A 'service' minded approach to help cure what ails U.S.


Tom Kirvan

Legal News, Editor-in-Chief

For a country experiencing a fractious political divide, it is an idea whose time has come.
It is not new to the United States. In fact, in some form it has been enacted multiple times at various points of national crisis, principally during the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World War I, and World War II.

In many respects, we are at another cultural crossroads now, this time fueled by divisions between black and white, right and left, red state and blue state, setting the stage for potentially deadly collisions that threaten to leave our democracy in shambles.

Attorney Joe Papelian is among those ready to draw the line for the good of the country, recently writing a letter to President Joseph Biden and U.S. Senator Mitt Romney in a bipartisan attempt to bridge the political gap that seemingly gets wider and deeper by the day.

In his February 16 letter, Papelian wrote: “I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican. I am an American who believes those who are fortunate to live here should act in the best interests of the United States. I would like to believe that politicians share that view, and especially you – the leaders of the two major political parties in this country.”

Added Papelian: “It is alarming the sharp division we now face. There is little room for sharing ideas with aim to understanding positions one may not at first readily understand. There is a complete lack of tolerance with anything new. How do we address this myopia?

“In my judgment, Mandatory National Service would be a major step in addressing the narrow-mindless that exists today. While Mandatory National Service would provide young and energetic assistance to many government programs, the greater benefit would be in bringing together diverse people with a common and noble goal of working to make this country better. And Mandatory National Service would be an excellent way to provide future benefits for school, learning a vocation, or mortgages to name just a few. This is not a cost – it’s an investment in our most important resource.”

In closing, Papelian noted that “so many young residents do not fully appreciate their good fortune of living in America.” 

As the son of an Armenian immigrant, Papelian knows the importance of hard work, drawing lifelong inspiration from his father Edward, a decorated B-26 bomber pilot during World War II. His dad, who flew some 25 bombing missions over Europe and North Africa, knew all about self-sacrifice for the good of mankind, something that current and future generations of Americans would do well to emulate.

Said his son: “Requiring participation in Mandatory National Service will enhance their understanding of the opportunities this country provides, and the importance of good government. These are tomorrow’s leaders. It’s time to invest in them – and for them to invest in America.”

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