Sedentary during national moments of silence? We shouldn’t do that

I’m not against napping for a few hours. What I’m against is a national moment of silence to honor fallen military personnel while the Navy SEAL who got to pull the trigger gets to serve his second day on the job.

The era of unrestricted war that began in the George W. Bush administration, and continues to ravage the world, is part of the national conversation this week. Our Democratic presidential candidates have called for reflection on the 13 Americans who died Thursday night, in a military training exercise off the coast of Virginia. The former Republican congressman Ron Paul proposes instead a “Dedication Day” to honor the more than 11,000 service members who die in Afghanistan and Iraq since 9/11.

And we here at The Diplomat got what the term “national moment of silence” might mean by reading all 17 recent instances of national moments of silence for such events as firefighters killed in New York City in September 2001 and members of the military killed in Niger in October of last year.

But despite being on my own midsummer weekends, I’m not going to be paying more attention to such events than usual. My two oldest daughters are starting Kindergarten and pre-K this week and I will be too busy with their schedules to focus my attention or my money on the candidates in the presidential race.

That’s not to say I am not paying attention. Every candidate for president has an army of surrogates, political and media aides, with many more millions of dollars, from whom they can purchase advertisements all over the country. And we’re still six weeks out. It feels like more of a distant future than an immediate election day.

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