I have to resurrect this one each Veterans Day. The message is timeless.
Howard Zinn, author of, “A People’s History of the United States” has written this powerful essay on what Veteran’s Day should mean to us. He himself is a veteran of WWII and was one of the pilots that bombed Dresden. Here is an excerpt:
“Our decent impulse, to recognize the ordeal of our veterans, has been used to obscure the fact that they died, they were crippled, for no good cause other than the power and profit of a few. Veterans Day, instead of an occasion for denouncing war, has become an occasion for bringing out the flags, the uniforms, the martial music, the patriotic speeches reeking with hypocrisy. Those who name holidays, playing on our genuine feeling for veterans, have turned a day that celebrated the end of a horror into a day to honor militarism.As a combat veteran myself, of a “good war,” against fascism, I do not want the recognition of my service to be used as a glorification of war. At the end of that war, in which 50 million died, the people of the world should have shouted “Enough!” We should have decided that from that moment on, we would renounce war–and there would be no Korean War, Vietnam War, Panama War, Grenada War, Gulf War, Balkan War.
The reason for such a decision is that war in our time–whatever “humanitarian” motives are claimed by our political leaders–is always a war against children: the child amputees created by our bombing of Yugoslavia, the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children dead as a result of our postwar sanctions. Veterans Day should be an occasion for a national vow: No more war victims on the other side; no more war veterans on our side.”
For the entire article see here: