Last week, a contract totaling more than $378,000 was awarded to develop and manufacture signs for Civil War-era cemeteries, including "18 unique interpretive signs for Confederate lots." The contract was awarded by Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
The "interpretive signs" provide context and analysis of the information presented as opposed to strictly informational or directional signs.
The scope of work for this project includes, but is not limited to providing all labor, material and design services needed to analyze and distill into one to three interpretive signs to be placed in 79 Civil War-era National Cemeteries and 24 other NCA-managed cemeteries. The purpose of this contract is to procure one generic interpretive sign for 79 National Cemeteries and 18 unique interpretive signs for Confederate lots; with up to 90 unique interpretive signs for the same National Cemeteries. The content of generic interpretive signs to be produced has been developed in draft by NCA; the content for the other signage to be produced will require research, development and design by the contractor.
Care of the cemeteries falls under the National Cemetery Administration, which is a division of the VA.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) largely escaped the automatic budget cuts, widely known as sequestration, that hit in March. As the Washington Post reported at the time, a bipartisan consensus spared the VA's $140 billion budget from the legislation.
The new signage may relate to the Civil War Sesquicentennial, which runs from 2011 through 2015.
Concerned Veterans of America has a new web video out marking the national debt passing the $16 trillion mark on Tuesday afternoon. The ad focuses on the threat the debt poses to national security, and points out that the "interest on the debt will soon exceed the defense budget." Watch the ad below:
In campaign remarks this afternoon in San Antonio, Texas, President Obama made a national security case for a strong economy and suggested that his opponent, Mitt Romney, won't take proper care of veterans if he's elected president.
Vice President Joe Biden visited wounded veterans yesterday in Las Vegas, and told them, "You guys don't have a damn thing to be ashamed of." It is not clear why Biden might think veterans would be ashamed.
Over the weekend, MSNBC host Chris Hayes told his viewers that he's "uncomfortable" with calling "war dead and the fallen ... 'heroes.'" Now, the Veterans of Foreign Wars group have responded by saying that Hayes's comments "are reprehensible and disgusting" and are asking for the MSNBC host to apologize.
From the Boston Herald: The story of Lance Cpl. Evan Reichenthal, an Afghanistan veteran: “It puts life into perspective when you almost die—when you really almost die, not just your cell phone is out of service or something. When I walked again, it was the best feeling ever."
What exactly do we celebrate on Veterans Day? To be sure, we mean to honor the brave men and women, living and dead, who have fought America’s battles, past and present. But honor them how, and for what? About these matters, we lack a clear national answer.
MItt Romney took a thinly veiled jab at his opponent Rick Perry at a speech at the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) annual national convention in San Antonio today. "I am a conservative businessman," Romney said. "I have spent most of my life outside of politics, dealing with real problems in the real economy. Career politicians got us into this mess and they simply don't know how to get us out."
Romney himself served four years as governor of Massachusetts, his only political office, though he did run unsuccessfully both for the Senate in 1994 and for president in 2008.
This week we celebrate the fact that 235 years ago, our Founding Fathers declared our independence. We should never forget though, that the freedom proclaimed in words on July 4, 1776, did not become reality for five more years – only after the Continental Army sacrificed untold amounts of blood, sweat, and tears. From the start, the foundation of this nation has always been the brave men and women in uniform and that is still the case today. But as has happened before, we are not doing nearly enough to care for and stabilize that critical foundation.
Close after dawn and armed with a local map I take a stroll in empty fields, canyons, woods, but preferably near a creek or river because since childhood I’ve loved the sound they make. Moving water is forever in the present tense, a condition we rather achingly avoid.