Sunday, May 15, 2005

A cap and gown? Or military uniform?

AMERICA, Anywhere - The almost forgotten war in Iraq pops up in the strangest of places, like high school graduations.

This past week a student, fresh from Marine boot camp, is in a tussle with his high school because he wants to graduate with his Marine dress uniform on, not the traditional cap and gown.

The school has said 'no,' but that he can certainly wear his uniform underneath his robe and then when the robe comes off after the ceremony, voila, there's a marine.

The hue and cry is that in this time of war, well, we should be supportive of our troops, etc... but on this one the school folks are right. This graduation ceremony marks the rite of passage for high school, not a military recruitment. It's doubtful the young man would have been allowed to wear a cap and gown at his boot camp graduation.

Silly you say? True, but sometimes reversing the situation puts things into perspective.

What I'm most concerned about is that the war has fallen off the front pages of most newspapers, even as Americans are killed daily. Daily! And the millions and millions of dollars being spent every day is money that is desperately needed here in the U.S.

Today Thomas Friedman has a column about how, as a nation, we are rapidly falling behind as a competitor in the world marketplace, a fallout from our perpetual arrogance after a half-century of dominance. We didn't compete against anyone for so long and now there are nations actually ahead of us. Check out the life expectancy tables for industrialized nations and the costs of health care.

We lead in the second category but are third or fourth in the first.

We have bigger things to worry about than what to wear for graduation.

Read the full story here:
  • Petaluma graduation
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