Someone had remarked that it was the ‘D-Day’ anniversary and I responded with my usual, snarky “I really don’t care.”
“You should care. They were fighting Hitler and the Nazis.”
“It’s just a day man.”
“A lot of soldiers died on the beaches of Normandy on this day.”
“Well shouldn’t I care just as much the soldiers who fought in the Civil War, the War of 1812, the Revolutionary War…”
“True. They’re all dead now though; you can still go and talk to veterans from WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. They’re normal men… quite a few thrown into the fray by the draft really. They did what needed to be done, even though it meant the cost of their own lives.”
At this point I’m pretty sure I changed the conversation to something that made me feel a little less like a total asshole.
The mark had been made though. I began to feel some sort of guilt for being apathetic about what I regard, in my blunt, frank opinion, as any other day of the week.Is this something that I should try to remember, to reflect upon?
I’ve always had a problem with the armed services, namely the fact that just about every war in history has been stupid, selfish, induced by the greed of both acting parties and has had absolutely no beneficial effect for those who actually fight in the wars, the soldiers, or for the civilian populations that prop up these malevolent governments. We are supposedly all free-thinking beings with awesome will-power; why can the soldier not realize that what he or she is doing is destructive and evil?
It’s the honor. The Flag. The pride of serving your nation, making the greatest sacrifice, having no doubt in your nation’s goal. I guess an army doesn’t work very well with individuals always questioning authority. But still, nonetheless, can you not see the horrendous act you are committing?
As soon as there were no WMDs found in Iraq, not only should Congress have stopped signing bills approving more funds for “Operation Fuel Corrupt Governance,” but the G.I.’s and Marines on the ground should have stopped fighting. Or, at least, for the sake of not having to court marshal their collective asses, their commanders should have told them to stop. Brought them home. Reinstated Saddam.
Each of us is are own personal catalyst for change; whether it be socializing at a party, building a home for a needy family, brushing your teeth, or righting something that you know is wrong. It does take more effort, but you will find the rewards ever more satisfying.
Yes, WWII was necessary, Hitler needed to be stopped (even though I do have my own personal qualms with the U.S., France and Britain refusing to ally with the Soviets earlier in the conflict, as opposed to later at the cost of millions of lives). It was a noble war. The men who died on D-Day died honorable deaths for a worthy cause, and it is unfortunate that I cannot truly appreciate their sacrifice because of my reservations about war.
So… given this realization, how can I be a personal catalyst for change now? Am I going to try to appreciate the soldiers who died for just causes? Those who died for unjust causes that were forced to? Soldiers who died period? Should I remember and reflect on just this day, or should I actually spend more time, once a day, once a week, once a month, contemplating their sacrifices and the depth of their experiences?
jakefunc is a contributing writer for projectgroupthink.wordpress.com. Get instant updates for this blog via Twitter: PGTblog.