Byon November 11, 2008 11:00 AM
At this, the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month we as a planet remember the end of hostilities in World War I. Ninety years have passed since the War to End All Wars we find humanity still caught up many sectarian conflicts globally, and the United States caught in two wars in the Middle East.
Clearly, those men who fought in World War I were a little too ambitious in how they named that conflict, which I believe is why, in 1953, the United States has since extended this celebration to focus not solely on the Armistice of 1918, but to celebrate all those people who have served in the military, particularly in war time.
I have several uncles, and some more distant cousins, who either are serving today, or have served in the last several decades (was Desert Storm really almost 20 years ago? Wow.) While I personally have never served, nor would I plan to enlist barring serious global conditions I don’t feel are very likely, I try to honor those who have, and those who still are. Ours is a nation with a history which is rife with wars, though not much worse than most countries, I suppose. The only thing that’s interesting on this note, is that in the last century, we’ve had virtually no combat experienced on American shores.
America as a nation has many times sent our military to support other nations, mostly in the name of ‘spreading the light of freedom’. It’s interesting, largely because the American public shows virtually no interest in the politics of other nations. How many people can name the current Prime Minister of Britain? The President of France? How many people can say why the last presidential election in Russia was so controversial on a global scale? Sure some can, but I guarantee you that a lot more people globally were aware and invested in the election in this country last week.
American’s need to be invested more, not only in our own politics, but in the politics globally. Should we all have opinions on elections in other countries? No, but we should at least be aware of what is happening, and what that means for us and our nation. Our Veterans, particularly our veterans in this conflict, have an interesting perspective on global politics. They see the results of these actions on a daily basis, either because of the situation wherever they serve, or the non-American’s with whom they often serve.
Their experiences are to be commended, as they provide our veterans with perspective that most of the rest of us could never hope to match. The experience is not always positive, certainly, but I hope that the good outweighs the bad. Certainly part of that could accomplished by showing your veterans your appreciation. Whether you agree with any current deployments or not, these people have (or are) been in service of this nation. And I wish to thank them all for that service.