Here’s my impression of your twitter and facebook feeds today:
“I just want to say Thank You to all the veterans out there (even though I protested your fighting and don’t believe you actually accomplished anything), but you are the true heroes of our nation and will always be remembered (for the next 5 minutes, then I’m going back to posting pictures of my kids and bitching about my job and what I had for lunch). We love you all (but not as much as I love myself, which is really why I’m posting this. It makes me look good).”
Each passing Veteran’s Day, as well as 9/11, Memorial Day, and 4th of July, on these here internets makes me feel there’s a great conversation dying to be had about the dangers of blind, flag-waving hero worship, or the hypocrisy and moral incongruity of the blue state “support the warrior, but not the war” line. Unfortunately, conversations like that are too uncomfortable and require a level of nuance and subtlety the internet still doesn’t seem to have the bandwidth to hold. Most would rather just post a quick “Thanks to the troops!” as their status, pat themselves on the back for a job well done, then get back to the trivialities of daily life. It’s much easier, and more fun, to hurl schoolyard insults across the political divide, throw a hissy fit over Derek Jeter winning the Gold Glove, or dish about who wore what to last night’s CMA’s (for the record, Carrie Underwood looked AMAZING), than it is to have a serious and possibly messy discussion about war, the soldiers who fight them, and how and why we honor them. Still, something about all these posts and tributes seems either a bit too disingenuous or too easy, and ultimately ends up as a bit of a disservice to what it purports to honor. I don’t know. I just detect a faint whiff of bullshit wafting off it all.
Personally, I’d like to give a Veterans Day shout-out to my late great-grandfather, who was helping to fight the British in his native Ireland back before the country had even achieved Home Rule, my grandfather, who, at 16, lied about his age to join the Navy and fight in World War II, and my old man, who enlisted in the Air Force during Vietnam, and lived to sire li’l old ME.
I don’t know if I’d have the balls of any of my forebears to even sign up for a war, let alone fight and survive. I think every man wonders how he’d fare in battle and is curious about that answer. Today, I think the men and women who did fight aren’t just the recipients of our thanks and admiration, but secretly, deep, deep down, our envy.
At least until my lunch shows up cold and this webpage takes FOREVER to load. FML! Oh, look. Julia posted a pic of their baby kissing their puppy! AWWWWWWW…… LOL! LUV U GUYSSSSSSSSS!!!!