Ramon Presson

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I intended this week for you to be reading “Part 2: Where Have All the Court Jesters Gone?” It is the sequel to last week’s column in which I expressed concern about the disappearance of humor columnists in national and local newspapers, apparently abducted by alien publishers and editors.

But that serious column about comedy will have to wait, because I read a quote this morning during breakfast that made me choke on my Cheerios. 

DJ, don’t play that again

It is difficult not to be stunned into reverential silence or moved to tears when standing in Arlington National Cemetery, beholding the landscape of gleaming white headstones representing the hundreds of thousands of American soldiers killed in battle dating back to the Civil War.

Donald Trump Jr. had an unusual reaction during his visit. 

On the weekend before Veterans Day, no less, below is the actual quote from Donald Trump Jr’s just-released book Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us. Trump’s oldest son wrote that when the First Family visited the famous cemetery to witness his father lay a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, it made him think of all the business and financial “sacrifices” his family had to make in their father’s quest to become president.

DJ wrote that “I rarely get emotional, if ever,” but seeing the graves made him feel the “importance of the presidency and a love of our country.” So far, so good. But then he added: “In that moment, I also thought of all the attacks we’d already suffered as a family, and about all the sacrifices we’d have to make to help my father succeed — voluntarily giving up a huge chunk of our business and all international deals to avoid the appearance that we were ‘profiting off the office.’”

ARE YOU SERIOUS??? Standing on the hallowed ground where men and women are buried who died in battle while serving in our nation’s armed forces actually made you think of the “sacrifices” you and your family have made in business profits? You actually equate the two as being similar?

We all remember the analogy quiz questions we got in elementary school. 

I think I know Donald Jr’s answers to the following:

Which of these two things are most similar?

A)   Peaches and Plums

B)   Apples and Pineapples

C)   Violent death and moderate revenue loss

Creek is to Stream as…

A)   Sea is to Ocean

B)   Mountain is to Valley

C)   Funeral to Stock drop

Earth is to the Solar System as…

A)   A puddle is to a pond

B)   An atom is to a bowling ball

C)   Young widow is to a rich kid

Genuine Sacrifice

My middle name is Louis. Sgt. Louis W. Williamson was the brother of my grandmother, Georgia Williamson Presson. In January 1945, while serving overseas in World War II, Louis was killed in France. The army reported that “Louis was made scout leader and was leading his entire division across an open field when he was killed.” The division chaplain added that “death was caused by machine gun under unusually heavy fire.”  

According to military records Louis made four land invasions and four river crossings; was shipwrecked off the coast of Italy; and was wounded just before entering Rome when his company was leading American forces entering the city. He received the Presidential Citation at Casablanca and was awarded a photograph of President Roosevelt.  

After recovering from his wounds, Louis volunteered to go back and break up a German counter-attack for which he received the Silver Star medal. He was awarded seven stars for major battles in Africa, Sicily, Italy and France. Louis’ parents were presented with his posthumous Purple Heart medal. Louis Williamson made a sacrifice. His parents made a sacrifice. That, Donald Jr., is the real meaning of sacrifice.

Of Mettle and Medals

When I turned 21, my father presented me with Uncle Louis’ medals, which I promptly had mounted and framed. Hanging on the wall in my counseling office they are often noticed and commented on by clients which prompts a succinct recounting of the origin of my middle name.    

I hope my Uncle Louis would be proud of me, his namesake. Hopefully I have honored with my life the personal values he stood for and the principles he was willing to die for.  

And I hope that it might be said of me that I’ve unselfishly helped a lot of people, but not a single minute of those thousands of hours of ministry and counseling would I call a sacrifice. I have a daily reminder on my office wall what true sacrifice is and what is means.

Ramon Presson, PhD, is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Franklin (www.ramonpressontherapy.com) and the author of several books. Reach him at ramonpresson@gmail.com.

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