Veterans Day is a national holiday filled with parades and celebrations, but brings ambiguity.
Howard Zinn, a veteran of the Second World War, wrote, "I do not want to recognize my service as a praise of war."
Sometimes we can solve the desire to celebrate at the price of service and sacrifice. Consider the fact that nearly 2,700 allies and German soldiers died in combat on the day of the Armistice Gap on November 11, 1918.
Ambiguity is also the result of growing only between those who serve and those who do not. At some point, only 0.04 percent of the US population is active. The columnist recently explained in the Economist: "The conflict between American troops and civilians never grew, and in 1990, 40 percent of young Americans worked as soldiers for their parents, and in 2016 only 16 percent did."
Sometimes vague ambiguity exists within the veteran community and sometimes within the personal veteran. Veterans' experience is not constant. Some saw the battle. Many people do not. The story of each veteran's service is unique.
WWII veterinarian Frank Brookhauser said, "There is nothing in one story. If there are two, there is no story."
Currently there are about 20.17 million veterans, 7% of the US population. It is more than 20 million stories with stories of loved ones. Sometimes poetry is the most effective way to capture ambiguity and stories.
Bridging Division: A poet who knows this split is an army veteran Yusef Komunyakaa who served in Vietnam from 1969 to 1970 and earned the Bronze Star. He is currently a professor at New York University. Komunyakaa has two roles for entertaining teaching the concept that the city dates back to "Ars Poetica" of Aristotle and Horace, by encouraging them to read poetry with their own poems such as "Facing It" or other veterans Explain.
Komunyakaa in the "Letters to Editors", taking as an example the case of a meeting with veteran poetry, said, "Young men and women, soldiers and civilians should read good literature and learn from Yehuda Amichai ' Point. "Amichai thinks that many are the greatest poets of Israel. His poetry describes the experience of a soldier.
"To march continuously and be alone in the middle,
Pillows, feathers, looking at the body of a beloved woman,
And when she can not hear & # 39; Mom, & # 39; to scream,
And to shout "God," when I do not believe in Him,
Komuriyakawa Amichai emphasizes the need to get to know and learn about the people who serve. Although many things about the stories are not conspicuous or routine, they are not. Debs Myers, World War II veterinarian describes his fellow soldiers at "Soldier":
"He learned to sleep in mud, tie a knot, kill a man, he learned loneliness, the pain of exhaustion, the intimacy of unhappiness, from the beginning he wanted to go home … he learned … everyone This is similar, each person is different, [but] It was not that different if he was on line. "
Myers' soldiers longed for home. Veterans are at home, and even if people read stories about "over there", they might not always understand what they are here. Brian Turner, an Iraqi combat veterinarian, describes the idea in the poet "Ashbah" here, Bullet. He is at home,
"The Ghost of the US Army
Stroll the ballad at night.
I was tired of not knowing the way home. "
His poetry helps the ghost to know that he does not "know the way home." At least some people survive physically and return home.
We should keep in mind that providing a free meal or holding a parade on Veterans Day is not enough. Respecting the people who serve them means making an effort to communicate with those who serve.
Eisenhower changed the Veterans Day, which focused on World War I, to a celebration of those who served in all wars. Congress added the Moment of Silence Act in 2016. The moment of silence is "the sacrifice and dedication of veterans throughout the history of the nation"
Millions of people who have served – those who are not home, those who are caught up in that space here and there, but who have congratulations and silence, are valued and thankful. But are they enough to fill the gap?
Veterans need service to anyone, but explanations and celebrations are not always easy. Reading poetry to hear veterans 'stories and capture the ambiguity and complexity of veterans' experiences can offer another way of respecting service and sacrifice.
James Dubinsky is an associate professor at Virginia Tech. This article will be republished at The Conversation, under the Creative Commons license.