A Different Kind Of Veterans Day

There’s something sacred about Veteran’s Day, for it’s been honoring the battle deaths of our young warriors ever since WWI. And we will do it again today. Only isn’t there something missing …? I mean, the honorable deaths aren’t the whole story. There’s also the even larger number of honorable lives. The tens of millions of lives those tens of thousands of deaths made possible.

A national genealogical chart would make the point. For every veteran-death in every war, there have been countless births that would simply not have been possible. For every twentysomething veteran-death in a family line, there’s likely to have been one or more adolescent-lives who thereby survived the war. Who in time gave birth to other lives which may not have otherwise happened.

No one dies in a war to “save their country.” They die because they weren’t able to save themselves. And yet…! What their deaths helped save is the survival of the younger lives in the family line who went on to become the farmers, truck drivers, steel mill workers, teachers, firefighters, doctors and chemists in our nation’s ranks. The makers and molders of America who might never have been born to make a difference!

We don’t even need John Donne, God bless him, to remind us “no man is an island.” We are all — each of us in a family, in a land, in a world — all inextricably connected with everyone else. If someone sneezes in a bank in Europe, America gets a cold. If someone crashes into a tower in America, the rest of the world catches fire.

So even as we mourn the battle-deaths of our veterans this week, look around at all the lives those deaths gave the rest of us. We might even want to change Veteran’s Day to Resurrection Day.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Leave a comment