Self-Centered Protesters To 100-Year Old Vet: We Are So Much More Important Than You And Any Sacrifice You Made In WWII
[guest post by Dana]
Raschio joined the Navy at the age of 27. He piloted observational planes, and was based on the USS Chester. He participated in five campaigns in the Pacific Theatre.
One harrowing incident took place on Easter Sunday in 1944. He had been on a mission and took gunfire. When returning to the ship, his plane went down in the ocean and he figured that he and his passenger were likely to die in the water. A Navy destroyer came along a few hours later and rescued the pair, just as sharks were beginning to circle.
He then revealed the location of an ammo dump they had viewed from the sky on a South Pacific island. The dump was destroyed.
What happened: On Saturday, Oregon senator Sen. Ron Wyden (D) was scheduled to award 100-year old U.S. Navy veteran Dario Raschio a plaque full of medals, including U.S. Naval Aviator Badge, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory medal, the American Defense Service Medal, the “Ruptured Duck” award and the U.S. Navy Honorable discharge pin.
Unfortunately, things at the town hall did not go as well as one would hope. Due to Don’t Shoot Portland protesters, the ceremony was rudely interrupted and delayed:
Shortly after Wyden began speaking, though, protesters erupted in the back of the room, shouting “hands-up, don’t shoot!” More than 100 pushed through the doors, banged on the windows from outside and hoisted signs.
Raschio and his daughter, Pam Brown of Portland, had a front-row seat to the spectacle. Raschio’s smile faded.
It took 15 minutes for Wyden to persuade protesters to be quiet and allow him to continue with the medal presentation.
When Raschio himself had an opportunity to speak at the mic, there were shouts demanding that the U.S. leave Iraq. Raschio commented:
“Give me a chance” which brought chuckles from the audience. He further chastised the shouters, saying “Let’s show a little respect for this occasion,” to which the crowd applauded.
He accepted the medals on behalf of those who died in WWII and ended his short speech by saying, “God bless America. And you people that are here for a cause, whatever it might be—show respect to Sen. Wyden.”
For his part, Wyden justified the protesters behavior:
“I think that the symbolism of having a veteran 100 years old, who fought so gallantly so that those who disagree with government policies and want to exercise their First Amendment rights could be heard, that’s what made today so poignant.”
Poignant? Not so much. When the honoring of a man who sacrificed so much for his country is delayed because the beneficiaries of his sacrifice believe their cause (and themselves) to infinitely outweigh anything he may have done for them – including further assuring their freedom to protest government actions – I think bitter irony is a far more accurate assessment. And if one hoped that protesters later came to see that their ill-timed, rude behavior and disregard for one so noble shames them individually and as a whole, and that pervasive ignorance does not help their cause, don’t hold your breath waiting, because you really won’t be able to breathe: Took over town hall in a positive way!