. Another outrageous neglect of duty, in my opinion.

Although it is true that a couple of our recent Presidents did not serve in our military, they had the conscience of duty to pay respects actively and publicly to our war dead, veterans, and those active in our military.

These days, the president seems to enjoy calling himself a “nationalist.” 

To me, it is obvious the president has never absorbed major lessons of history, if, indeed, he ever bothered to read history books and learn from them.

It seems obvious to me that the President does not understand that the word, nationalist, has had very negative connotations during the past century. 

Throughout the 1930s in Germany, a dictatorial group began to rise that took pride in its shortened nickname…a name that began originally with the word, “national.”

The president would do well to learn quickly that, in German, the word, “national,” is pronounced: Not-zee-o-naal. 

The respected 20th-century philosopher, George Santayana, once reminded us, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”   

Enough said.

Kathy Rittel

East Williston

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