ALPERN ON MEMORIAL DAY--My son and I again woke up early Saturday morning to help our Boy Scout troop … for whom he and I are still loyal despite my son aging out at 18 years of age … plant flags in honor of our fallen troops at the West Los Angeles Memorial Cemetery. An ocean of flags came up within minutes at each and every grave of our fallen heroes.
They fought and even died for our freedom. Our children are being taught to honor their memories. But ours is a civilian society, as it should be--we emulate the Roman Republic, not the Roman Empire.
Yet our children look up to us and expect us to defend them, and even encourage some of them to join our armed forces and risk life and limb for the rest of us.
Are we worthy of their trust?
Have we made sure there are enough resources for their education, employment, and quality of life?
Have we taught them to look out for themselves?
Are Governor Gavin Newsom and Mayor Eric Garcetti the right people to look out for our children locally, and is President Donald Trump the right person to look out for our children as a nation?
We need our money spent right for education, but is Measure EE just the equivalent of giving money to an addict who needs intervention, or will that money actually help our children?
We need more affordable housing, but will SB 50, put on hold for now, help the middle class or just create more high-cost housing beyond the range of everyday Californians?
We need an environmentally-sound state, but is overdevelopment without more reservoirs and infrastructure a reasonable answer?
We need children with critical thinking, but do we really allow and enable them to be taught and to debate all sides of a given issue without being shouted down as having the "wrong" side of a complex issue?
Our children got up early and honored our heroes. Will WE stand up in a civilian setting and be just as heroic for them, and to allow them to enjoy the America and its freedom that we have enjoyed during our own lives?
Each and every one of us adults must answer that question.
It's Memorial Day—how will you be spending your time, thoughts, and efforts today, and for the next year?
(CityWatch Columnist, Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D, is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud husband and father to two cherished children and a wonderful wife. He is also a Westside Village Zone Director and Board member of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC), previously co-chaired its Outreach Committee, and currently is Co-Chair of both its MVCC Transportation/Infrastructure and Planning Committees. He was co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee and chaired the nonprofit Transit Coalition and can be reached at [email protected]. He also co-chairs the grassroots Friends of the Green Line at www.fogl.us. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)