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War Should Not be Glorified!

Note: I am a veteran and proud to have been able to serve my country but I am not proud that we glorify war and that my country continues to be involved in unnecessary wars.

    Why are our returning troops hailed as heroes? While many of them performed above and beyond their duty, and some have certainly performed heroic acts, they are all victims of ill-conceived wars and political incompetence! Even those that are lucky enough to return with a complete body are victims. The many that return in caskets, or with missing limbs, are victims in the worst way. Also, the mental damage that most of them suffer is long lasting and a terrible price to pay for being victims of wars that did not need to be fought. We should certainly appreciate and recognize their sacrifice, but we should not glorify war by hailing them all as heroes.
    From the time children are very young they are taught in our schools to glorify war and to believe those that fought in the wars were heroes. They should be taught the real reasons that our country has ended up in so many wars that could have been avoided. Like how the western world leaders ignored, and even helped, Hitler for years before WWII. He could have been stopped before he became so powerful and took over so much land that it was impossible to avoid WWII. Even the Japanese attack at Perl Harbor could have been avoided if the U.S. government had not been previously irritating Japan over their involvement in China. At the end of WWII we could have agreed to a united Korea and over 35,000 U.S. troops would not have been killed.
    Our leaders completely over estimated the threat of Communism and got involved in Viet Nam to prevent a so-called "Domino-Effect" of letting Communist North Viet Nam take over South Viet Nam. Now all of Viet Nam is a Communist, but thriving, country and well over 50,000 American troops died in vain! The Viet Nam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. should be called the Viet Nam Victims Wall of Shame. It is hard for people to accept that their loved ones died in vain but that is exactly what happened. They were unnecessary victims,  we should morn their death but we should not glorify their death.
    War has long been glorified in movies. The movies may show the death caused by war but they usually portray our troops as heroes and people get a sense of patriotism from watching war movies. The U.S. Military works closely with movie producers by providing them with the free use of ships, planes, tanks, and such. Movie scripts are often written to make the military happy so the movie will receive valuable military support. The military likes war movies as they are good for recruitment and help convince the population that war is necessary and good. War toys and war video games are also a media that promotes a love for war. Boy Scouts, ROTC, and military academies are all intended to prepare our youth for war. We are a society groomed for war.
    Many other things are done to glorify war and thereby falsely give the impression that wars, and war deaths, are to be honored. Veterans can have a flag covered coffin and a military honor guard at their funeral and be buried in a veterans cemetery. Veterans on motor cycles escort many funeral processions. Military cemeteries, war memorials, and statues of war heroes are also ways that we glorify war. Maybe if we did not have/do all of these things we would be sobered by war deaths and not feel that the death, and war, was justified. There are no "just wars". All wars result from our governments mistakes and incompetence!
    Memorial Day is celebrated the last Monday of May every year to commemorate all the troops that have been killed in the many wars since the founding of our country. The celebrations include parades and events that usually feature veterans on display in their military uniforms and they are hailed as heroes. The general feeling seems to be that it was great that we fought all those wars and people feel patriotic. Fighting a war always represents the failure of our leaders being able to avoid war. War is not something to be proud of! Memorial day should be a day of shame as it is shameful that our leaders got us into all those wars. Yes, we should mourn those killed in the wars but we should not mask the shame of the wars by falsely putting war veterans on a pedestal and hailing them as heroes. They should be remembered as victims of missed opportunities to avoid war. Memorial Day, and every day our troops are in a war zone, should be a day of sadness, a day of mourning, and a day to reflect on the unnecessary death and suffering caused by wars that could have been avoided.
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