Interesting that in England we have Remembrance Day on November 11, which is the day to remember fallen veterans, particularly those of the first World War. In the US Nov 11 is also a minor holiday of note, but renamed Veteran's Day. The bigger deal though, is Memorial Day, which ends up being a much bigger deal and just a tad short of July 4th. I mean, who wants to remember those Veterans on a dreary day in the middle of November when the weather is terrible? Americans love their holidays in the sun. Never mind that Nov 11 is when WW1 ended, and that conditions in that war were miserable for most of the time, and it would seem appropriate to remember it, and war in general, that way.
I saw a news article that said the WW2 memorial in Washington DC was officially opened now because WW2 veterans are dying at the rate of 1000 a day (I'm assuming US veterans, as the US media couldn't give a rip about foreigners...) While it's not likely we'll run out of WW2 vets any time soon, it is a sobering thought. That was the generation that, as cliched as it may seem, fought the battles that made the freedom to bitch about stuff today possible. Still, it's also the generation that brought us Cold War paranoia (the survivors, anyway), so it's not like it was all peachy.
No matter how stupid war may be, I'm always reminded of the Jesus quote on the matter of giving up one's life...
John 15 12My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command.
Now I don't necessarily believe that laying one's life down on the battlefield is quite as noble as Jesus giving his life for the world, but it's close.
I think every generation has to ask itself, "Exactly what are we willing to sacrifice for our faith?"