Today is the day we are told to honor the veterans of the American Armed Forces. Children get the day off from school (though they really don’t know why), some colleges (but not mine….) take the day off as well (for overcoming their weekend hangovers without missing class) and everyone posts on facebook about their “gratitude.”
Maybe I’m a little pessimistic about all of this, but why can’t we be gracious of our veterans (and those men and women still in the service), ALL THE TIME? Why do we need a special day to honor them and thank them for all they have done, are doing, or will do, for our nation? Veterans Day was initially conceptualized so that we could celebrate and remember the first world war and it’s end. It was called “Armistice Day,” and was designed to honor those who served in the WW1 (and to celebrate the peace achieved by the resolution), but after WW2, it was obvious we had to make some changes, as WW2 “required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history,” (US. Dpt of Veterans Affairs) creating A LOT of veterans who definitely deserved some gratitude.
Today is a a day to remember Peace, and those individuals in our lives who have fought or served in our nations armed forces to that end. But ask any veteran if they experienced peace, or felt that they were creating a more peaceful world by fighting, killing, or hurting other people, and I guarantee that they will tell you a different interpretation. They may believe that they were working for the greater good, but there is no way peace was at the forefront of their minds when they were pulling the trigger aimed at another human being.
Just keep that in mind when you are thinking about your loved ones who served. They fought for the safety you have today, they did it for YOUR future, but at the expense of their own. That’s what Veteran’s Day is about. Appreciating the sacrifices made by those who served, appreciating what freedoms you have thanks to them, rather than who can write the nicest facebook post about how great your granddaddy was. Call him and tell him that you realize what he did for you, rather than exalt the actions he took as a soldier under orders.