Veteran’s Day was made to remember and appreciate the sacrifices of the brave men and women whom have fought and died for this country, as well as those that still do.
Pre-Revolutionary War and just after, the American people were weary of the idea of a standing army. They feared that a military made up of career soldiers could be used by the government as a means to oppress the people. George Washington had to fight extremely hard in order to build and maintain a standing military that wouldn’t be seen as an oppressive force but as defenders of liberty.After WWII, the idea of the military as a force for good, as protectors of the great nation of America, was firmly established. Though that image has been tainted by the rise of the military industrial complex and the general ugliness of war, we should still honor and respect those who serve.
But it doesn’t stop there.
When I joined the army, I did so with the idea of protecting people and defending those that could not defend themselves. When you swear in, you swear to protect the United States from threats both “foreign and domestic.” That soldier’s commitment to defending the United States from foreign and domestic threats is something that we should all take to heart. As the threat of fascism, climate change, and war has come to our doorstep, we need to stand up and fight against it. This doesn’t mean taking up arms against the government (necessarily), but it does mean doing your part to fight injustice.
America is its citizens, not its government. If the government is out of touch with its citizens it is our RIGHT to reign it in.
The most important lessons to learn from our veterans are those of duty and sacrifice. At a time when our society is becoming increasingly individualist, we must remember that soldiers believe the opposite. They stand in unity and understand that it is a cohesive unit that accomplishes a mission, not an individual. Soldiers fight for everyone’s freedom by giving up their own. They commit to duty and know that while they may not live to enjoy the fruits of their sacrifice, society as a whole will benefit.
Being a soldier means trudging through the marsh, against enemy fire, against a hostile environment. And yet, the idea of turning back is never an option. They know that their mission is too important.
This veteran’s day, don’t just thank a vet for their service, learn from their duty and sacrifice. We can’t turn back now. The mission for justice, freedom, and life is too important.
Happy Veteran’s Day to all who’ve served and those that still do.