Monday, May 26, 2008

Honoring our Warriors

On this Memorial Day, I honor our warriors - those who volunteer themselves for the military of the United States of America.

I heard Obama and others speak today and the word that struck my ear was SACRIFICE. I hate that word. I consider it one of the REALLY HIDEOUS words of English. Politicians always talk about the sacrifice - what a man must endure and give up to be in the military. How disgusting - since it has nothing to do with why they are there and what they seek for themselves.

A man who honors his deepest values by fighting for his country is not a man who sacrifices. He loves more strongly and values more acutely than a lot of us. He is a man who chooses to be called by a profound value and puts his life on the line in its name.

Any man up to something must rank his values and choose the more important ones over the less important ones. And everything sought costs something. But this is the opposite of sacrifice. There are people sitting on their couches at this moment who ARE the sacrificers. They were called, knew they would love nothing more than to be a warrior and didn't do it - for any number of reasons. Choosing a lesser value over a greater value is to sacrifice.

Screw that. I honor our warriors like this:

Thank you, our warriors of this great country, for valuing our country and the values for which she was created. Thank you for protecting her and those values. Most of us are grateful beyond our ability to respond as they are our values too. And thank you, the parents and families of our warriors, living and fallen. To have produced a child or married a man or woman who values deeply and is willing to mean what he says is itself extraordinary. If your son, daughter, husband or wife has fallen in their quest, it is even more poignant. To be so alive in that oh-so-purposeful moment and stopped in his love and ours, stops everything mid-inhale.

So here we are. Words fail us, but we know. And because we know, we honor you.

1 comment:

principlex said...

There is another group to honor on this day. And they are those Congressmen and President Richard Nixon who caused the volunteer military in 1973. It is precisely because the military is voluntary that we can be present to the values that caused people to enlist.

Compare this to the Vietnam era when the military was by compulsion. Many went who didn't want to go and because of this, all the forms of resistance to the military - be it getting oneself on drugs, talking about how much one hated the military, on and on. Ultimately when the soldiers came home, the American public spat on them. That is the result of one thing. The imposition of force!

Force, except to control someone who has initiated force, never works. I mean never.

Take other areas of life. A minority man or woman who got into college because of affirmative action gets no respect. our compulsory public education is at the bottom of those in the industrialized world. The health care system is about to enter this nether world of no value, no respect. Force curdles and spoils that which it touches.

Human beings live by values and the attempt to spit into the face of that fact ruins the human being and not the other way around. Force negates value because force negates volition, the essential attribute as to why a human being has to value.

So thank you for the volunteer military.

I wonder how wonderful our world could be if everything now compulsory and forced could become an object of value via freedom?