Veterans Day

Happy Veterans Day from the home of the writer who gave us Johnny Got His Gun.

Several local bloggers have posted tributes to our troops in harm’s way overseas and elsewhere, and my heart goes out to those who are in hostile territory, as well as their families trying to make ends meet and survive stateside.

There are two things that I would like to share today:

This past weekend I watched In The Valley of Elah, which is based on an actual murder case involving military personnel. The movie paints the military establishment as duplicitous, and you wind up feeling sorry for both the villains and the victims. There really aren’t any winners in this story, and the ending isn’t uplifting, but you get the impression that the difficulties faced by soldiers returning home are accurately portrayed.

Today is also the birthday of another famous author with an interesting war story. From the Writer’s Almanac:

It’s the birthday of Kurt Vonnegut Jr., (books by this author) born in Indianapolis, Indiana (1922). He joined the Army, and in December of 1944, he was captured by the Germans during the Battle of the Bulge. He was imprisoned in a slaughterhouse in Dresden. On the night of February 13, 1945, British and American bombers attacked Dresden, igniting a firestorm that killed almost all the city’s inhabitants in two hours. Vonnegut and his fellow prisoners only survived because they slept in a meat locker three stories below the ground. In 1967, he published Slaughterhouse-Five (1969).

There were only a couple of relatives in my family who served in war, and they kept their experiences largely to themselves. As we’ve seen all too often with recent conflicts, the goals and objectives are vague or based on poor or downright false information. As a result, the inherent human toll of war is difficult to justify.

Our troops deserve our support and recognition, as well as fulfillment of the government’s promises to them for their service. They also deserve the best possible leadership they can get.

We the People have hopefully given them that.

There’s another reason to celebrate tonight. The Penguins faced the Red Wings for the first time since the last Stanley Cup Finals, and beat them 7-6 in overtime. Way to go, guys.

Have a good day tomorrow.

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