Remembrance Day for all Veterans

Today is Veterans or Remembrance Day in many countries. Veterans of great and small conflicts over the last 100 years are honoured and rightly so.

remembrance

Remembering Veterans

Their numbers are dwindling, there cannot be any surviving veterans from WWI, even if by lying about their ages and joining up at 15 or 16, as many did, they would have to be 112 now to have served in the last year of that war.

The ranks of Second World War Veterans are thinning fast, the youngest now well into their 80s.

Veterans of the Korean and Vietnam wars are all Baby Boomers or seniors. Those of the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns are the only middle-aged and younger veterans.

Most of my fellow veterans from the terrorist war in Rhodesia and those from the South West African and Angolan conflicts are now over 60, all over 50.

 

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as terrible as they were for those involved, were not global conflicts. They attracted interest from the relatively small section of the world’s population that supplied the troops. A handful of Nato member countries and a few others.

Will Remembrance or Veterans day itself become a casualty of the passage of time as fewer veterans – from any wars – are still around to attend parades each year?

I hope not, but suspect that this important day of Remembrance will not continue much beyond the life spans of today’s primary school children.

Unless great efforts are made by concerned people to ensure its survival, it will become yet another victim of political correctness, replaced by a day to honour some minority group clamouring for its “rights” without considering that contribution and sacrifice are what should be remembered. Not whining demands for special treatment.

Let’s make today a day of remembrance for all those who gave their lives so that we could enjoy freedom, and let’s vow to continue to honour them on this day as long as we live.

 

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  3 comments for “Remembrance Day for all Veterans

  1. Tim Gibney
    November 11, 2015 at 8:15 am

    Very nice Peter!
    Tim

  2. November 13, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    Oh, Peter…

    “…to honour some minority group clamouring for its ‘rights’ without considering that contribution and sacrifice are what should be remembered”? In the U.S. at least, it is the notion that “all men are created equal” and the values of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” that make this contribution and sacrifice worth making in the first place. A fairly disproportionate number of those minorities made the contribution and sacrifice, because during the era of the draft, it was minorities and poor kids who couldn’t buy their way out of service or afford “educational deferments.”

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/dec/31/civil-war-rich-mans-battle-poor-mans-war/?page=all

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1980/04/the-draft/305455/

    Read those, and then consider your words about minorities carefully.

    It isn’t mere “political correctness” to recognize and advocate for remembrance of the values that make the fight worth fighting. Otherwise, all we have with all this chest-thumping and sacrifice is a cult of violence and death. Is that what we are? Is THAT really what we honor? I refuse to believe that – because violence and death are not something I can honor. Sacrifice without a higher purpose is just twisted. We should remember our veterans, but we should also remember and honor what they fought and sacrificed FOR. I daresay it wasn’t to let the majority feel smugly superior and believe that the majority of the sacrifice was theirs, alone.

    • Peter
      November 23, 2015 at 7:47 am

      Thank you as always for your comment Holly, I am not sure why it was not automatically approved. I only noticed today that your comments to this and the previous post were still in the queue. I was not trying to denigrate minorities who did serve – and perhaps suffer disproportionally – in any or all conflicts. Conversely, I was pointing out that many in self described minorities whine for special treatment WITHOUT making sacrifices in conflicts or contributions to society in times of peace.

      As a former soldier and one who has suffered dearly from state sponsored violence and terrorism, I certainly do not advocate or glorify a cult of violence.

      I do however recognise that unless law abiding people and democratic societies have the resolve and capability to defend themselves, they will be overcome by the violence and evil that the bad guys have no qualms in using.

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