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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:41 pm 
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Back home in Canada November 11th is Remembrance Day. It is the day when the nation takes a day to recall the sacrifices of soldiers and civilians who fought and died for the common good, or at least so the official line goes. My own grandfather fought in WWII.

At the risk of sounding unpatriotic and ungrateful, I've come to wonder about the nature of the holiday. In general people remember the fallen soldiers from the allied side of the conflict. You're not supposed to remember the Japanese, Italian, German or other Axis soldiers who died or were wounded in WWII. To even think of the Chinese or North Korean soldiers is likewise intolerable. They were "our" enemies. The poor Afghan peasant who our desperation and poverty joined the Taliban in Afghanistan also doesn't get much sympathy.

My old highschool friend on Facebook, who is a soldier now, posted a reminder that it was November 11th. It occurred to me why we don't remember the brave natives who fought for their homelands against imperialist European powers in the New World? It seems so hypocritical to glorify the soldiers who fought and died for "the nation" while ignoring all the natives who fought the same evils the WWII veterans did? On one hand European soldiers came and eradicated whole nations and enslaved the native population and established "free nations" and then when the same evils were perpetuated against them they fought back against the tyranny while forgetting they were essentially guilty of the same sins not more than a few generations prior?

I think if we're going to celebrate the sacrifices of soldiers, shouldn't it be rather remembering everyone who has had to suffer the horrors of war? Instead of glorifying just the good guys, we should recall the horrid evils everyone on all sides in every conflict of every race on every continent has suffered and is presently suffering?

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 5:22 pm 
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We all had fight a lot of war in our past days/years/life. I guess it is a good "remember our ignorance" day.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 7:41 pm 
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Replace the word honor with compassion in veteran's day and it's a good holiday. We shouldn't be delighted by soldiers and war, but what they endure is awful, and like the poor, sick, elderly, incarcerated, and parents of children, it's reasonable to practice extra compassion for them at some point throughout the year because they tend to face extra suffering.

Saying nasty things about veteran's day (as I have in the past) isn't wise or compassionate. It just makes people think you're fool and makes them upset.

But I will say this: We should have a day for honoring Buddhist monks and humanitarian aid workers. :)


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 8:20 pm 
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it is always hard for me to know what to say to my husband on this day. happy veterns day is what i did say, and then added that it wasn't so happy. but i said "thanks for having served," since that is what people here say, when i really mean, why did you really have to go? next i was saying, i am glad that you are alive. but i didn't add, what a horrible day. when he was in nam i was in berkeley.


Last edited by fragrant herbs on Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 9:24 pm 
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Urgyen Chodron wrote:
it is always hard for me to know what to say to my husband on this day. happy veterns day is what i did say, and then added that it wasn't so happy. but i said "thanks for having served," since that is what people here say, when i really mean, why did you really have to go? next i was saying, i am glad that you are alive. but i didn't add, what a horrible day. when he was in nam i was in berkeley.

*gets up on the "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" soapox*
:soapbox:

Urgyen Chodron, there is no need for you to say anything special to him on this day. Just give him a hug and share a special moment together. To men, physical affection and touching is as meaningful, if not more meaningful, than words. He obviously doesn't want to talk about his experiences, so just leave him be, and he'll be thankful for your kindness and understanding.

In his next life, he might very well have a totally different job, so don't worry about it.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 10:49 pm 
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i talked with him and he rather likes the "thanks for serving." I don't. i like your hug and special moment.


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