I got in trouble recently for criticizing a veteran. Before you all jump on me, let me tell you what happened. I stopped into one of my favorite sandwich shops to pay my condolences to the owner who had just lost his 92-year-old father. He gave me a hug and accepted my flowers and told me to sit down and have some coffee and a canoli with him. I was lost in the decadence of this pastry, so I had half-tuned out my grieving friend. I heard bits and pieces about his father and the great man he was. I started to tune back in when the man began to recall what a great war hero the old gentleman was and how he killed many of the enemy on his own which resulted in him being awarded medals for bravery.
Understand that I was trying to be a good consoler, but I just blurted out, “But wasn’t your father on the bad side? Didn’t he fight for Mussolini and Hitler?”
And just like that the converstation stopped and I realized I had worn out my welcome. I didn’t mean to insult him but his father was on the bad side. Right? I’m not sure if I would be bragging about the old man’s war record here in the US. People are funny. One day we are enemies and the next day we are allies sharing a cup of coffee. Of course, now I have to find a new place to have a cannoli. I have a feeling from now on, my cannoli-making friend might just spit in my food.