With just about every day bringing the 150th anniversary of some Civil War milestone this week's remembrance of the Battle of Gettysburg prime among them it is even more fitting and proper that the nation that rose out of that conflict should remember its obligation to its veterans.
In his Second Inaugural Address, Abraham Lincoln saw past the war and to a time of peace and reconciliation. Among his charges to the nation were that it should "bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan."
These days, such is the responsibility of the Department of Veterans Affairs. It is a large bureaucracy, to be sure, but not large enough, or efficient enough, to keep pace with the demands placed upon it by the flood of applications for benefits and services created by a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan.