Photo by Olivier Douliery | MCT News
Members of the Third U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) prepare to place American flags in front of the more than 220,000 graves. Photo by Olivier Douliery | MCT News

On Memorial Day we celebrate those who have fought and died in war. This week, we celebrate Veterans Day to honor those who have returned. We believe in honoring the men and women who have risked their lives, showing that we appreciate who they are and what they have done for our country.

We extend our appreciation to all members of the armed forces. Regardless of whether they hold a gun or not, everybody’s job is important to the military as a whole, and these people are taking time away from their friends and family to protect our freedoms. It is important to give respect to those who have put their lives on the line to serve our country, regardless of the reason behind it.

Veterans Day was originally known as Armistice Day. After WWI, Nov. 11 was declared a national holiday in many allied countries, including the U.S., France and England to commemorate the armistice signed with Germany. After World War II, many countries changed the name to include more than just those that served in World War I. The U.S. changed the name to Veterans Day to honor everyone who served in and survived the military.

Since the two World Wars, America has been involved in other wars with other countries, but not for nearly as honorable reasons. Instead of sending troops to battle for our freedoms, the leaders of America have sent our military to other countries for our own interests. The war on terror and all the other conflicts in the Middle East have gotten out of hand and resulted in needless deaths. World War II was the last time the U.S. fought for the freedom of our country and the world.

Despite of the politics that go behind the decisions in our military, we still send men to foreign lands to risk their lives. The military changes them, no matter what branch they go into. It makes them tougher, which it is supposed to, but war changes them dramatically and not necessarily for the good.

The government has been consistently cutting back money in military spending, which seems to have been doing more harm than good. Yes, we are trillions of dollars in debt. But that cutting back in the military has been taking away necessities for our troops. They use old weapons that are cracked or damaged because they can’t afford repairs. They bunk up in rooms of 30 people because the government cutbacks affected housing.

And while the money is funneling out of the military, it is funneling right back into the police forces. We see images of cops in full camouflage and tanks who aren’t properly trained to use weapons, but have the money to spend on it. Militarizing any force that polices its civilians is never a good idea. The military isn’t there to police us, they’re there to protect us from outside forces that could harm us.

The militarization of our police force is something that absolutely has to stop, because it is creating the kind of fear that one would see in a totalitarian state. It is setting a bad precedent and is negatively affecting the image of the military.

Though the idea behind the military and government has been skewed through the years, it is important that we honor our veterans this week. These brave men and women fought for our country and risked their lives to protect our freedoms. Their images have been skewed, yet they are still our heroes that we celebrate today. They deserve our recognition.

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