I feel stupid once again saying I’m a pacifist and I don’t believe in war, but it is still true. This Veteran’s Day is no different. Still, the day is not about me, it’s about them, so here’s my riff on Veterans and Veteran’s Day.
I long for a world where there are no veterans, because there hasn’t been a war in forever.
I long for a world where politicians’ first response isn’t to send someone else to a war that they are not willing to go to.
I long for a world where other countries (or groups of the oppressed) don’t practice violence as a way to get what they want — legitimacy.
I long for a world in which we spend as much money on the troops as we do on the machinery.
I long for a world where no one gets rich making things that kill people — and then feels the need to use them, just to see what they do.
I long for a world which doesn’t use religions which say “don’t kill” as a reason to go to war. I pray for the time when God’s name doesn’t get dragged through the mud and blood of war, as though this was God’s idea.
I long for a world where we don’t thank Veterans for their service, but we grieve for causing their service.
I long for a world where people know what they are getting into when they agree to go to war — including PTSD that so often comes with it.
I long for a world where our Veterans don’t have to face this war’s “Agent Orange” or “Gulf War Syndrome”.
I long for a world where soldiers have to sue their government to have their reality confirmed.
I long for a world where, if we need soldiers at all, they get the equipment they need to stay safe.
I long for a world where we’re not surprised that soldiers are scarred by war.
I long for a world where soldiers are given all the things they need to heal.
I long for a world where people don’t think war is foreign policy and that the whole war thing is some kind of game of chess. Human beings are not plastic pawns to be disposed of.
I long for a world where soldiers are not created by economic conditions.
To reach back in the vaults of music: “He’s fighting for England and he’s fighting for France and he’s fighting for the USA, … and he knows that we’ll never put an end to war this way” — Donovan, via Buffy St. Marie.
I don’t believe in soldiers or war, but that’s my opinion. People who do challenge and sacrifice themselves for a cause and are willing to fight have my respect for their choice. It’s just not mine. I hate it when one person sends other people to war, when one person chooses to have a war that others have to fight, when they do it cavalierly, with no regard for the people in those uniforms. If we’re going to have a war, let’s do it with people who want to go, who believe in what they are doing, and aren’t forced to.
I wish it were Armistice Day once again.