Posted by: cousindampier | 11 November 2009

Veteran’s Day

Back from the land of work and nothingness – I work a job in a political field, so the end of October and the beginning of November are busy times.

That is unimportant, though. I sit here on Veteran’s Day watching a Victory at Sea marathon. It is a fantastic piece of propaganda – totally dominated by the allies, but it is also pretty educational, and some of the film footage is amazing.

Also, the theme to it is delightful. I watched this as a kid quite a lot – we had no cable, so I got to watch a lot of PBS (and I got to watch the Bean television series. Totally underrated. But I digress).

It is Veterans Day here and all, and I am happy to see that nobody has flipped out and made the day over-dramatic and fake, but at the same time, it is a little somber how regular of a day this is. Granted, it began as Armistice Day and the end to World War I, which America avoided the worst parts of; but thinking about what the day commemorates – the end of a bloodbath, a disaster of a war, of poor leadership and the destruction of a generation in Europe – this isn’t a regular holiday. It commemorates something real.

I’m almost done with Laffin’s Jackboot and I also can’t help but think of the German side of today. World War I has, on some level, spun from the romantic notion of war, which it was before men went off to war, to the romantic notion of tragedy. Reading through the poetry of the soldiers at the front as well as about battles such as the Somme or Verdun, where immense amounts of men were killed, the tragedy is made clear. Not that World War I needs to be viewed totally in another light, but the stigma of tragedy is empty without an understanding of what that tragedy means.

Today is a day to honor veterans, and to also take a small step to understand the nature of war and why we honor those veterans – because they do deserve it.

On that note, I’m learning about Jeep Carriers and Destroyer Escorts. Serving on a DE seems like an awful job.

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