Veterans Day is a time for remembrance and reverence. The men and women who have served this nation in uniform, from Bunker Hill to Fallujah, deserve nothing less than our respect, prayers, and awe. The material blessings of America wouldn’t be secure without their service and sacrifice. But more importantly, our obligation to preserve the very idea of America, and the radical notion of ordered liberty, demands constant vigilance. Our veterans answered that call and pledged, as our Founding Fathers did, “their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor” to stand for the principles that define our great nation.
Today, there are some who reject what they see as “hero worship” of veterans and active military members. In a pitiable attempt at edgy relevance, the despicable publication Salon posted a piece from the equally despicable David Masciotra, which accused Americans of just that – misguided hero worship. The piece (entitled “You don’t protect my freedom: Our childish insistence on calling soldiers heroes deadens real democracy”) is enlightening, if only because it exposes what a radical minority truly believe. Masciotra starts by questioning the character of every member of the U.S. military, accusing the armed forces of sadism, brutality, and villainy. He then pivots to the typical leftist trope of claiming that in a world where America fights not for freedom but for “foolish aggression,” troops can only be heroes in the sense that they are harmed by an evil war foisted upon them by evil men.
David Masciotra and Salon don’t get it. This isn’t about hero worship. Veterans Day is about thankfulness. You don’t have to agree with every military engagement to respect and acknowledge the depth of sacrifice made every day by veterans, active servicemen and women, and their families. You don’t have to believe that every single member of the U.S. military behaves with perfect morality in every instance (it is foolish to expect perfection from any group – one certainly wouldn’t expect it from Salon columnists).
As we remember our veterans today, let us set aside such feeble protests. These men and women deserve our praise; they are the best of America. To refresh our collective memory, here’s the original Veterans Day (then Armistice Day) resolution:
Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and
Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and
Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.
Happy Veterans Day.
—John Henry Thompson is Editor-in-Chief of THE ARCH CONSERVATIVE
(Like what you see? Support THE ARCH CONSERVATIVE!)