This past week was Veterans’ Day here in America and, as always, it brought to the fore awareness of correct apostrophe usage. Veteran’s Day was originally established as “Armistice Day” to commemorate the aptly-named Treaty of Versailles being signed in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles but was later changed to Ve’terans Day to recognize all the new and improved veterans after they realized that The Great War that was The War to End All Wars wasn’t actually that great and didn’t end all wars at all but instead caused a number of follow-on wars and thus created more veterans that needed recognizing.
And so traditionally on Veterans D’ay, the government shuts down in such a way that doesn’t even make the news and people get together to post gratitudinal platitudes on Facebook. Being a veteran myself, I received a number of thank-yous for my ‘service’ that included keeping America safe for democracy, defending the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic, and seeing how many foreign-made beverages I could get past the customs agent.
To show my own significant gratitude, I would like to use this remarkably blog-like forum to risk being grossly misunderstood and officially thank those who have also served in our US Military Industrial Complex in order that we average citizens might enjoy the freedoms for which America and its flag have come to stand.
So thank you veterans, for your numerous sacrifices around the world that we might have the freedom to have our location and activities monitored here at home by drones, ‘traffic’ cameras, and now, new street-corner wifi tracking networks.
Thank you veterans, for giving up your limbs in Afghanistan so that we might have the freedom to have nude images of our underage daughters beamed to a back room to be viewed by who-knows-who and, should one of them happen to have a quarter in her pocket, having the additional freedom to be groped by a blue-shirted lemming in rubber gloves.
Thank you veterans, for giving up your lives in Libya so we might have the freedom to bear arms as long as no ammunition for said arms is possessed and said arms are not located in one’s home, car, school, mall, theater, home, or person.
Thank you veterans, for sacrificing your mental health in Iraq so that we might have the freedom to mandate our neighbors purchase a commodity they might not want so that it might be cheaper for ourselves.
Thank you veterans, for the time spent away from your family helping the French in Mali that we might have the freedom to start a business and pursue The American Dream, which is actually easier to do in 19 other countries, including several from the former Soviet Bloc.
Thank you veterans, for endangering yourselves while advising in Uganda that we might have the freedom to purchase whatever kind of light bulb we desire that when dropped could potentially kill us and is reason to call out a local hazmat team.
Thank you veterans, for protecting Turkey and Jordan from any potential Syrian civil war spill out that we might have the freedom to vote within a two-party system wherein the only difference between the two parties is which corporations pull the strings.
Thank you veterans, for sacrificing decent food while deployed to the country of Georgia that we might have freedom of the press to include whichever news they choose to or not to report and/or modify in order to meet their political agenda.
Thank you veterans, for selflessly bombing Bosnia that we might have the freedom to have our web browsing, e-mails, and telephone conversations recorded and catalogued. How convenient!
Thank you veterans, for allowing your bodies to be dragged through the streets of Mogadishu that we as US citizens might have the freedom to be held indefinitely without charge and targeted for due-process-free and oversight-less CIA assassinations.
Thank you veterans, for invading Panama and arresting a drug dealer that we might have the freedom to build and own one’s very own home that has passed inspection and is up to ever-changing codes arbitrarily determined by elected officials who have friends and relatives in the related businesses.
Thank you veterans, for sweating it out in the jungles of El Salvador that we might have freedom from anything and everything that smacks of exclusivity like daddy-daughter dances or boy scouts or Christmas.
Thank you veterans, for limiting your conflict in Viet Nam and thus making it really hard to succeed in your questionable yet highly profitable mission, that we might have the freedom to not consume trans fats and 24-ounce sodas.
Thank you veterans, for fighting hard to maintain the status quo in Korea that we might have the freedom of private religion that does not publicly mention God or morality or involves anything that might be construed as prayer.
Thank you veterans, for driving back the Nazis in WWII that we might have the freedom of speech to say and think whatever coincides with the official narrative of the powerful such that nobody’s feelings ever get hurt except for those whose speech and thoughts do not coincide with the official narrative of the powerful.
And thank you veterans for going through hell in the trenches of WWI that we might have the freedom to be jailed for defending our families and/or property from intruders, the freedom of privacy in our own homes while our electronic devices are powered off, and the freedom to get involved in foreign wars that have nothing to do with our national security.
Let freedom ring.
P.S. A special welcome to all my new DHS readers!