November 11

The days before Veterans Day, it seems, have gradually become an occasion for debating  the place and role of the military in American society. There’s great political and social media hay to made of November 11. And money–if you search “Veterans Day 2014” in Google News, most of the first pages of results are about sales and deals and marketing.

I believe that an educated, engaged citizenry is essential to a democracy, and that part of that engagement consists of seriously discussing the use of military force by our government, and the relationship of the American military to American society.  But I’ll post an overview of recent debates on these topics some other time. Instead, here are four columns worth reading on Veteran’s Day:

Scott Glew, “This Veterans Day, What Will Your Commitment Be?” at the Star Tribune.

Ashley Fantz, “5 Ways to Honor Veterans Beyond Veterans Day,” from CNN.

Ruth Ben-Ghiat, “After War’s Trauma, Words Don’t Work,” the final column in Legacies of World War I.

And this 2010 Memorial Day column by Andrew Bacevich, which is as relevant in November as it was in May.