All morning, I've been thinking about the veterans in my family: my father (US Air Force, WWII), my Uncle Jackie (US Navy, WWII and Korea), and my significant other (US Army, Vietnam). All three have joined Veterans for Kerry.
My cousin Stephanie retired from the Army about a year ago. On September 11, she was working at the Pentagon; fortunately, she was in a meeting on the other side of the building when the plane hit. Stephanie's father is a retired Naval officer.
Dad's cousin David, who passed away a couple of years ago, served in the Navy -- and in December 1941, he was stationed at Pearl Harbor. The family endured two agonizing days before David was able to call home and let them know he was all right. David's wife, Frances, is still with us; she served as a codebreaker in the WAVES.
In short, several members of this family have served with distinction. I'm familiar with the hardships they endured. That's one reason I find it so appalling to see George W. Bush -- who sent American troops to die in Iraq under false pretenses when he wouldn't even honor his own National Guard commitment -- presiding over Memorial Day observances this weekend. His very presence at those ceremonies is an insult to America's veterans.
(Usually I like to offer something constructive along with the rant, but in this case I simply had to vent.)