Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day 2008

In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot. ~Mark Twain, Notebook, 1935

Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think hard before starting a war.
- Otto von Bismarck, 1815 - 1898

Lord, bid war's trumpet cease;
Fold the whole earth in peace.
~Oliver Wendell Holmes

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again. Who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause. Who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat. - Theodore Roosevelt, The Man in the Arena


Beach Bum said...

I wanted to say more on this post but since the quotes can cover several other avenues of what is happening in this country now I will leave it alone.

Randal Graves said...

Unfortunately, I don't think we'll ever change as a species. If we're merely between ice ages, than whatever peace is out there is only existing between the last and the next war.

Beach Bum said...

Randal: Damn good point, A good many of my posts have me pondering the actual intelligence of us hairless primates and whether we will avoid self-destruction. Just a few minutes ago I was informed by mother-in-law of who was at fault for the massive economic meltdown. My position is easy to guess along with the reasons for it, I am after all a Olbermann fan, NPR listener, and read several liberal magazines and blogs each giving facts for why we have this mess.
My mother-in-law shot back after i gave her my position that she listened to Rush, Billo, and Fox News and her facts were different.
Now I won't dwell on what I thought about her facts but if its this hard to find the "Truth" then we are really in a world of serious shit.
I do hope that at some point the human species will adapt to the current survival need and override our million year-old programming that was fine when we were just scattered tribes on a very big world but maybe you are right and whatever peace and truth we have now only exists until the next war in which the victor will change.

lime said...

eloquent choices to mark this day. thank you for your service to us all.

Vigilante said...

Beach, Lynne Carey's Veteran (in your graphic) reminds me:

On my local Veterans' Walk of Remembrance, where my Dobie and I walk on Sundays is this plaque dedicated to WW II Vets, attributed to British classicist John Maxwell Edwards:

When you go home
Tell them of us and say,
For your tomorrow
We gave our today.

Keshi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Keshi said...

Tearjerker that was!

**Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think hard before starting a war.

Beautifully put!

Remembrance is also abt us...who we are...how we arrived here...where we r heading...and abt those who died so that we cud live today.

btw BB, there r some pics from my part of the world in my current post that u may like to see :)



Stella said...

In honor of our veterans, I've posted a link to Valor-IT Valor-IT, an organization that donates goods to veterans.

It is a wonderful charity that gives aid to wounded veterans and those serving in combat. The donations end on Thanksgiving.

Beach Bum said...

Lime: Thank you. A few years ago I had the luck to meet a WW2 veteran that served in the China/India/Burma theater and not only crossed the Himalayas but with his unit worked his way all the way to the coast of China at war's end. I don't remember his age but he was well into his 80's and from the attention his children, grand children, and great grandchildren his health was not good even then. We talked for a good long time and his words became one of my posts early in this blog. While much could be said that his service was an adventure he hinted at the evils, death, and waste he saw. Special concern was spoken about an orphaned Chinese boy that his unit adopted but yet had to leave behind when they left for home. The boy was left at an orphanage but with all the fighting China was still yet to see along with the madness of the Cultural Revolution he didn't know if the boy survived. After we talked some more he sort of gave out and spent the rest of the time watching his one great-great grandchild enjoy her birthday, which Wiggles was attending. Out of all his struggles I could tell that he knew his service was worth it to see his and other children playing freely and safely under a bright sunny sky.
Compared to what other have given for the country my four years active duty and seventeen years National Guard are microscopic but I have come to find the same solace he did just watching my children do the same thing, its thanks enough. Wiggles and I went to another birthday party for the same friend this year and I learned that man passed away several months after I met him at the first party.

Vigil: There is a trust implied when men and women join the service that if called to lay down their lives it will be for a worthy cause. Depending on whose facts and truth you believe (see my comment to Randal about what my mother-in-law said) that trust has been strained and even worse some fight even now just for the "thrill"and that "might makes right". Not delving any deeper into politics but far more has to be rebuilt after this election than just financial institutions, civil government, and infrastructure. We as a nation have to win back our souls.

Keshi: who we are...how we arrived here...where we r heading
Great point and I hope my country can make the connection, we are off to a better start. But much still remains to be seen.

Stella: Like many bizarre things in America these days it would seem with all the magnetic ribbons saying "support the troops" attached to cars that homeless veterans would not exist. That organizations like Valor-IT does exist says much about the empty platitudes of how much we do support the troops.

•♥•♥[V]♥•♥• said...

have to second randal.

as they say
their is no avoiding war..it can only be postponed to the advantage of your enemy.

Colonel Colonel said...

Thanks Beach!!

a rose is a rose said...

it was very rude of me NOT to stop by sooner and say thank you for serving!

i apologize

Vigilante said...

What Rose said.


Hi Beach, Allow me to add a famous Rudyard Kipling quote:

“If any question why we died,
Tell them, because our fathers lied”

Vigilante said...


Distributorcap said...

thank you beach for all your service and bravery -- i just wish the govt would look out for you guys as much as you look out for us.....

Beach Bum said...

Vicky: That right there is the rub, had the Nazis not pushed Europe into war time would have been on their side. They would have had time to develop cutting edge weapons that the West would have been some serious catch up to counter. But in the case of the Cold War avoiding actual direct fighting probably saved us all.

Colonel: If I remember something you wrote one time I should be thanking you for the service your dad gave during WW2.

Rose and Vigil: You never have to apologize, while I did wear the uniform there are other far more deserving of praise than me. MadMike who served in Vietnam and the Colonel's dad who served in WW2. Of course those that serve now need all our thanks, prayers, good vibes, and thoughts. It will get far worse for them before its gets better.

Hill: I really need to read more Kipling. With all the arm chair generals (neocons and chickenhawks) and political leaders suffering from delusions or combat glory (Bush/Cheney) that phrase is so true.

DCap: Your welcome and lets hope we can make it better for us all in the coming years.

Stella said...

That organizations like Valor-IT does exist says much about the empty platitudes of how much we do support the troops.

You're absolutely right, Beach. Bushit cut veterans' benefits six years in a row, but could somehow find money to build military equipment. Leaving veterans without adequate pay and benefits enrages me.

They deserve to be treated as heroes, not shunted away into substandard care. We have many homeless veterans where I live. That's unconscionable.

Beach Bum said...

Stella: Yeah, I was outraged over benefits being cut and McCain's opposition to the Senator Webb's bill to increase the G.I. Bill enough so it would actually pay for college again. There were very dark shades to the code words he and Lindsey Graham used for their opposition.

•♥•♥[V]♥•♥• said...

cold was not an exception for sure..
the war was an internal one..breaking the backbone of Russia.And You see Russia did lose.

Anonymous said...

Great post...
Thanks for sharing......

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