I recently retired from the Air Force after 26 years, and I was disgusted by remarks by Democratic Sens. Harry M. Reid (Nev.), John F. Kerry (Mass.) and Edward M. Kennedy (Mass.), who said that President Bush's speech at Tobyhanna, Pa., dishonored veterans ["Bush Spars With Critics of the War; Exchanges With Democrats Take Campaign-Style Tone," front page, Nov. 12].
What better time to rally the troops and strengthen this country's resolve than on Veterans Day, when we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy?
The president was on the mark when he said, "As our troops fight a ruthless enemy determined to destroy our way of life, they deserve to know that their elected leaders who voted to send them to war continue to stand behind them. . . . And our troops deserve to know that, whatever our differences in Washington, our will is strong, our nation is united and we will settle for nothing less than victory."
We must unite and support our troops and their mission.
As a Vietnam War veteran who served in the Mekong Delta during the 1968 Tet Offensive, I was repulsed by the Veterans Day activities of the Bush White House.
Not only was the commander in chief absent from the ceremonies at the Tomb of the Unknowns and the traditional speech at the memorial auditorium, he was campaigning for the war in Iraq.
This year's ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery was presided over by a vice president who received several deferments during the Vietnam War and has said that he had "other priorities in the '60s than military service."
This was not the time for political speeches. It was a time for remembering the real heroes of our nation.
EDWIN E. POWELL
As a Korean War veteran, I found it disingenuous for the Bush administration to brand anybody who opposes the war in Iraq as betraying our troops while simultaneously honoring Muhammad Ali with the Medal of Freedom [Style, Nov. 10].
Surely the administration knows that Mr. Ali was the poster child of all Vietnam War resisters.
I wonder if the administration took the time to solicit his views on the war in Iraq?
JOHN H. O'HARA