War is a universal reality for powerful nations. No matter how tragic and hideous we as a people think war is, it has become an integral part of our nation’s history. War is used as a tool to protect those people in most dire need; whether for freedom from persecution of any kind, as prevention from dangerous threats, or for the general well-being and safety of our own citizens. Nevertheless there is an essential aspect of war that is least thought of, and the most important to understanding the complexities of war; the everyday human beings who fight in them.
From the Revolutionary War to Operation Iraqi Freedom, soldiers have been fighting for what all Americans stand for, the fundamental moral values that this country was built on. Standards such as truth, justice, and integrity are what those men, and now women, struggled for, and are still striving for today. We owe all our gratitude to these everyday heroes for giving up their own lives for our benefit, but a soldier does not need to die in order to give up their life for our country; the single act of joining the armed forces is enough to inspire appreciation for that person’s courage.
Honoring a past veteran is something we as Americans need to do more. Even if our beliefs conflict with the war the veteran participated in, honoring the commitment the veteran made to our nation deserves our praise. It is a simple task to honor a past veteran that most Americans do not know how to do. All that honoring a veteran entails is to learn about the wars they fought in. This is a task that does not involve much work, yet somehow many people fail to do it. One does not have to spend money, or buy fancy gifts to honor a veteran. Simply trying to understand what that person went through, for our sake, is enough to honor them.
War is a terrible and harsh reality for all nations. All veterans from the past and present are united by this universal truth. It is up to us, as American citizens, to honor and show...