A veteran should never have to ask a citizen for appreciation. Similarly, a citizen should never be imposed upon by a veteran to show appreciation.
My last post pertained to an issue that was very common some ten years ago. Before the memes and pictures that have flooded our current internet reminded us to acknowledge and remember what our friends, family, and ancestors died for. Ten years ago, few people took the time to respect those sacrifices, instead they took them for granted. I wrote my last blog posted on this site, seven years ago. Which of course generally emphasized the problem. Seven years later though, can one argue that things have gone to the complete opposite side of the spectrum?
As a citizen of this country, it naturally comes to me to respect and remember all the sacrifices our veterans have done and do to this day. I can be the first to tell you, that not only do I lack the physical attributes to fight as these men and women have, I also don’t believe I am suited mentally for war. Then again, is anyone really?
It’s quite true, I can’t bench my weight, only fired my first firearm less than a year ago, and don’t believe I have the proper mindset to charge into danger. You can call it what you like. Yet, serving in the military has not been my choice of direction for my life as it has been for others. Does this make me any less of a person?
Memorial Day is a veterans holiday, however, first and foremost it is in remembrance of those that have died protecting this country. Veterans Day, on the other hand, is primarily for those that have served and are even still serving this country. So why is it, on a day when for decades we’ve been taught to remember our honored dead we’re chastised for doing so?
A little known fact about me, is how I hold all members in our armed forces in high esteem. They have the guts to do what I couldn’t do. And everyday I have kept this in mind, even as friends of mine have served over seas and fought for our liberties. Yet, understanding what families go though is something I can’t entirely relate or not relate too. But on a day where we have specifically been taught to remember our honored dead, what gives someone else the right to throw our appreciation back in our faces?
This year I posted an image that is iconic of American Military determination. The raising of the flag on Iwo Jima. How many Americans can identify what year that took place? More importantly, in recognizing the sacrifices those men made and died for, what gives another American citizen the right to turn their back on someone expressing respect for the members of the military, because they don’t know how the families feel? Perhaps these citizens do know, perhaps their friends may be their family. What if you don’t have much family to begin with?
Secondly, imagine posting something, anything online to thank veterans around the country, only to have them express discontent with the fact you’re not doing so in person. To what end do veterans and citizens alike get the recognition they deserve before it turns into an expected thing? Before those that benefit from the acknowledgement are expected to be praised and raised on a pedestal?
America has always been a nation which fosters free opinion. Yet, our first thought as citizens always goes to extremes. As a country, and a people, we need to find the middle ground. No one is better than anyone in this country based on the choices they made, because since our independence, America has largely (militarily since the Vietnam War), been a nation of self-determination.
I honor those that have died and bled for this country. I also honor their choices, and sacrifices as well. Not because I so desperately seek to relate to them, because as an American citizen I do relate to them. Regardless of the profession we choose, it all boils down to supporting this country, The United States of America. In peace and war time. Regardless if it is just your family and friends, we are all American citizens. Because like the first paragraph states:
A veteran should never have to ask a citizen for appreciation. A citizen should never be imposed on by a veteran to show appreciation.