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Scott Lax Blog

Honoring Our Veterans

“I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity."
- Dwight David Eisenhower (American 34th President, 1953-61; b.1890; d.1969)

When honoring our veterans - including my dad, who served during World War II, and three of my cousins who served in Vietnam - I think it's important to avoid jingoism and theatrics.

War is hell - only those who have fought it or been inside it can truly know that fact. President Eisenhower knew it, for he saw it as a five-star general and Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces. He was one of those who helped to save the world from the most dire threat we've ever known, from the insanity of militarism and fascism and hatred. What Eisenhower and others accomplished in World War II is one thing I honor. They are the reason I can write this now.

Yet he hated war, so much that he believed you did all you could to avoid it. Eisenhower was no Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh or George W. Bush -- all chicken-hawks who avoided service but like to thump their chests and play soldier.

This post is to honor those who really served and sacrificed. As for those who are more than willing to send others off to war, this day is not for you.

Thank you to my dad, and to my cousins, and to all of those who gave so much. If you want to read a brilliant book about the inside of a war, read the novel, THE THINGS THEY CARRIED by Tim O'Brien, the great American author and Vietnam Veteran. Read More