Beyond a loyalty to America’s ideals, beyond a willingness to dissent on behalf of those ideals, I also believe that patriotism must, if it is to mean anything, involve the willingness to sacrifice â€“ to give up something we value on behalf of a larger cause. For those who have fought under the flag of this nation â€“ for the young veterans I meet when I visit Walter Reed; for those like John McCain who have endured physical torment in service to our country â€“ no further proof of such sacrifice is necessary. And let me also add that no one should ever devalue that service, especially for the sake of a political campaign, and that goes for supporters on both sides. We must always express our profound gratitude for the service of our men and women in uniform. Period. Full stop.
Time writer Michael Scherer adds:
Sure enough, just as I was about to publish this blog post, I got an email from Obama spokesman Bill Burton: “As he’s said many times before, Senator Obama honors and respects Senator McCain’s service, and of course he rejects yesterday’s statement by General Clark.”
Related: The McCain camp fights back.