Monday, November 16, 2009

Take the trouble to say "thank you"

Okay, folks. Even though I am strongly, strongly anti-war, every time I see someone in military uniform, I go up to that person and thank him or her for serving. And that's why I find this video truly moving:


  1. I don't mean to be disrespectful to anyone, but I just don't quite get this. I really do not thank people for going to other countries to kill people in my name. I respect them as people but I don't respect the role that the US military is playing in the world. When you make these gestures of thanks, it seems to me to glorify what they do. Is this what you mean to do? When young high school students see the military people getting this kind of response, doesn't it make them want to do the same thing? Unless I can have an extended conversation with the member of the military I would rather not make the gesture and have them and others think that I condone their actions. Its not that simple. Many things can not be and should not be reduced to a sound bite.

  2. Well, Rose, I do think we need a military - if only for its deterrent affect. Once a military person signs up, he or she really can't choose which actions to participate in. And we have (for better or worse) at this time, an all volunteer military.

    It's the actions of the government that I don't condone - not those of an individual member of the service.

    I don't think young people sign up for the respect. I think they sign up because they have no other options. This is why I would really prefer that we have a draft so that our armed forces be drawn from all social and economic classes. But we don't and so, yes, I thank them.

  3. I sincerely agree with you about a draft. If everyone had to do some military service, everyone would care a lot more about what happens to people in the military. Young poor folks are disposable goods in most countries including this one.

    It is of course government military policy that engages us in war. Still I do believe that we are all responsible for our actions even when in the military. Loving our neighbor as ourselves, the radical teachings of Jesus, seem to preclude killing them with guns or bombs. That is the message I would like to get to the members of our military, if only that could be done in some non-pious, non-judgmental way. In other words, I just wish the conversation could go deeper than a tip of the hat to their service.

  4. "Loving our neighbor as ourselves, the radical teachings of Jesus, seem to preclude killing them with guns or bombs."

    I SO agree with you. And I, too, wish the conversation could go deeper.

    There are, by the way, organizations that help support that conversation such as the Episcopal Peace Fellowship and the Buddhist Peace Fellowship.

    It's a vexing dillema, isn't it? My heart really goes out to our military people. So many are there because they have no other option for bettering their lives and our society, of course, sends the strong message that killing in war is not wrong. Also, they have been the recipients of massive propaganda in their training.


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