96 years ago today the “Great War” aka the “War To End All Wars” ended. Unfortunately it didn’t end all wars, so the holiday we set aside to celebrate Armistice Day became a day to honor all our military veterans, living and dead.
Here are two quotes from one of my favorite authors, Robert A. Heinlein:
“Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history that has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and their freedoms.”
He sighed. “Another year, another class — and for me another failure. One can lead a child to knowledge but one cannot make him think.” Suddenly he pointed his stump at me. “You. What is the moral difference, if any, between the soldier and the civilian?”
“The difference, I said carefully, “lies in the field of civic virtue. A soldier accepts personal responsibility for the safety of the body politic of which he is a member, defending it, if need be, with his life. The civilian does not.”
“The exact words of the book,” he said scornfully. “But do you understand it? Do you believe it?”
“Pacifism is a shifty doctrine under which a man accept the benefits of the social group without being willing to pay-and claims a halo for his dishonesty.”
If you love freedom, thank a vet.