Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 1 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 1 (2 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   4 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

Happy Remembrance Day!

By       Message Dave Lindorff     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 1  
View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H3 11/11/10

Author 63
Become a Fan
  (73 fans)
- Advertisement -

By Dave Lindorff

To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, God must love veterans; He makes so many of them.

So Happy Armistice Day! Happy Remembrance Day!

Today is Veteran's Day, and we'll have the usual parades and the show of flags, but it's worth remembering that Nov. 11 wasn't always a day for blindly glorifying the military.

World War I dead litter a road after a battle by public domain

When November 11 was initially established as a US holiday, it was done by an Act of Congress to commemorate the cease-fire established on the Western front between the forces of Germany and those of the French, British and Americans. The name of the holiday was only changed to Veterans Day after World War II, when the US was in the process of being transformed into a permanent war machine.

The original day was established to condemn war and to recall the horrors of the a senseless war that caused the deaths of over 20,000,000 people.

Today, Veteran's Day is not about pacifism or condemning war, though, but about blind flag-waving patriotism and celebrating our "heroes" in uniform, and of course desperate sales by financially struggling retail establishments.

- Advertisement -

It's worth recalling, because nobody talks about these things, that over two million Americans have been sent to serve tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. That's a pretty big number--maybe more than 1% of the adult US population.

Over 600,000 of those people have been treated at medical facilities of the Veterans Administration. Countless more are suffering from ailments and injuries like undiagnosed head trauma, post-traumatic stress, depression etc. More than half of the people who are homeless in the US are veterans, many of them veterans of the latest of America's endless string of wars.

It is common to hear politicians and corporate media hacks talk about how America's veterans and active-duty troops are "defending our freedoms."

This is really a load of bull.

It does no disrespect to Americans in uniform to state the truth that America's freedoms have never been threatened by Afghanistan's Taliban, any more than they were threatened by tinpot dictator Saddam Hussein, and even the terrorists who have bombed American buildings or downed American planes never threatened our freedom for a second. Any damage to American freedom--and there has been a lot of damage done since Sept. 11, 2001--has been done by our own government, and by ourselves, not by outsiders.

- Advertisement -

We need to stop referring to November 11 as Veterans Day, and get it back to what it was originally--Remembrance Day--a day to contemplate the horror and futility of war.

We Americans need to stop blindly praising people in uniform, and instead start asking what those men and women could be doing if they weren't sucking up valuable tax dollars, and if they weren't going over to desperately poor Third World countries and blowing up tens of thousands of innocent people who are just struggling to survive.

Let's just take Afghanistan. This landlocked country, one of the poorest in the world, has about 28 million people, not counting the three million refugees living in Pakistan and Iran. 42% of those people survive on an income of $1/day, or $365/year. The rest aren't much better off.

Next Page  1  |  2


- Advertisement -

Must Read 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper He is a columnist for Counterpunch, is author of several recent books ("This Can't Be Happening! Resisting the (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Israel's Gaza Atrocities Recall America's Atrocities in Vietnam

Supreme Court Junket King Scalia Dies While Vacationing with Wealthy Patrons at Private West Texas Getaway

Something's happening here: Clinton's Crumbling, Bernie's Surging and a 'Political Revolution' May Be in the Offing

The Case for Impeachment of President Barack Obama

Barack Obama: Manchurian Candidate Version 2.0

Free John Walker Lindh, Bush's and Cheney's First Torture Victim!