Disrespect: an American value?

Treat others the way you would like to be treated—it’s the golden rule.

But this simple instruction seems to have been forgotten or never understood by many people in today’s society.

This lack of regard by some of our fellow citizens for anything or anyone other than themselves continually leaves me questioning the civility and intelligence of some of the people in our country.

But you may ask “Where does this frustration come from?”

I could go on a rant about how some people in today’s world refuse to give you the time of day, but that is not my point.

It is those people who take their disrespect and indecency too far.

Whether it is the woman who tried to assault the McDonald’s worker after she was told chicken McNuggets were not available, or some of the latest rhetoric in the political ads, I continually witness a complete disregard for other human beings.

But maybe this disregard is just plain stupidity.

Given that I am an Internet news junkie, I find many articles written about the basic lack of courtesy towards others while surfing the web.

One example stopped me in my tracks.

This past Saturday, thousands of people rallied in our nation’s capital at the “One Nation Working Together” rally.  The rally, held at the Lincoln Memorial, had a crowd that stretched out onto the National Mall.

The problem was not the rally, but the manner in which some of the attendees conducted themselves upon leaving.

There are numerous pictures and videos from the aftermath of the rally, showing trash scattered across some of our nations most respected memorials.

As I saw the videos of the World War II Memorial covered in debris, I was beyond annoyed.  When I saw the pictures of the bottles, signs and trash scattered around, I was mortified.

This display of disrespect was unacceptable. How could anyone treat such a sacred place like this?

According to the U.S. National Park Service, “The WWII Memorial commemorates the sacrifice and celebrates the victory of the greatest generation.”

The memorial is there for us to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country.  It is a place of reverence and honor, not a trash dump.  Obviously, some people can not comprehend what that means.

This is not the only time I have witnessed such disgraceful behavior. While visiting Washington, D.C., in the summer of 2009, the same type of thoughtless act was played out before my eyes.

When walking around the WWII Memorial, I witnessed about 100 people dangling their feet in the pool in the center of the monument.  There were even a few who were wading. In a clear disregard for the signs prohibiting entry into the water, people lined the edge, splashing around.

What was wrong with these people? That memorial honors men and women who died to protect our freedoms and that is no way to honor them.

The thought of it still makes me cringe.  No one in their right mind should ever act like that.

It has been written that “courtesy is owed, respect is earned and love is given.”

I am a big proponent of that sentiment.

Unfortunately, some people do not deserve any of those three.


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