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The difference in those who want it all rather than give it all

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By Caroline Curran, Reporter

I saw something on Facebook the other day that really caught my attention. No, it wasn’t a free iPad offer or people posting random fruits or colors in hopes of expressing some cryptic message with their closest 700 friends.

It was a picture, well, two pictures really, probably aided by Photoshop or some other photo-editing software.

If you’re on Facebook, you’ve probably seen it by now. Two photos, side by side, the first a group of what appear to be World War II soldiers, the second a group of Occupy Wall Street protesters.

Beneath the first photo a caption reads, “A group of 20-year-olds in 1944 giving it all.” The caption beneath the second photo reads, “A group of 20-year-olds in 2011 wanting it all.”

Wow.

I’m sure some will accuse me of falling for propaganda. But come on, how true is this?

It’s not just the 20-year-olds, and it’s not just the Occupy Wall Streeters.

We’re all guilty of getting caught up in our own lives and forgetting the trials and sacrifices of others.

We’re human. We’re fallible. It’s part of the job description of humans.

So it’s important to take a moment each day, even if it’s just a photo on Facebook that catches your eye, to remember how fortunate we all are, if for no other reason than to live in a free country.

As the daughter of a hard-working Polish immigrant who left Socialist Poland behind and the granddaughter of two people who met in a Nazi prison camp during World War II, the blessing of being born an American does not escape me.

With Veterans Day this week, it makes me even madder when I heard the anti-American vitriol being spewed by Occupy Wall Street protesters. They cite their constitutional right to assemble, yet they seem to forget it is preceded by the word “peacefully.” They fight. They riot. They demand.

They demand of others, but what do they offer?

They curse America and its leaders. They curse our economy and banking system. What’s next? Will they curse the men and women fighting for our country? Will they call them murderers?

I’m sure some already have.

What do they do? They occupy. Is this all they have to offer? Is this their great contribution to the future of our country?

Invading parks, over-dosing on drugs and rioting in Burger Kings? Breaking windows and putting small business owners out of business?

What a legacy by which to be remembered.

I’ve written about the irony of their so-called movement before, but it just takes on a whole new meaning for me this week. They demand jobs, but refuse to take jobs they feel are beneath them. They demand change, but they’re not sure to what. They curse capitalism yet thrive on the goods and services which it provides.

Imagine, instead of occupying parks if they occupied a cubicle? There’s no shame in an honest day’s work, even if a spoiled 20-something with his father’s credit card and an iPhone thinks it’s beneath him or her.

Imagine if instead of occupying Wall Street they were occupying a combat zone in the Kandahar Province in Afghanistan?

Fortunately for all of us, we already have those brave souls—men and women giving it all instead of demanding it all.

I guess we don’t need to look back to 1944 to illustrate the stark difference. It still exists today.

God bless them and keep them. And to these men and women—past, present and future—I offer a simple but heartfelt thank you today, Veterans Day and every day.