Today in Houston, Lloyd Bentsen is being remembered as an old style southern conservative Democrat politican. He was a solid citizen and never associated with any scandals or disparaging actions. It is a shame, however, that he is commonly remembered for his "you're no John Kennedy" line to Dan Quayle during that vice presidental debate. He was above a cheap shot like that and he knew it.
Michael Dukakis and Lloyd Bentsen lost that Presidential race in a landslide to George H.W. Bush and Dan Quayle. The only state they carried was Massachusetts, Mr. Dukakis' state.
Lloyd Bentsen should be remembered as the youngest House member when he took office at the age of 27 in the nation's capitol, he was one of the few Southern congressmen to vote against the poll tax that was a tool to keep minority voting down, he was a U.S. senator, and Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. He pushed through tax legislation and trade policies. He was secretary of treasury for President Clinton and a big supporter of NAFTA.
He will be eulogized by former President Clinton. The memorial service is next week at the First Presbyterian Church here in Houston.
Lloyd Bentsen was a veteran of World War II, earning a Distinguised Flying Cross commendation. He was a B-24 squadron commander. He flew 50 combat missions in Europe. I wonder what Mr. Bentsen would think of the action taken by the School Board of Stamford, Ct. The School Board has decided to eliminate the school holiday that honors Veteran's Day during the upcoming school year. Rather than school closing Friday, Nov. 10 to celebrate the holiday that falls on the next day, Saturday, the School Board would like to cancel that idea so that school may be dismissed for the year a day earlier in June. Needless to say, local vets are furious at the insult this action throws in their faces.
Justification for this elimination of school holiday is made by the board and teachers claiming that the students can learn more about history and service to country from them at school than at home where they may just be playing and watching tv. Oh, ok. Yeah, we all know how much we can rely on teachers to actually teach children about military history and the respect some hold for this history.
I liked the question presented by a parent of two young sons in the school system, a member of the local Marine Corps League, proposed when he asked about the idea of also cancelling Martin Luther King Day holiday, Labor Day holiday, and Columbus Day holiday. Couldn't teachers educate children about civil disobedience, workers and labor unions and explorers? There I go with the common sense again.
A nation at war should not gloss over the service of veterans of military service. That is no way to say thank you.
"Don't worry that children never listen to you. Worry that they are always watching you." - Robert Fulghum