Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Douglas J. Fisher and the Rev. Christopher Carlisle: We are all responsible for the Soldiers’ Home tragedy

From Western Mass-

The unfolding tragedy at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home, where at least 62 veterans have died as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, is an equally tragic reminder of our failed responsibility as a nation to remember and care for the veterans who have so faithfully served us. 

What is occurring at the Soldiers’ Home is not simply an anomalous casualty of an unprecedented pandemic, but a symptom of a deeper chronic condition which has persisted for decades. Rather than simply pointing the finger at the state, or speculating about what those in charge at the facility could have done better, we are being called to look in the mirror and take responsibility ourselves.

We have neglected the needs of our American veterans who have given so much of their lives for us. Laying down one’s life for another is at the heart of the Christian tradition precisely because laying down one’s life for another is at the very heart of Christ. Perhaps this is why at Jesus’s crucifixion it was a soldier who was the first to recognize the divinity of Christ: “Truly this man was the son of God.” 

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