A new academic year has begun and blue skies have returned to San Francisco, inducing many to take to the park or beach, attend music festivals with friends or possibly look forward to a November homecoming with family.
It is likely that only few of us will be headed to Iraq, with the majority awaiting the start of an exciting internship or simply figuring out how to get through our first year of college.
Here, after more than five years of occupation, more than 4,000 servicemen and women killed, an estimated cost of $3 trillion dollars to our economy and millions of displaced Iraqi refugees, we, the college age population of the United States have not been required to give up anything.
Our taxes have not been raised, there has been no draft instated and we do not see the images of war every day.
Should a democracy work this way? Is it reasonable and fair that over 140,000 troops and their families have to endure physical and emotional stress so that we can sit out in the sun and revel in fall flowers? The current state of affairs is ridiculous and shameful.
I am not a proponent of war (especially when it is based upon false pretenses).
I respect and admire those who are presently serving or have served in the armed forces. The problem is that beyond the fact that our leaders of government are unwilling to challenge the American people, we as students and as a university in particular have not done enough to realize that America is at war.
Yes, I have seen posters to donate certain materials to our troops and of course this topic is routinely discussed in classes, which is great, but not enough.
For starters, I would love to see this school’s newspaper take a higher road than many local and national publications by at the very least publishing the names of those service people who were lost on the front page each week.
Again, USFtv has the opportunity to tell the story through interviews and pictures of specific soliders who have served or are training to leave.
The University itself could set a noble precedent by inviting current and former servicemen to present on any number of topics including ethics, theology and America’s place in an ever changing world.
I know many people will disagree with my approach. They will say that this is not the place nor is it our responsibility to engage our service people.
Some will argue that because this war is unjust, it is not reasonable to promote the armed forces on our campus or applaud the use of force in global affairs.
To the detractors of a more informed campus I ask, are the lives of those who have sacrificed in the name of your well being not worth a simple thank you?
As citizens of the United States, the least we can do is stop to acknowledge those who enable us to freely participate in fruitful discussions, on a beautiful campus, in a world renowned city.
Jon Coon is a junior finance major, economics and politics minor. He blogs at www.infoforlivin.blogspot.com