Friday, November 11, 2011

What is Veteran's Day?

Queen Teen came home from school yesterday frustrated. "They were trying to tell me why there's no school tomorrow, but I don't understand." It's Veteran's Day, but Queen Teen has no idea what a veteran is.

I showed her pictures of soldiers and told her they are people who work very hard for us. That's why we all say thank you to them on Veteran's Day. She studied the pictures and asked a few questions, but still looked confused. Then she asked what one of them was carrying.

"That's a gun," I said.

She stared at me, unable to hear me. So I pantomimed the universal finger sign for gun that every four year old knows. She shook her head.

"I just don't get it." 

My daughter has no idea what a soldier is, or a gun. She doesn't know what war is, and doesn't understand killing. And I decided I'm okay with that. 

But that doesn't mean I don't think about our soldiers. I have a great respect for our soldiers and I worry about them fighting in Afghanistan. In fact, it drives me crazy that people so easily forget that we're at war. We go about our daily lives untouched by the hardships they face every day, our biggest complaint being the price of gas. And it enrages me how our elected officials fight over raising taxes or reducing the deficit. Really? You don't understand why there's a huge deficit? It really has nothing to do with the fact we've been fighting two wars for the last ten years? And I know no one wants to think about this, but maybe if our taxes were higher and we were forced to live with the specter of war every day, we'd all demand that the troops come home now. What better way to bring down the deficit then to bring home our soldiers safe and alive?

This Veterans Day, let's remember the men and women who are fighting and dying right now. 

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