We have just celebrated Veterans Day…..a day when we hold our veterans in high regard……think about that statement for a moment……
We thank them for their service…..but do Americans really care? Do we as a society really give a sh*t? My thought is that we do or say these things because it is expected of us….not because we really care…..
I believe that if we had a shared experience our concern would be more real…..how real can the concern be when about 1% of the country actually experiences military service and the horrors of war?
I recently read an article on this subject in the American Conservative (yes, the old professor finds some worth in a conservative publication)…….
The American people and their leaders have been swooning for years over the boys and girls in uniform. Our national crush on the armed forces reflects in part symptoms of lingering collective post-9/11 traumatic stress syndrome. The al Qaeda attacks represented the deadliest terrorist strike in American history, and that incongruous bolt of death and destruction from the blue skies of an otherwise lovely fall day compounded our terror. Our armed forces rushed to protect us after the attack and then quickly visited righteous retribution on the perpetrators and their Taliban allies in Afghanistan.
In addition to our gratitude for the military’s protection after 9/11, the public’s affection for our military is reinforced by the fact that we now regard it as one of the few truly functional sectors of our society. In a recent Gallup poll, 73 percent of respondents demonstrated confidence in the armed forces, compared with only 41 percent for organized religion, 18 percent for big business, and 9 percent for Congress. Another polling organization finds that 78 percent of the public holds our soldiers’ contributions in high regard, above the share that feels the same of teachers (72 percent), doctors (66 percent), and even scientists (65 percent). Not surprisingly, Pew detects a general, if diffuse, sense of gratitude among the 91 percent of respondents who declare they are “proud” of the military.
Ask yourself if you regard for the soldiers and veterans is genuine or is just something that is expected of you…..