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Friday, November 11, 2005

Honoring Veterans and The Rest of Us

This isn't about politics. This is about paying tribute to millions of men and women who sacrificed a big chunk of their lives either for what they believed to be right or because they didn't have a choice. Regardless of what their reasoning and beliefs are, they paid a steep price. Because somebody in power believed it whether they did or not. Regardless, they enlisted or were drafted or had what they thought was a non combative guard enlistment activated to live fire. And they served. I honor their sacrifice.

I don't believe that patriotism is defined by how willing you are to send others to war. Or how willing you are to support a war. I resent people who question the patriotism of those who can say, "I support our troops but not the war."

I'm proud that I avoided the Vietnam war by becoming a teacher. I gave teaching everything I had. I am no less proud of those who did what they thought they had to do at that time. I am proudly opposed to the present war. And I'm proud that there are Americans who will stand up bravely for their beliefs on this issue regardless of which side they are on. I have nothing but utter disdain for those who resort to witch hunting over a person's beliefs. There are plenty of popular beliefs that I think are way beyond rational understanding. But I'm glad I live in a place where, at least on the books so far, it's anybody's right to believe whatever they want. There are people in power or people trying to get more power who want all of us to believe in the same narrow thing. There are people in power who pretend to agree with those people just so they can move their own agenda forward.

If people want to believe that their sons and daughters are sacrificing their lives for our defense, I don't begrudge them. Nobody wants to believe they lost a loved one for a bogus reason. What I believe they risked their lives or died for and what they actually risked their lives or died for, doesn't bring them home or back to life. So on this Veterans Day like all of them, I salute those who served and to those who had the courage of their convictions not to.

posted by Bud @ 10:24 AM

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