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Camden County Freeholder Melinda Kane. (Photo: Facebook.)

Opinion: Meredith Meisenheimer should resign

‘Ten years-ago this January, I received a knock at my front door that forever changed my life’

By Melinda Kane, December 20 2019 8:31 am

OPINION

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.

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4 thoughts on “Opinion: Meredith Meisenheimer should resign

  1. As a mother and as someone whose family has a history of military service, I am truly sorry for Ms Kane’s loss. The loss of a child is surely one of the most profound and unshakable that I can imagine.
    As someone who was part of the Facebook thread cited, I will say that it seems Ms Kane has misconstrued the very thrust of Ms Meisenheimer’s argument, and mine, and that of others in the conversation. I do find it abhorrent that wars are waged and lives are lost over corporate interests and modern-day imperialism. Often those true motives are wrapped in the rhetoric of “protecting freedom” and “spreading democracy,” and it is far too seldom that everyday people take the time to critically examine that premise. So I would ask that before jumping to unwarranted conclusions, folks should consider that criticizing our nation’s military-industrial complex is NOT in conflict with supporting military members, their families, veterans, and those who have lost loved ones in the service. In fact, it is out of a sincere desire to reduce the number of mothers (both here and abroad) who have to experience that profound pain that so many of us say:
    Support our troops.
    Bring them home.

  2. Kind of fascinating someone in SJ is digging through FB posts for a YEAR OLD post and then submitting an OpEd to David about it.

  3. This seems at best a personal attack on a general statement of Meredith’s opinion, which she is entitled to. Not all disagree that war is a horrible way to end young lives for the sake of greed, not defending our country. Having said that I am so sorry for the loss of your child. Nothing can possibly be worse. There are mothers and fathers whose children were babies, toddlers and young children when they were killed by our troops bombing their homes. War is disgusting and should not be happening. Let the leaders get in the ring and kill each other, leave the world’s youth out of it.

  4. Thank you so much Melinda.
    My wife and I also a became Gold Star parents when our youngest son was killed in 2017. It was 8:00 Easter morning. My wife and I had just finished our breakfast when we heard a knock on our front door. It would be two Naval officers fully dressed in their whites. Usually a sight that signifies the strength and honor of our military for most people. But not for us. I cannot even come close to explaining how it felt. No words need to be spoken to realize that this was not gonna be good news for us. Our lives were completely shattered and we now have a life sentence of PTSD daily with triggers coming from every one of the bodies senses. This is our Living Hell every day! A far cry from the privileged writings of a nacesistic misdirected angry woman with an agenda to hurt all military members and their families with her views of hate.
    Military and first responders are the last Nobel professions where they ALL signed on the dotted line to give their lives for others. Maybe if she walked through the rows at New Jersey’s military memorial cemetery at William C. Doyle……… She could see with her own eyes the many markers of fallen military Heros. EVERY ONE OF THEM! The markers are not exclusive to World War II. The markers goes far beyond her limited accounts of American history to include many different conflicts throughout the world. America is a predominate force in the worlds view for peace keeping. Sadly, our military is a neccesary evil and we must not spread the same infectious words which helped stain our history during the Vietnam War.
    Merideth is NOT someone to lead or educate until she gets better educated. Any one that listens and agrees with her views are lemmings or Jane Fonda.
    Sincerely,
    Gold Star parents of a fallen Navy Sailor

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