May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

No matter what you think about the US's current wars (and I think they are an abomination) one can have only the utmost respect for those who choose to serve their country in the armed forces. This post is published as an expression of my admiration for the country's servicemen and women, with sympathy and deepest condolences to all families whose loved ones have been lost in action.


rgz said...

Not exactly. We praise bravery because it saves up having to be brave ourselves. But respecting each and every soldier just for being a soldier?

There are a couple of very bad things about the very idea of an army.

It breeds ant like obedience that excuses atrocities (remember the Nazi) and it is a host for the most sadistic and hostile of among us and trains them and gives them authority!

Also consider that over 50% of war is unjustified (both sides can't be right at the same time).

I dislike the army as a whole and judge individual soldiers on a case by case basis.

Calvin Spealman said...

I mostly agree with rgz on this matter, and I come from a military family. No, I did not continue that tradition. If we don't like what the group is doing, how can we say its honorable for someone to join into that? This is illogical.

I have friends in the service. Someone of them won't be seeing home again. I've got a close friend who is about to enlist all-of-the-sudden, at 24.

Steve said...

I don't praise bravery to save myself the need to be brave. But I do believe that the majority of serving men and women (let's not forget the Navy, the Air Force and the Marine Corps here, by the way) have a genuine ethic of service. Some of them also join up because it's the best work they can find.

You will also notice I wasn't praising the armed services themselves but those who choose to join and serve, and offering condolences to the families of those who had lost their lives. No matter what you think of the idea of an army every fighting man and woman who dies was somebody's child, and today is a difficult time for those left behind.

Fighting units cannot operate without discipline, and though "I was just following orders" is no defense for an atrocity it is unreasonable to send men and women who have not yet reached their majority into hand-to-hand fighting and expect that no errors of judgment will be made. Personally I would still like to see Congress find its balls and prosecute Bush and Cheney for taking the country into a war with Iraq that was clearly not justified by any reasonable standard. They are the real criminals.

I find the idea that even one side in a war can be right somewhat foreign, since I detest war and hate the idea that violence is a necessary tool to impose one's will. But in certain cases (such as Hitler's aggression in Europe) one cannot appease, and must resist force with force. Would you disband the armed forces and then be unable to resist the next such monster?

It's abuse of the armed forces that I dislike. I too prefer to judge individual soldiers individually, but perhaps my experience has been more positive than yours.

rgz said...

Yes, yes. But it largely amounts to: "Praise soldiers for they deserve it (except the ones that don't)" which is a truism.

Oh I see, today is a holiday in the American calendar reserved to give condolences to the family of deceased soldiers, so I guess it's okay to honor today those in the armed forces belonging to the {set of people who deserve respect}.

Do americans have a word to refer to all armed forces including Army, Navy, Marines, etc? because that's what I was trying to say.

I also apologize for all the grandma errors.

How do americans

Steve said...

There'll be good and bad in any occupation, so it hardly seems necessary to add "except the ones that don't", and I'm not sure we would agree on who those were anyway.

"The armed forces" is the usual term to include all arms, I believe.

Don't worry about the grammar - my typing (and proofreading) is so bad that I sometimes look illiterate.

Yes, Memorial Day is a special day to honor those who have died in service.

Noufal said...

Sympathy.. Yes
Condolences.. Yes
Admiration.. Not so much.

The armed forces as far as I can see is not like the militas of old where able bodied men of the town/village were all part of the force that defended their homeland. You didn't have 'professional soliders' back then. Men and women defended what they loved.

This is something that's been on my mind for a long time. I intend to blog about it sometime soon.