Bryce Jacobson, Business Beat
Bryce Jacobson's "Business Beat" appears Mondays in the Craig Daily Press
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I'd like to use this week's column to divert from the regular business-related topics and discuss an issue equally as important as the positive happenings of our local marketplace.
Next week, we'll get back to covering local business news and notes, but I think this week's topic is relevant, particularly on a day such as today, when Americans everywhere are enjoying a day off, a luxury afforded them by living in a free country.
That freedom has its price, however.
As I drove around last week and noticed American flags flying at half-staff in honor of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, I felt myself becoming resentful.
Don't get me wrong; Senator Kennedy was responsible for some great things in our country, and he deserves respect.
But, I wonder, did he deserve the honor of the President of the United States ordering the flags to be lowered in honor of his life?
If he did, who else does?
The politicians who set policy in our country are paid well, provide their service in a wonderfully lush building, have many days off and the opportunity to spend those days with their families.
They have wonderful health care and usually are kept from harm's way.
The same cannot be said of what I believe are far less heralded, and equally important contributors to our free society.
Our country is at war, and we have soldiers who are sacrificing time with their families, the safety and comfort of a 9 to 5 job and, in thousands of cases, their own lives.
If we bestow the honor given to the late senator to a politician who dies while serving, I think soldiers who die fighting for their country in a far away land should get the same treatment.
To me, it seems that we are so desensitized to the death of soldiers now that we barely notice.
To be fair, I do have to mention that Gov. Bill Ritter uses his authority to honor Colorado's fallen soldiers who have died at war.
In fact, he even honored the service of Brett Stearns, a local Bureau of Land Management firefighter, who died in the line of duty in June.
I wish this same respect, the same as for Kennedy's death, was paid to every soldier who dies while serving their country.
Many people have today, Labor Day, to relax and not go to work.
Although Labor Day is not set aside as necessarily a patriotic day, I encourage you to spend time with your family today and be thankful for the troops who have served our country and are serving you.
It is because of them that you have the freedoms you have.