Friday, November 12, 2010

Veterans Day 2010 Was So Much Better Than Veterans Day 1976

Yesterday my son, who is 16, put on a suit to help lead the Veterans Day celebration put on by the Junior State of America at his school. In Danville, Kentucky, there were flags everywhere. My home coffee house gave free coffee to veterans. People - quite liberal Democratic people - shook veterans by the hand and thanked them for their service.

This was not just in Danville. Facebook was full of flags, thanks, and remembrances of veterans - mine included. Rachel Maddow on MSBC, a notable liberal on the most liberal network, had encouraged everyone the day before to may a big splash of celebrating Veterans Day.

This made me think back to what things were like when I was 16 in 1976. We pulled out of Vietnam in 1973. Nixon fell in 1974. Saigon fell in 1975. By the Bicentennial we were ready to celebrate the Revolutionary soldiers, but not the recent ones. Liberals didn't fly flags. Veterans Day was celebrated by old soldiers, only. It was, as Doonesbury put it, a kidney stone of a decade.

Things are much better in this country today.


Mary P. said...

Happy to hear about that.

The National Endowment for the Humanities held a conference in Hawaii called History and Commemoration:The Legacies of the Pacific War.

They were not so kind to and proud of our Veterans. It was a tax payer funded attack on our military men and women.

Let's not fund this group.

ceemac said...

As a member of the HS class of 1976 I noticed the same thing yesterday when I checked FB and thje 1st thing I saw was that my most liberal GenX friend had posted a prayer for Vets.

I know it is a cultural shift but I wonder if the decision to move Vet day back to the 11th where it's not part of a 3-day weekend has an impact on how we recognize the day.

Also worth noting that the folks deciding not to fly flags and such in 1976 would have been Silents and GI's. Boomers were not yet in decision making roles for the most part.

ceemac said...

But......... I am sitting in *$'s and they are playing Disco era BeeGees.... and people are singing/humming along.... that kidney stone just won't go away.

Jim said...

I was born in 1975. By the time I was old enough to understand anything, Vietnam was ten years in the past and Watergate had happened. I have never known an era with absolute faith in the morality of our government's actions. My generation was also able to observe the cultural catharsis we underwent in the 1980's about Vietnam.

I think one thing that we took from all of this is that no matter what happens, the blame for morally questionable military actions must be assigned to our leaders, not our troops. For all of the faults my generation may have, failing to learn that lesson is not one of them.

Danville is a nice town, btw. My uncle, a Marine Corps. Vietnam Vet himself, still lives in Boyle County.

halo said...

Liberals have learned that not supporting the troops is severely frowned upon today and have learned to bite their tongues.

paul said...

"...the blame for morally questionable military actions must be assigned to our leaders, not our troops." - I agree, (but would add "ourselves" to the list of those to blame for said actions)

"...and have learned to bite their tongues." - I disagree. Biting one's tongue indicates a notion that, though thought, goes unspoken. I don't believe most liberals today even entertain the notion of not supporting the troops. Even those firmly against war seem to have come to understand that veterans are not perpetrators of great evil, but often its unseen victims.

I struggle with Veterans Day.

I have a grandfather who was sent to Vietnam in 1965; 1st Calvary Division (Airmobile), the "Air Calvary". His job was to kill people. He told me a story of an ambush. Of laying in the jungle in the middle of the night with a pistol and a grenade launcher rendered useless by the overhead canopy of trees. He had never been more frightened before or since.

I have a brother in the Navy, currently. He is an air traffic controller. His job is to kill people. More specifically his job is to help launch and land airplanes whose purpose is to kill people.

I try to serve a God who said the ways of this world are wrong. That killing people is wrong and that loving your neighbor is second only to loving your creator. I believe it.

I respect my family. I respect their sacrifice and the sacrifice of those who came before them. I am challenged by the teachings of my savior. I struggle trying to reconcile the contradiction.

I struggle with Veterans Day.

Patsy B. said...

Paul part of your struggle may be because of sloppy theology. God has both killed people and ordered them killed. Some wars and killings are just some are not.

Anonymous said...

Patsy B. your post should terrify every American,. Theology should have nothing to do with Law in the USA.

Paul, consider relieving yourself of your religious burden. Many of those around you reject the metaphysical.

In other words Paul, believe only that which is proven to you through facts that are falsifiable. Faith is not an emotion to be tampered or played with

Patsy B. said...

Anon 12:10
"Patsy B. your post should terrify every American,. Theology should have nothing to do with Law in the USA."

I agree. I think you misunderstood my post.

Anonymous said...

Militant atheists terrify me.