Tuesday, November 10, 2009

No War Day

Veteran’s Day is a day America sets aside to honor its veterans. It is a day that we should honor veterans for their dedication and commitment. It is not a day that we should glorify the wars in which many have served. Veteran’s Day is as much a metaphor of our past as it should be a metaphor for our future, war “NEVER AGAIN!”

I am proud of our veterans in that many have selfishly served our country, whether that service is voluntary or not, based on a belief propagated by our government and many Americans that their service was and is necessary to preserve our freedom and our way of life. Their courage, loyalty, and devotion are extraordinary.

I am not proud of our government or Americans who do not respect life and who will send an American into harms way willy-nilly, base its necessity on fabrication, wage war of their own design or imbue Americans with the notion that If we didn’t have a military we would not have a country.

As long as we are under that impression and as long as Americans believe that diplomacy and negotiation are analogous to appeasement, war will remain the only remaining option. With that mindset, the mantra “NEVER AGAIN!” will not ever have any meaning; there will always continue to be veterans and Veterans Day, which is more of a celebration of war than honoring their service.

Andy Rooney on CBS’s 60 Minutes had a good thought. His view, Declare War On War.

Watch CBS News Videos Online

The following is the transcript of what he said:

(CBS) I keep this calendar on my desk, and while I don't look at it very often I notice that this Wednesday is Veterans Day. It's one of ten federal holidays that we have. Well, I'm a veteran and I hate that name.

Considering that we aren't technically at war now, there's an awful lot about war in the news even when it's not something like Veterans Day. I suppose that's because there's so much fighting in the world. There are half a dozen small wars going on right now - some of them in places most of us have never been to or even never heard of before.

Too many young men and women with a whole life ahead of them are getting killed before they have a chance to live it and for what?

Of all the things that men do - historically mostly men - fighting a war to kill other men is the most uncivilized.

Wars have been fought through time and we may think we're more civilized now than people were 100 or 500 years ago but there's no sign that fighting wars is a thing of the past. There's always one going on somewhere.

Eight of my classmates - friends really - in school and college were killed in World War II. I've had 60 years of life that those eight friends never had. We call this a civilization?

More than 5,200 American men and women, kids really - have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. It may be a small number in two small wars but if you're one of those killed or even a father or mother of one, there's nothing small about it.

Why not, instead of commemorating Veterans Day, we establish and work on what we could call a No War Day.

The name doesn't have much of a ring to it but a day like that would be worth celebrating