Saturday, November 11, 2006

On Veteran's Day

The 11th Hour of the 11th day of the11th month.

I've been struggling for a couple of years to try to put this day in some perspective. Trying, desperately, to find a way to remember those who sacrificed their lives for our country without glorifying war itself. It's not as easy as it would seem.

I am the son of a career serviceman.

I served (begrudgingly for sure, but I served nevertheless).

But, somehow...I just don't get the hype of Veterans day. I think our friend, Attaturk over at Rising Hegemon put it close to what I'm feeling:

The purpose of Veteran's Day is not to celebrate the victory of the
soldier, their accomplishment of a policy end. But to remember those who
sacrificed, and risked their lives. Often, in our nation's history, these losses
have been for nefarious or useless ends (Mexican-American War, Vietnam, and now
we all know whether we want to or not, Iraq 2003-2006), as well as for noble

War creates heros, but mostly it creates victims. The former is usually
what politicians like Bush want to celebrate, but it is the latter that is the
reality we do not like to dwell upon.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row

,That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved, and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

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