Should Germany have a Veterans' Day?
The Local · 5 Apr 2012, 09:40
Published: 05 Apr 2012 09:40 GMT+02:00
- German military to get US-style Veterans' Day (04 Apr 12)
The number of German soldiers hurt and killed increases with every year of Germany’s involvement in active military missions – as does the number of those who return home physically intact but suffering psychological damage.
As Germany grows out of its post-war ban on sending soldiers abroad, it is learning to deal with the political and social consequences that come with that.
For many, a day to honour those soldiers who suffer while carrying out the orders of their civilian masters seems appropriate.
But in the post-war era, Germany has also built up a strong aversion to all things military and jingoist.
The annual swearing-in of new recruits often attracts protests, while traditional honour marches such as the torch-lit parades for departing defence ministers and presidents seem to sit uneasily in a modern Germany.
Is it time for the German military to finally shrug off its post World War II hair shirt and hold a veterans’ day, a contribution to the increasing acceptance of national pride? Or should Germany treat its soldiers like other professionals whose jobs involve physical and mental risk? Have your say below.
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