Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Those who served paid--and most still pay

In the U.S., today is Veterans Day, when we honor those who served in our armed forces.

My stepfather, Ed, served.  My friend, Dave, served.  I've known many folks who did.  I did not; Nixon ended the draft before I could be drafted.

All the vets I've known who were in war zones paid not only then but afterward, when they had to carry the scars--sometimes physical, always emotional--of that service.  No one escapes a war unscathed.  Ed didn't.  Dave didn't.  No one does.

When we contemplate sending men and women to war, we should think long and hard about the costs we're asking them to bear for the rest of their lives--assuming they live through the conflict; many will not.  When those who survive come home, we should honor them, thank them, and be prepared to spend to take care of them, to help them deal with the costs they are bearing for what we as a society asked them to do.

We shame ourselves and dishonor them when we do anything less, and, sadly, we usually do far less.


Mark P said...

In the UK we seem more aware now of their sacrifice that perhaps we did when I was a child. Both my daughters have had the opportunity to travel to Ypres in Belgium, visit the trenches, see the last post played at Menin Gate and in my younger daughters case lay a wreath. It was an opportunity to explain to them how 3 of their great grand parents took part in WW1. One being gassed and another loosing both legs. One of them actually took part in one of the battle of Ypres. We also came to realize that the body of a Great Uncle has never been recovered and the only memorial is a name on a memorial.
This December we plan to visit Bastogne on the way to Cologne so hopefully they will learn a bit about the Battle of the Bulge. They've also been to the large US cemetery above the D-Day beaches.

I hope and believe they are aware of the sacrifice's made.

Mark said...

That's a neat thing. I think in the U.S. the situation is more mixed, with some folks much more aware, and some much less so.


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