November 11th, 1918 was the day that the Allies and Germans signed an armistice to end the fighting in World War I. From that point on, the day would be known as Armistice Day in much of the world, including in the United States. In 1954, the US congress officially changed the name of the holiday to ‘Veterans Day.’ The official explanation is that in changing the name to ‘Veterans Day’ we would be celebrating the contributions of Veterans of all former, current and future wars rather than merely focusing on one particular war.
The official explanation is bullshit.
The truth is, that by 1954 the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) had US foreign policy completely wrapped up in the idea that we need to be perpetually at war for an intricately woven web of reasons, not least of which is the simple correlation between warfare and profits for the industries that comprise the MIC. The idea of a holiday that is first and foremost dedicated to the celebration of peace is cognitively dissonant with the idea that we need to be making war all the time. It just doesn’t work.
So, instead of a holiday celebrating peace, and which also includes an implied ‘thank you’ to the war veterans who ostensibly would be fighting wars in an effort to reach a greater peace, we have a jingoist national holiday that instead is allegedly designated for ‘honoring’ veterans.
Well, rather than continuing to feed the men and women who have fought wars the empty platitude of a flaky holiday that generically ‘honors’ them, how about we stop the madness and instead ‘honor’ them by no longer engaging in wars whose primary and sole purpose is to increase corporate profits and strengthen the oligarchy? How about we ‘honor’ them by, instead of the empty, bullshit holiday, we provide our veterans with the needed and essential social services and benefits that will improve their lives? All we’d really have to do is take some of the billions we’re giving Lockheed Martin next year and instead spend it on improving human lives, rather than by destroying human lives with bombs and guns.
Or maybe I’m just being ‘unpatriotic.’
Well, in that case, fuck whatever passes for patriotic.