I’m a very fortunate person, I am a vet, but not one of combat action.  I never had to make the decision of whether to pull the trigger and kill another human being.  I’m a Vietnam era veteran and was never in that conflict.  As a remembrance for today, I ordered the movie Dunkirk and saved it for today.  Although today is officially Veterans Day, it is actually Armistice Day.  At 11 am on 11/11/18 Germany surrendered to the Allies.  It was such a relief for the world to end this massacre.  Unfortunately, most young people, patriotic or otherwise are unaware of World War I and the atrocities back then or even the original meaning of this “holiday”.  This war to end all wars was actually a failure in that just a few years later we had World War II and it wasn’t until after that that the Geneva Conventions were adopted.  The agreement commonly referred to as the Geneva Conventions is actually four treaties (some as early as 1929) that were rolled into one in 1949.  It seems after atrocities like those committed during major wars makes mankind think about fairness and civility.  So after the unbelievable treatment of prisoners of war and the use of unbelievable tactics like mustard gas and other unbelievable creations to win a war we take a step back and consider their use.  So mustard gas is no longer an acceptable means of winning a war.  Although it is generally recognized cluster bombs, napalm nuclear bombs and other chemical forms of killing other humans may not be codified in the Geneva Conventions, it is commonly held that these also are war atrocities.  I appreciate all the people that thank me for my service, but I would rather they seek ways to end this constant blood shed on our shared planet.  A friend of mine is in the National Guard and when e’s been in uniform when we’ve met for a drink or meal and it impresses me how many strangers buy us a drink or at least thank him for his service.  We think right, we just don’t seem to follow through.

Lets look at the positives, the thing I am most impressed with Dunkirk is the evacuation of 300,000 Allied soldiers stranded on Dunkirk beach by 800 civilian fishing boats, merchant vessels, pleasure boats that converged to save the soldiers from a certain massacre by the German army a few miles away if not evacuated.  As I am also most impressed with the civilians on 9/11 that stopped the aircraft from causing further destruction after the twin towers were destroyed.  The courage of these civilians should make you want to visit the Shanksville 9/11 memorial.

Finally, I am a big proponent of a mandatory 2 year term of service to be an American citizen (born or naturalized).  It could be the military, peace corps, VISA, job corps anything.  Maybe then we as Americans can learn civics and civil behavior?

Thank you for your service, military, first responders and others that put their lives on the line for us,