Honor and Glory ; what does it mean to an old soldier?
Some time ago someone raised the question of whether things like Remembrance Day , Memorial Day,Veterans Day or even Anzac Day should be quietly put to rest because they appeared to give war a mystique and aura of glory to the young.
People question whether war which is really such a traumatic life -changing experience for the survivors and definitely life -changing for the dead; should be remembered as it is? They were of course shouted down and vilified but seriously do you think they have a point. Should we not teach that diplomacy, compromise and above all else an understanding of the facts is a far preferable solution and war a very absolute desperate last resort?
War is tied to nationalism and my belief that nationalism has brought the world, as we know it, to its knees
Of course we should forget such things, as homage days for the those who were killed in meaningless wars for, although it is hypocritically put on as a show of remembrance it really glorifies conflict.
For instance, in world war one the young men from Australia and New Zealand joined the forces in droves to get to defend a country that enslaved them and tied them to the "British Empire"
They could not wait to travel to see the worst side of humanity, the side that enjoys killing his fellow human beings, for what reason I believe that nobody has put the finger on, for sure.
My own opinion is that to fight and kill or hurt is a part of the human form and psyche. This is based on the fact that in us all there is a rage than can, and does consume us at times, a rage that can turn us against our friends even, for, how quick we are to turn on the temper that we have within us all
We argue and get heated about things that are often so unimportant and inconsequential that it is tragic that we would be willing to lose a friend over, just to be right.
As proof of this, every time this subject comes up I can feel the fire rise up in me and all hell breaks lose in my mind, so strong .... this quirk of human nature
I have seen the people in other countries on Armistice day stand in the rain and cold to, "Honor" their dead and then go to the pub, get intoxicated and then argue and fight over the slightest thing .
Just watch them on the other 364 days when they pass a monument to the dead and see if they bow their heads, salute, or show any emotion at all, no, they reserve it for that one day. I keep well away on that day from this show of hypocrisy that, in my opinion demeans us as people
Those who know me tell me that I am wrong and it worries me not as it is the one time that I say, with confidence, "They have gone to a better place" They must have ,as the battlefield is the place for fools , Prophet/profit's and of violence ...where they go they will find the unconditional acceptance that has eluded them on earth. A new beginning.
As a disabled vet I know what a dreadful scourge the pursuit of war is and I do think that the sacrifice of all the millions of blessedly innocent young on both sides must be acknowledged and not seen as in vain. But at the same time war has to be rejected as a way of solving the world's problems. We have to find a less virulent solution
How can we both hate the war and support our troops? They are half of the problem over there. When are we going to teach our children to stop waving flags and use their reason to think it through to the end.
I dislike the use of the term,"our boys".One trained to kill and one who murders his fellow man is no longer a boy in my book."I'm only doing my job",but it’s a volunteer army, who told you to do it? Its your choice to kill.
Yeah but in situations a soldier finds themselves in ; maybe self-preservation kicks in because it is usually kill or be killed. Although I have to admit that nowadays warfare can almost be conducted as a remote experiment.
No one wants peace more than a soldier, and few understand better how easy it is to waste... one life. When men reduce their world to ‘ two dogs fighting over a bone’ ... the things in life that hold true value ...as a culture , suffer. I think instead of fighting we should consider finding a new ‘bone’, re-evaluate our values as a society starting with money...
I could go on about war but I don’t think it offers anything productive which is why I say ‘thanks but no thanks, I am staying stateside.’
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