Popular idea: Honor the soldiers, sailors and airmen

Interesting. The hottest post on this blog today is the one I wrote about honoring Armed Forces Day — last year! The post for Armed Forces Day this year is up there, too.

One of the lessons of Vietnam is that we need to honor our soldiers who go to defend the nation, even when the wars may be of dubious origin. The dubious origins of war cannot be blamed on the soldiers, sailors and airmen who go to do their duty, and they are the ones who can redeem the nation from a disastrous foreign policy, if anyone can.

Love the serviceman, hate the war. Honor the soldier, work on the politicians to change the policy. It’s a workable arrangement that honors good people for doing noble service.

Remember: Memorial Day honors those who died in service to the country; Veterans Day honors the veterans who came back, having served. Armed Forces Day honors those who serve today.

Fly your flag today.

6 Responses to Popular idea: Honor the soldiers, sailors and airmen

  1. […] Also at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub: “Popular idea, honor the soldiers, sailors and airmen” […]


  2. Ed Darrell says:

    Hoist your flag for David Fagan!


  3. mpb says:

    The New Yorker just recently had a story about the Philippines war and the use of waterboarding by US troops.


  4. bernarda says:

    I agree with Lori Stokes. Just look up the American occupation of the Philippines. There were few American soldiers that acted honorably. One of the few was David Fagan.



  5. Ed Darrell says:

    “War is hell,” Sherman said, and it’s still true. I think a soldier who does her or his job, without violating the Geneva Conventions, without pushing violence farther than it need be pushed, does a noble job even in a bad war. Face it, in the Sherman view, there is no such thing as a good war.

    The few dozens of Europeans and Japanese I’ve interviewed on the issue generally point to the good behavior of a few soldiers, individuals acting above and beyond their orders, who convinced them Americans were good people, after World War II.

    I think a soldier has the duty described in the Geneva Conventions to refuse to carry out an illegal order. But in a republican democracy, it is the duty of the non-fighting citizens to get the soldiers out of a bad war.

    I see no reason not to honor noble service. There is plenty to honor.


  6. Lori Stokes says:

    Service people indeed cannot be blamed for starting bad wars, but if they are indeed fighting a bad war, then they do not render “noble service.” It is impossible to “love the soldier and hate the war” because if you support soldiers, then you are supporting what they are doing in that war, which means you are supporting the war.

    The only recourse when we realize a bad war is being fought is to get our soldiers out of it. Then we are not put in the impossible position of trying to support soldiers while not supporting what those soldiers are doing every day.


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