The Moose recommends an Inauguration that truly honors the armed services.
The official Presidential Inaugural Committee has announced its plan for a $40 million extravaganza. The Washington Times reports,
"The official theme for the events surrounding Mr. Bush's Jan. 20 inauguration is "Celebrating Freedom, Honoring Service," and was selected to recognize that "we are a nation at war" and to thank the troops who have served in Afghanistan and Iraq, said Jeanne Phillips, chairwoman of the Presidential Inaugural Committee."
It appears that the Inauguration will have the usual complement of parties and balls with the lavish funding coming from the coffers of the taxpayers and private corporate donations.
The Moose suggests that since we are at war, perhaps an "Inauguration as Usual" is not appropriate. One of the most striking aspects of this war is that the public has not been asked to sacrifice. So, why doesn't the President send a message to America that this will be a different type of inauguration?
Dispense with all of the hoopla and festivities and direct the private donations that would have gone for the partying to the soldiers and families of those who have been disabled and killed in this war. The President can be sworn in at the Capitol and then address the nation. And in his inaugural address he can ask the nation to contribute to a fund to help wounded troops and the families of those who have lost loved ones.
Somehow it is obscene for party goers to be dancing the Texas Two Step at the Black Tie and Boots Ball while across town young men and women are struggling to walk again at Walter Reed and Bethesda Naval.
Please, Mr. President, make this inauguration worthy of the courage of our soldiers and the uniqueness of the moment.