Memorial Day and Military Worship

The longer I’m away from American culture, the more I find the blind nationalism and military worship in the USA troublesome.

Despite the concern Americans have about it, global perception of the USA isn’t as bad as they often think…but they are often oblivious to the things that actually put them on “the average world citizen’s” radar.

Most people in the world don’t judge American citizens by the actions of their government any more than most Americans would judge another country’s people by the behavior of their government.

For example, for most Americans, the “scary thing” about Muslim culture is less about fatwas and more about millions of soccer fans chanting “Allahu akbar” when their team scores a goal (especially since most Islamaphobes don’t know what a fatwa is).

But flip the coin.

Most of the planet sees Americans collectively chanting “God…America…Soldiers…Jesus…USA…” at certain times, too.

Do you think it comes across to the world as so much different than that which you fear, from languages or cultures you don’t understand?




People don’t have issues with Americans because the US military is dropping bombs or shooting people.

They have issues due to the off-putting support Americans have for those in that military: there’s a sense of absolute adoration which lends itself to a hero worship of an armed force Americans then see as virtually infallible, lending to the infallibility of the nation and, ultimately, themselves, as they buy into all of it.

This is brainwashing.

The world watches and thinks, “So Americans can openly criticize their politicians, but if they say something bad about a soldier, they get burned at the stake? So…then…their government is actually a junta? Do the Americans know this and just play along, or do they really believe it?”

Seeing it for what it actually is, then legitimately questioning whether the people there have any idea, because it looks like they don’t have a clue.  Kinda’ sounds like how you hear people in the USA talk about North Koreans, doesn’t it?



Service guarantees citizenship!


Speaking of looks: take a look throughout history and see what nations were built using the concept that the military is always right and good and necessary and should always be respected and adored because they always protect the people of their country, leading to those people blindly supporting everything from all military personnel to the entire military construct.

Find me any nation in the history of the world where that mentality led to a positive outcome for the country.

The USA has only nine national holidays:
one is for a civil rights leader,
one is for political leaders;
one is for the new year,
one is for the nation;
one is for workers,
one is a harvest festival,
one is for Christians and…
two are for the military.

If you discovered that a quarter of a foreign country’s holidays were focused on their military, what would you think/feel about that country and the people in it?

Happy Memorial Day!

5 thoughts on “Memorial Day and Military Worship

  1. Can’t really agree with you this time, Joseph. While there may be a perception within the rest of the world that we have a blind eye toward our military, I just don’t think that as a nation that’s the case. Yes, I have a deep respect for the members of our military. I thank our veterans in general in November and in May I remember those who died in service to our nation. That doesn’t mean that I think every military action or every action taken by a soldier/sailor/air force person is right and justified. It’s just not possible for me to have a holiday for just the “good” things. As a whole, I believe the military actions in which we have been engaged have been appropriate. I believe we need to look beyond recent actions and look at those who served in each of the World Wars, the Korean Conflict, and even Vietnam (though to a lesser degree). These were honorable actions and in the cases of the World Wars, had we not intervened, I believe the outcome would have been far worse for our planet.

    I get that the perception of the rest of the world may be that we are a starry-eyed when it comes to our military and that perception is reality, but I just don’t think I care this time. I think we need to have tighter controls on how we use our military, but I will not back away from my support for the military.

  2. Wow, Just when I was beginning to like you, you write this.

    “Military Worship” ?? – I don’t think the USA worships the military. There is respect for the military among a few people. Currently it is a popular trend and many have followed that trend. The pendulum swings and not that long ago, the military was not popular.
    – Veteran’s Day celebrates current and former USA Military members.
    – Memorial Day “commemorates” those that died defending the USA.
    I won’t go into a rebuttal on the other points.
    Yes, I am biased since I served 20 years in the U.S. Military. However, the reason I served is because I believe in the United States.
    The USA is NOT perfect, far from it. I have lived abroad and visited many countries, but none come close to the lifestyle available to USA citizens(including those abroad). Having fought in several conflicts/wars I can personally attest that evil does exist and without strong men/women, it will succeed, I pray that you never witness such events first hand.
    The very fact that you can openly write your opinions points to the success of countless generations of military, primarily, USA and allies. I respect your opinion and indeed fought and sacrificed to defend the right to express that opinion. We need diversity among people to include their views so that we can meet in the middle. The middle does not meet everyone’s expectations but as said above, it is the best the earth currently offers.

  3. I think it may be in response to the post WWII cold war era conflicts (mostly Vietnam) that had negative national reaction to the individual soldier. There seems to be this nagging paranoia that not fully supporting soldiers is akin to the baby killer chants in the 70’s. Maybe.

  4. It is another interesting topic, approaching it from the view of non-US citizens, but a difficult concept to really address. Vietnam Vets were the pioneers in helping the next generation of war fighters secure healthcare and many other benefits. We all owe them more than we even realize. Those men and women turned their personal backlash into positive gains for us. Now, and I actually do agree, we over indulge in holding our service members on a pedestal. But, who is a better alternative to hold up?

    Personally, I think the military mirrors our country/culture better than any other single organization. We have wealthy, poor, black, white, non-citizens, etc. from urban to rural. They are trained to work in unison and I think the military has proven its techniques work. Do I think it is great people thank them? Absolutely. Is it necessary? Maybe not, but some people need a little “pat on the back” once in a while.

    Memorial Day is a day to honor the fallen. Regardless of politics or societal norms (or perceived norms), I think if people actually understand what Memorial Day is about and that military members give up many of their constitutional rights while serving, people might look at this topic a bit differently. Those criticizing the govt. and politicians are not military members (not allowed), and it is easy to then honor or pay tribute to those doing the grunt work of “shitty” politicians.

    Thank the family members!! They have it hard.

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