I read several articles in the Great Bend Tribune on the importance of Veterans’ Day. Now, we are in-between that holiday and the Thanksgiving Day holidays. I think we as a society need to come to grips that military honors are to be cherished in the most solemn of ways and other distinctions of merit, regardless of whether they be academic awards, sports medals, or employee of the month awards need to be focused less on the trophy, ribbon, award, or plaque, and more about just serving and doing what you are expected to do.
It is sometimes wise for a person to be grateful for what they did and not get the ego trip of getting caught up, shouting it for the world to see.
Now-a-days, kids grow up expecting to get a medal whether they are first or last in any competition. It is touted to build up self esteem. That is false.
Honors, honorably earned, are to be cherished. But they should be rewarded to instill pride in accomplishment and motivate future excellence. While I am supportive of belated honors, unless that person’s memory is kept alive, too, the award will fade along side that person’s memory.
When I was in high school I once had a teacher tell us that wars have a variety of purposes: To defend a nation from an aggressor; to conquer land, possessions, booty from a foe; and that war was (whether we like it or not) a means of population-control. My class was aghast.
But, as I get older, I see my teacher was correct. War is brutal. War is bloody. War is hell. America needs to get back to the basics of honors issued promptly, so contemporaries can emulate excellence.
As we are in between holidays, let us all be thankful to our veterans, as well as to our family and friends, and grateful for our livelihoods and our health. Our very existence is a gift from God.