Opinion

Bob Mitchell: 24 days until Christmas!

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Well, today not only brings us to the final month of 2021, but, to all of you Christmas shoppers, I thought you might need a reminder that there are just 24 days remaining until Christmas Day.

As the Christmas season approaches, my thoughts are that we will have multiple reasons to remember this year, in addition to the birth of Jesus Christ.

If it is possible to take the merchandising out of this season, Christís birth is the primary reason for the near-year-ending observance that means so much to this supposed Christian nation of ours.

If you are a TV watcher, as I have become, there seems to be an overwhelming dominance of the advertising directed at the audiences these days by the health care people. With the millions of dollars being spent on this attempt at directing how dollars are spent, is there any wonder where most American dollars are being spent?

Late VA stats

The Veterans Administration information, which I requested for the appropriate time this month, arrived after Veterans Day, but it is just as appropriate now, serving as a lasting reminder of what those who served in the military really contributed to those freedoms we still have remaining in this country.

For the entirety of battle deaths in four major conflicts the numbers are: out of over 16 million men in uniform for World War II there were 291,557; for the Korean War 33,379; Vietnam War 47,434; and Desert Shield 148.

These numbers do not include those losing their lives defending freedom prior to World War II.

Those WWII vets

Another interesting fact in the information provided was the number of WWII veterans that are still with us and the number that is falling off this muster annually.

According to the VA, there were 226,756 of them, most of whom were either reaching their century mark in age or crowding that 100 mark very closely.

And, again according to the records and longevity factors involved, by Sept. 30, 2025, that number will decrease to 61,256. Four years later, Sept. 30, 2029, those surviving will number 12,247.

One statistic for WWI shows no survivors, but 827 children and 553 spouses were still living when these numbers were made available according to a date this summer. Benefit numbers for veterans, not beginning until WWII, under the Service Connected category included 5,209,957.

A veteranís poem

It is the veteran, not the reporter that gives us the freedom of the press.

It is the soldier, not the poet that gives us the freedom of speech.

It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, that gives us the freedom to demonstrate.

The soldier, who serves beneath the flag.

And, whose coffin is draped by the flag.

Who allows the protester to burn the flag.

(Note: Not all of these can find complete agreement from this computer, yet, these facts can find complete agreement in many households.)

Decemberís Almanac

There really isnít much encouragement in the weather predictions posted in the Almanac. Such words as unsettled and frigid are possibilities across the nation during December. Hardly any region escapes the wrath of Old Man Winter.

There are some possibilities for fisherpersons who might be anxious to try some equipment that was under the Christmas tree. Best fishing days are Dec. 9th and 10th, 19th and 20th. And then there are good fishing days remaining on the 7th, 15th, 28th and 29th. That will take you right into the New Year.

Bob Mitchell is the former editor and publisher of the Cassville Democrat. He is a 2017 inductee to both the Missouri Press Association Hall of Fame and Missouri Southern State Universityís Regional Media Hall of Fame.