Thursday, November 11, 2010

An Brief Poem, for Armistice (i.e. Veterans) Day

"In time of dangeror in warGod and the soldier we adore.Danger past, andall things righted?God is forgottenand the soldier slighted."I seldom feel more than a slightly irked contempt for the "Support Our Troops" sort of warrior- and war-hugging that gets trotted out on days like today and the last weekend in May. But this one always seems somehow even more false, since the only real reason for it is to commemorate the end of the insanely stupid slaughter of WW1, which we in fact neither remember nor reverence.

As I tell anyone who "thanks" me for my service today; I didn't do it for you. Oh, and I'll take the bonus Congress promised me now, without a side of beatings and gas, thanks.

I remain stubbornly proud of my service and the ideals of my country that led me to that service.But of the country itself, its "leaders", and many of its people, I am no longer so sure.


EGrise said...

Thanks for this, Chief. I feel a little sad every 11/11, not so much for the long dead as for the living who never seem to learn.

And all that "Thank you for your service" stuff? When people do it to me I feel exactly the same as you.

Ael said...

Hey, as long as there is a Remembrance Day (Veterans Day to you) there is at least a chance that someone might learn something about that awful war.

It wouldn't be a *complete* waste then.

FDChief said...

The thing is that we have gone so long without being gutted by war that, for most of us, it is merely entertainment. Having a "Veterans Day" without any real experience with veterans makes the entire exercise into a sort of self-congratulation. That's kinda sad, really...

And that contributes to my irritation with the "thank you for your service" guff. I want to say that it's like thanking a diamond cutter, an EOD guy, or an orthopaedic surgeon - the person has no concept what they are "thanking" them for.

basilbeast said...

A helpful suggestion for a reply?

"And thank you for giving me the opportunity to participate in your latest war, and voting for lower taxes to not support me!"

The "Cat Food" Commission:

Establishes co-pays for veterans at VA health services