If you like your freedom, go thank a veteran!

I've been out most of the day, but I didn't forget that today is Veterans Day. It is an important day to remember.

Glenn Reynolds links Armed Liberal, who says that we all owe veterans a debt:

Today is a day when I hope that we can recover a bit of that sense of debt. When we can realize what we owe those old guys in Legion caps and those young ones in ACU BDU's.

And in a very real sense, that today's point.

What I'm hoping today is that maybe, just maybe that will open the door in each of us to realize how much we owe to how many.

I'll suggest that in part we're a nation in such material debt because we refuse to understand the spiritual and political and social debt that we should have been paying off. Instead we decided that America owes us, and borrowed as much as we could to make sure we got what was coming to us.

That's pretty much over. And a big part of the Tea Party rebellion is a split between those who have been paying the debts - served, worked productively, paid their taxes, and now see everything they worked to build - not just their retirements, but the literal infrastructure of the country crumbling - and the financial and social engineers who have profited so richly in the last decades.

I'm deeply sympathetic to that.

We need to relearn the habits of debts as things to be repaid, and today - the day we're reminded so concretely of those who have loaned us their lives, their souls, and their health and who need to be paid back.

The debt we owe veterans is, of course, a debt we can never repay.

And so I would like to thank the veterans, or at least a veteran. But here I am in Ann Arbor, where I don't know any veterans, so I can't even say thank you to one. Sure, I occasionally see an ROTC cadet walking around, but if I stopped my car and said "thank you" I wouldn't be surprised if the kid misunderstood and thought I was some kind of nut.

But still, I would like to at least thank a veteran somewhere, and it just so happens that M. Simon is a veteran, whom I am proud to call a co-blogger here at Classical Values.

So thanks for your service to the country, M. Simon.

(And thanks for writing a damned fine post today too!)


posted by Eric on 11.11.10 at 06:03 PM


Anytime I see an active-duty service man or woman, or someone who is obviously a veteran, I simply go up to them, shake their hand (if possible) and say, "Thank you for your Service." I have never been misunderstood, although several of them did seem surprised to hear that someone actually wanted to thank them.

cas   ·  November 11, 2010 7:37 PM

I teach college. Today I stopped the class a couple of minutes early, just before 11:00, and asked if anyone had any idea why I was noting the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Result: 100% of 30 kids clueless (well, one kid did tentatively ask, "D-day?"), nor did asking them what Veterans Day was originally called jog any memories. Just reporting.

hmi   ·  November 11, 2010 10:47 PM

It was an honor to serve. Thank you.

M. Simon   ·  November 12, 2010 2:29 AM

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