It's hard to explain to my kids why Veterans Day is a holiday. They don't understand war, or, rather, its purpose. Plus you don't get any presents, candy, or decorative spectacle. You do, however, get a day off from school. Overall it's worthwhile in their book.
But I've found myself telling them about veterans from the original war...the Revolution. I can explain why their heroic actions helped to define our freedoms.
I live in Civil War territory now. Any historical marker or landmark we happen upon demands some kind of explanation. I don't know if you've ever tried to explain to an 8 and 5 year old just how our country...which we are supposed to be proud of...was in a killing-people war with itself.
I don't mean to belittle any veterans of this, or any war in which American men and women fought and died. But on this Veterans Day, I am honoring George Washington, not the President, the war General. He led people...citizens. They were filled with purpose and an understanding that their lifestyle, and the lifestyle of future kin, hung in the balance.
Do you think that our soldiers out there are filled with the same kind of urgency. Or has it become a mercenary force. Maybe if everything wasn't so cloaked in vague secrecy, my suspicions could be laid to rest.
I encourage every American to take some time to relearn how we became a country. More importantly, relearn what was enacted as government after fighting and dying for the right to do so. This was the prize of their war.
When I looked back, I seemed to understand things differently than I did when we learned this stuff in grade school.