Editorial: Celebrate veterans and work harder for peace
Towns and organizations in Sussex hosted several Veterans Day events this past week. The county’s only Veterans Day Parade, in Laurel, featured Delaware Cape Region’s own Dr. Mayer Katz as grand marshal for his surgical heroics as a MASH doctor in Vietnam.
This year’s holiday came on the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. That war brought traditional battle tactics - including cavalry riders on horseback - up against the modern weaponry of tanks and automatic machine guns, resulting in the absurd slaughter of an estimated 16 million combatants. The holiday’s founding grew out of a deep humanitarian sense that such selfless service and sacrifice had to be recognized, celebrated and remembered.
We must remember such sacrifices, but more importantly, do our own part as citizens on behalf of fallen combatants and all of the soldiers who have selflessly served in our military in the decades since.
The greatest tribute we can show is to remain active in our governance to pressure leaders - except in the most extreme situations - to keep us out of wars.
Wars are failures: failures of intelligence, failures of diplomacy, failures of misguided intentions.
There is nothing romantic about dead bodies riddled with bullets, limbs torn off by explosives and veterans driven to suicide or worse by post-traumatic stress disorder.
The best way we can show appreciation to our veterans is to move beyond that. Let’s use our intelligence corps to identify problems early and nip them in the bud. Let’s keep our diplomats talking - for decades if necessary - to find resolutions instead of explosions. Let’s allocate more resources toward identifying and resolving injustices that lead to conflicts, and the mental health issues fueling mass shootings.
We need our military ready for rapid deployment to help out in the natural disasters coming at us with increasing frequency and intensity, not for wars we can avoid.
Let’s remember our veterans every day by working harder for peace.