Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Remembrance Day

I refuse to celebrate [veterans of WWII] as the greatest generation because in doing so we are celebrating courage and sacrifice in the cause of war. And we are miseducating the young to believe that military heroism is the noblest form of heroism, when it should be remembered only as the tragic accompaniment of horrendous policies driven by power and profit.
~ Howard Zinn (thanks to Ronnie for the quote)

This quote pretty much sums up how I feel about things. It bothers me deeply that Remembrance Day seems more about glorifying war than anything else. Celebrating the dead who "gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country" (a line that in itself rings alarm bells to me). I don't want to celebrate or glorify war. I simply want to remember those who have died, and those whose lives will never be the same because of war (those who are also not getting the support they need and deserve). Remember and recognize the horror. And vow never to support a system that perpetuates such atrocities.



  1. Was trying to write something profound here, Idzie, but you're right that good old Howard said it well. Good for you to write this post.


  3. A new way to think of Veterans'/Remembrance Day. I can't understand why we honor military things. It's one thing to understand pain but it's another to glorify violence and international rivalries.

    Thanks for the post. Proof that one learns something each day.

  4. I feel almost the way you do, because of how I feel about the war. But I do think those who served and died did it for noble, albeit misguided, reasons. Duty is a high calling, you just have to be careful about where you see your duty. I don't think the holiday is about a celebration of war, though - I think it's a proper way to remember those who have served, believing rightly or wrongly that they were doing so for our freedom, something definitely worth fighting for.

  5. Thanks so much for posting this Idzie! Did you notice Ren reposted this on Facebook and a discussion ensued? I'd check it out.

    We actually just returned from Hiroshima, Japan on the Worldschool Travel Tour. It's really hard to hear people talking about supporting the troops after seeing all the worst that war, including or especially the United of America, can do.

    I support people not troops. That including those people who are in the military and the people who's lives they end or damage.

  6. Hi,
    it's such a difficult question for me (I am from Germany). And the World did a great work in freeing the world from Hitler(though we still have Adolf Hitlers "Schulpflicht" compulsory schooling which almost ruined my life; and so much Nazis kept their work and prolonged Hitlers rein).
    Perhaps for me it is that you have to fight for freedom (even sometimes with guns). But no sacrifice for your country - this only is nationalism again. Every one according to his free will for freedom (or his own goals).