Sunday, November 10, 2013

Let's stop glorifying the killing of people all over the world by supposed "heroes"

Only one more shopping day until the deluge of maudlin bathos about "heroes" who went all over the world killing other people. I prefer Canada's Remembrance Day to the U.S. Veterans' Day and the post-9/11 abuse of the word "hero."

Let's take this in parts. Veterans of war are, generally speaking, people who trained to, and were prepared for, killing other human beings on command. That's institutionalized murder.

War is simply wrong by any standard. Without soldiers willing to shoot there would be no wars.
 To glorify veterans has a myriad of problems.
  • First, you don't get to be a "veteran" just by wearing a uniform. You have to go to actual war. People who were posted in Germany or Korea during the Vietnam War are not veterans.
  • Second, people in uniform volunteer for it and are paid handsomely, so it's a job; if they deserve a special day, let's have a Garbage Collector Day since they protect our health risking their own by exposure to noxious materials. People in uniform get 
    • discounted food and housing (plus clothing, remember the uniform?);
    • health care unrivalled by anything available to civilians; and
    • a pension and lifelong benefits.
  • Third, veterans are not automatically heroes. That's why even the military has medals for heroism and not every GI Joe or Jane gets one. Heroism involves valor, prowess, gallantry, bravery, courage, daring and fortitude. Just sitting on your but in a uniform doesn't cut it.
Veterans are few and far between and they are no more deserving than other citizens who do as much or more for the national community without killing anyone.

In sum, for these and other reasons, November 11 should be reserved for remembering the horrors of war, which is brought on by those willing to kill on command. We recall the tragedy of war in hopes it will never happen again.
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