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Show Your Appreciation For The Armed Forces

November 5, 2010

This past Wednesday in lecture, Professor LaVaque-Manty asked us, “On what principle should you support a policy or a candidate in a Democracy”  In an overwhelming fashion, the class responded, “It is good for the community/state/country.”  Immediately Professor LaVaque-Manty questioned our sincerity, and for good reason.

Although we may think of ourselves as selfless individuals, acting with the interest of the whole in mind, we are in fact quite the opposite. This is not to say that self-interest is a bad thing.  Surely we cannot help others if we do not take care of ourselves first.  It is to say, however, that we ought to focus more on the group than each individual part.  If you every pick up a coin or dollar bill and read it, you will see the Latin phrase E Pluribus Unum.  Translated into English, it means Out of Many, One.  This motto is fitting for what the United States represents. Although we think, act, and look differently, all Americans are striving to defend the ole’ Red, White, and Blue; and no group exemplifies this better than the United States Armed Forces.

In the United States there are currently 1.5 million active members in the Armed Forces.  This includes: the Army, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the Coast Guard, and the Air Force.  This is 1.5 million stories of service and sacrifice.  People, who answered the call to duty when there country needed them the most.  Each day they fight tirelessly to protect our freedoms here in America, while risking their lives overseas. Without a doubt, the United States Armed Forces personifies the meaning of the word courage.  They have given their sweat, blood, and tears to make sure we live better lives, and for that I am eternally grateful.

So, with next Thursday, November 11, being Veteran’s day, take some time out of your day to give thanks to those in uniform, both past and present.  Let our service men and women know that you care, and that you are praying for their safety.  With so many issues that divide us as a country today, let us all take time to come together for a common cause.  Whether you are a Republican, Democrat, or somewhere in between, we can all show thanks for the tremendous work done by our veterans, and the current work being done by our current service men and women.  Our thanks may not be the greatest gift of all, but its the thought and thankfulness that counts.

5 Comments
  1. November 5, 2010 6:00 PM

    This is a very interesting post. I will definitely think about those enlisted in the services on Veteran’s Day from reading your post but I somewhat disagree with your statement “Although we may think of ourselves as selfless individuals, acting with the interest of the whole in mind, we are in fact quite the opposite.” When it comes to voting I think people do in fact think of the whole over themselves. Granted, minor issues people do tend to be selfish but i think this statement is too general to draw a conclusion.

  2. Andrew Babat permalink
    November 5, 2010 6:08 PM

    I agree with your point that we need to be thankful for the people who fight to protect our freedoms. While most people focus on themselves before their country, whether they will admit it or not. These individuals risk their lives to perform a service for their country. On November 11th, I will definitely think about how brave the soldiers are for making this sacrifice.

  3. Zach Alexander permalink
    November 6, 2010 1:29 PM

    In regards to your first point of honoring the troops, I agree we should commend them for risking life and limb for their country. If a citizen can truly put his country before himself, especially if he doesn’t have to, then he is a better person than most. Self-sacrifice should be honored.

    One thing I find interesting about honor, war and soldiers is what I call the ‘Pacifist Dilemma’. How does a Pacifist honor a soldier? If they believe war is always unjust, how can they honor a participant? This creates a problem of the wills.

    The Pacifist believes that the good of all is to avoid war and conflict, settling life through diplomacy and reason. The soldier accepts the reality as it is. The soldier understands that people are not always good or willing to negotiate. The soldier believes for the greater good, he must defend his country against other acts of violence, though he may have to use violence himself. Both soldier and pacifist are examples of the state of man, and of their nature. If the pacifist can maintain peace, he is perhaps the representation of what man can be, a creature of peace. If the soldier can maintain peace, he also represents what man can be, a self-sacrificer.

    The nature of man.

    On the second point, voters vote with self-interest in mind, to a degree. Voters vote to impose THEIR will upon others. A voter will vote for an anti-gay candidate, so he may impose his will upon the gay community. Conversely, a voter may vote for a pro-gay candidate so that his will is imposed upon the conservative community. Though veiled in justice, the true motive for any voter is the semblance of power they have in imposing will upon others. It may be a cynical view, but I don’t believe it to be an incorrect one. People rarely ever vote for someone not promising to impose will upon others with which they agree. It might be best if the government took less moral standards and allowed their citizens to make choices, Marijuana, Guns, Abortion and Marriage are all examples of issues that are there to enforce moral will upon people, for what can be claimed as ‘protection’. This is not the case. These issues exist mostly because people do not know how society should operate. They choose how they wish for it to.

    I believe this issue could be eliminated if we reduced limits on these things to increase individual choice. If you do not believe in smoking Marijuana, do not smoke it, even if legal. Your individual will is preserved, and so is society’s general will in that people may have individual choice. If you believe in the vote, which is all about individual choice, than you can also believe in the allowance of personal choices.

    Gay marriage legalization is similarly easy to solve. If you do not believe in Gay marriage, exercise your right not to get one. Do not stop others from doing so simply because you think it is wrong. You the individual can achieve this by not getting one, even if legal, because you believe it is wrong.

    Guns, again, if you do not believe in them, do not own them. While I don’t believe the founders had AK-47’s in mind, they did recognize a citizens right to own a fire arm. If you do not believe in this act, do not own one.

    Abortion, if you do not believe in them, do not have one.

    These choices are made everyday. Cigarettes are legal, but I choose not to smoke them. The law is not needed to enforce my own personal morality on the issue. Nor do I wish to impose my will of them being illegal.

    We should delineate more power to the people, allowing them to choose their lives, enabling the individual will, and the General will that individual choice is best.

  4. jwalsky24 permalink
    November 6, 2010 8:20 PM

    This post makes me smile, because the news media completely desensitizes us from what it is really like to be a solider in combat today. Thousands of miles from home, eating bad food and drinking bad tasting water every day for months at a time, missing your family members like crazy, and constantly fearing death or injury is awful enough, but returning home to inadequate medical care and an insignificant level of appreciation for your service is, in a word, undeserved. It is hard for a person to practically show their thanks for all our armed services do, so I agree with Beka: take a moment next week to think about what these people do to protect you and your loved ones, and hopefully, instead of feeling bad or unappreciative, you will smile too.

  5. ann900 permalink
    November 9, 2010 9:57 PM

    Hearing about the selflessness of those who are or were in the military makes me want to be the same. Thinking about all the little nonessentials in life that you bought…that money could have gone to better use. Or the time that you’ve wasted that you could have spent making the community a better place. If everyone lived their lives like they do, this world would be a much better place.

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