November 11th is a special day when citizens across the country are given time to be with their friends and family and reflect on the service, the courage, and the sacrifices made by veterans of our armed forces, as well as those of friendly nations’ armed forces who may also dwell within our borders.
While most citizens are content to honor veterans through a sense of patriotism and nationalism instilled in them by their parents, many people either don’t observe Veteran’s Day (and they don’t thank veterans for their service), or actively oppose the institution of such a holiday and its practices. They make an argument about foreign occupation or imperialism and conclude that they can’t or won’t thank veterans and active duty service members who really aren’t fighting for America’s freedom.
The truth is quite the opposite!
Many of the people who disagree with the “fighting for our freedom” philosophy highly disagree with America’s foreign policy and are skeptical of the actions and policies of our government (as they should be, since critical thinking is necessary to defend one’s individual liberty). Nonetheless, they can safely conclude that the actions of government are not performed to serve citizens but rather to serve the government. They can also conclude that governments will start wars in order to further their own policies, regardless of whether they have volunteer armies or conscripted armies, and regardless of an all-volunteer military being the law, most citizens quietly know that the government could easily reinstate the military draft during a panic or an unpopular war.
Therefore, every man and woman who volunteered to serve in the armed forces and the defense forces, and also every man and woman drafted, whether serving in war or in peace, was one less chance that someone else would be drafted. Furthermore, the million or more service members who wear the uniform today, despite knowing full well that they may fall in combat, represent one million or more chances that someone else won’t be drafted to serve against their will, ensuring that others truly enjoy the freedom to live their lives to the fullest, knowing that their life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness will not be impeded.
In the spirit of such individual freedom, even those who choose not to serve in the armed forces, or those who oppose America’s current wars, should celebrate our nation’s veterans.