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.
Registered users of The Local may add their comments in the field below. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can do so here – it’s free and only takes a moment.