The holiday season can be the toughest time of the year for American military servicemen/women and their families. Members of our Armed Forces sacrifice a tremendous amount while serving our nation, and that often includes not being with their family during the holidays.
Ten years-ago this January, I received a knock at my front door that forever changed my life. My 22-year-old brave and loving son, U.S. Marine Corps Lance Corporal, Jeremy Kane, was killed in Afghanistan trying to stop a suicide bomber from killing his fellow Marines who were meeting nearby.
I would not wish this unimaginable pain on my worst enemy. I could not fathom that I would never see my son again. I would never be able to tell him how much I loved him.
Imagine the pain I felt when it was brought to my attention that Meredith Meisenheimer, a co-founder and “lead social media moderator” of “South Jersey Women for Progressive Change” — one of the newfangled activists attacking the significant progress being made in Camden City — opined the following on Facebook to their 7,600 followers:
“One of my personal pet peeves is the endless refrain about soldiers “fighting for our freedom.” The last time an American military conflict was actually about “defending our freedom” was WWII, and even that one can be debated. If we have a state religion in this country it is the military industrial complex and good luck to anyone who points that out.”
This uninformed, pompous, hurtful statement revolts me to my core, and to say such callous words on Memorial Day weekend, no less, only adds insult to injury.
It is amazing to me the level of disrespect some political extremists like Meisenheimer have toward our military and veterans in general.
Saying it’s “debatable” whether those who fought in World War II were “fighting for our freedom” is a complete slap in the face to America’s Greatest Generation. So much was on the line in that war that had we lost, Meisenheimer likely wouldn’t have enjoyed the freedom to post her reprehensible comments in any forum, online or otherwise, or in English.
For decades, anti-democratic regimes have engaged our military on frontlines throughout the world seeking to restrict our freedom.
My son defended our freedom from radical jihadists who seek to upend the American way of life.
Our military and intelligence community are defending freedom right now as Vladimir Putin’s Totalitarian Russia attacked our democracy in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and are likely preparing a similar assault in 2020. I wonder if our allies, the South Koreans, believe American soldiers didn’t fight for freedom and how different Asia would be today had we not intervened in the Korean War.
I wonder if the scores of Vietnamese American emigres who fled Communism so they could prosper in the United States believe that our soldiers weren’t fighting for their freedom.
Our troops have fought genocide, brought down brutal dictators who slaughtered their own people, worked to liberate women and girls from extreme oppression, rescued American citizens held captive abroad, and are trying to stop the flow of illegal drugs onto our streets that are killing our kids.
Yes, our troops “fight for our freedom” both here and abroad.
While I’ve always prided myself for being a progressive Democrat, I have no time for extremists on either end of the political spectrum who denigrate those who sacrifice life and limb for us.
How dare the privileged Meredith Meisenheimer mock our troops and veterans from the comfort of her couch thanks to the many men and women who fought and continue to fight for her rights only so she can insult them.
If “South Jersey Women for Progressive Change” wants any ounce of credibility, it would be wise for this group to call for the immediate resignation of their co-leader, Meredith Meisenheimer.
Melinda Hopkins Kane is a Camden County freeholder, former Cherry Hill councilwoman, and Gold Star Mother.