Yes, I am a veteran. But I am one of those who had the dubious honor of being a veteran of the only war America ever fought and lost. I have always been somewhat ambiguous about Veteran’s Day. On the one hand I feel that it’s only fitting that we acknowledge the contributions of those who have served their country. But, being completely confounded by the idea of wars in the first place, I can’t quite shake off the sense that we might better serve and honor the memory of those who have been subjected to this horror by making sure that no one ever has to go through that again.
OK, I can already hear people asking, “Just what the hey does this have to do with woodworking?” Well, not a thing actually. Except for the fact that I have gone to my shop and worked on every Veteran’s Day since I became one. Somehow, it seems fitting for me to “celebrate” a day that honors veterans by demonstrating gratitude that, unlike many of my fellow vets, I am still actually able work.
It’s always nice when you see those parades and all of that flag waving and hear the rousing JP Sousa marches. Those guys earned some cudos. But then you go to the bank and it’s closed and all of the government offices are closed and sometimes it seems like the veterans are the only ones who don’t get the day off. I have an idea that might serve veterans better than taking the day off to go see a parade. How about this: any veteran of any war can go to any restaurant, get a steak dinner (OK, there may be some vets who are vegetarian so maybe they can have eggplant or portobello mushrooms) and the taxpaying public, who in some way owe the vets for the fact that are still alive to be taxpayers, pick up the tab. Now that would make me feel “special!”
Now… back to woodworking.