“Only the dead will know the end of war.” — Plato
There are certain eternal truths, and the quote above, written 2,400 years ago, highlights just one. Even though the majority of mankind yearns for peace, the reality of mankind’s fallen nature is that we need to band together to protect ourselves from those who would do us harm.
This should require those of us with families, farms and friends, with homes and businesses and jobs, to appreciate our indebtedness to those who go forth every day, if not risking their lives directly, then preparing and training to do so, to keep everyone else safe.
The noted movie director Steven Spielberg, director of the World War II classic, “Saving Private Ryan,” said, “In the re-creation of combat situations, and this is coming from a director who’s never been in one, being mindful of what these veterans have actually gone through, you find that the biggest concern is that you don’t look at war as a geopolitical endeavor.”
For 12 long years, the United States has been at war, attempting, the politicians say, to protect Americans from religious extremists. Thousands upon thusands of Americans, many of them from this community, have stood up and said, “Send me first,” to defend this nation and our freedom.
While many Americans have ignored their sacrifices, or have argued about who to blame when things have not gone well, those who have gone off to battle have not had the luxury of ignoring or arguing.
As Spielberg says, war is not a “geopolitical endeavor” to them. Instead, it is a matter of survival, a temporary time of trial in their lives that they hope will end soon so they can return to their families.
Some have come home in a box, some have been maimed for life and some have been shattered in spirit. The least the rest of us can do this Veterans Day, is walk up to at least one of our vets and say, “Thank you.”