Some quick thoughts on Veteran’s Day

Dear Blue,

I remember when I was in India, and every time we went to go eat McDonald’s, we had to go through a metal detector. Whenever we went to the mall to buy t-shirts, the bottom of our car was checked for bombs. This was standard procedure. Want to buy some boxers or watch the Karate Kid? First, we check to make sure your Suzuki is not a two-ton fireball.

The world is a violent place, Blue.  At some point, I have to tell you this truth. Call it a first world problem, though, that at some point I have the luxury to tell you about this thing called war.

Honestly, as a first time parent, I have no idea how to do this. I don’t even know how to explain guns to you. I mean, really, when does that happen? My first experience with a gun was Duck Hunt. We’d sit there for hours, zapping 8 bits duck on a TV screen with an orange piece of plastic, and that’s how I learned that if you point this thing called a gun at other things, pull this thing called a trigger, then death happens on the other end.

At some point, you’re going to see someone playing Halo 7, or Call of Duty, and I’m going to have to explain that what you’re seeing sorta kinda happens in real life. And I’ll use that word. War.

What is war?,  you’ll probably ask.

That’s an absolutely huge question that people have contemplated forever. I’ve tried to wrap my head around an answer, and this this what I came up with.

War is when we become cavemen. When we forget all of the different ways we can use words and ideas to resolve conflict and instead resort to throwing rocks at each other. That’s how we started in this world, and even though we have better rocks, it’s essentially the same. War is not the best we can do.

While this is true in its simplest form, nothing is ever completely that clear in the world, Blue. War is primitive, yes, a complete breakdown of the best we can offer. Just because the situation is this way, though, does not mean that the people involved are the same. That would be like saying a raindrop is the same as a hurricane.

So, on Veteran’s Day, I want you to know something. Even though war is not something to be admired, admirable people participate in these wars. There’s more to conflict than just fighting. Soldiers protect and serve, work towards a better future through bravery and action. So I think what I’ll tell you is this..

You don’t have to respect war, Blue. But respect those who serve.

It doesn’t matter what is being served. It really doesn’t. Service, as a principle, is to be respected in all arenas. People are giving their time, their energy, and sometimes their lives in order to achieve some higher purpose.

War may not be the best we can do, but sacrifice…Sacrifice is something different altogether. in all forms is the absolute best thing a human being can do in this world.

Happy Veteran’s Day! Veterans, thank you for your service.

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2 thoughts on “Some quick thoughts on Veteran’s Day”

  1. Sacrifice can be the most beautiful things about the horrifying thing that is war. I know a lot of my friends are missing their parents right now because they are overseas, and it just makes me thankful that mine are still here.

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