I just heard the annual fly-over of the WWII era planes, on their way to Forest Lawn.
Today is Armistice Day.Â Yes, I know it’s been renamed Veterans Day, but it seems to me that we ought to consider the real reason this holiday got its start.Â It was to celebrate the treaty that ended WWI.Â A day to be thankful for the day the world had, for however short a time, the illusion of peace.
In those days, war was not sanitized.Â There were no John Wayne movies to make combat look bloodless and glorious.Â The expected life span of a soldier in the trenches (or in the air) was a matter of weeks.Â The specialty of plastic surgery was pretty much invented to deal with the aftermath of horrific wounds.Â A lot of people in the USA knew, or knew of, someone who’d been gassed, wounded, frozen or “shell shocked.”Â People came home irrevocably changed, or not at all.
Today, it’s all too easy to think that all one nation has to do to straighten up another nation is to invade, bomb the crap out of everything, blow things up and kill people.Â The hawks sneer at history that clearly tells us what kinds of leaders follow that philosophy–and what so often happens to their grand delusions.
It’s also all too easy for a lot of people to sit back and mouth platitudes about “supporting the troops” while they still vote for the politicians who have cut VA services and the GI bill every chance they got.Â And, no doubt, who plan to keep doing the same till enough people out here in Constituent Land get enough education, brains and backbone to vote them out.
No, this isn’t a new phenomenon.Â Take a minute and look up what Woodrow Wilson did to the veterans of WWI.Â It’s a shameful legacy.
Instead of slapping a sticker on your bumper and considering your job done, put your money and/or time where your mouth is. Â Go volunteer at a nearby VA hospital.Â Go down to Skid Row and help out, and not just one day a year when you can feel good about being charitable. Â According to the VA, there are 300,000 homeless American veterans.Â Another 250,000 are in jail.Â Do you think those people are going to get their lives together if you just get one of those loopy yellow plastic stickers for your car or dish out turkey roll one holiday per year?
Like John Prine said, your flag decal won’t get you into heaven any more.Hope you'll recommend my posts via your favorite social media. Just don't copy the material as your own.