11 November 2013

Veterans' Day

To me, this day--Veteran's Day--is one of the most important.  I honestly would give up Christmas to celebrate this day.

Mind you, I think the most important thing the human race could do is to end war.  A good part of our income inequalities and problems with environmental degradation have to do with preparation for, not to mention the fighting of, wars.  And the culture of violence, I believe, contributes to the oppression of (and, naturally, violence against) women and men who don't fit into this culture's concept of masculinity.

That said, this country should honor its veterans--but not in that chest-thumping, rah-rah kind of way we see in parades and exhibitions of military might.  Such celebrations are all predicated on a mythology about this country's military history:  that all of our wars were just, and we never lost any of them. (Korea was a "stalemate" and we got out of Vietnam before the Vietcong could claim victory over American forces.)  But, I believe the veterans should be honored, not celebrated, for their sacrifices--including, in some cases, their lives--for conflicts to which they were conscripted or in which they joined without realizing how misguided (or simply mendacious) the motives were of those who led us into war.

At the same time, we need to remember that even though "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" has been repealed, transgender people still cannot serve in the Armed Forces.  

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