Thursday, November 11, 2010

Honoring Veterans through Inconvenience

Today in the U.S., we honor our veterans by closing dry cleaners early. This is a great way to frustrate people who try to pick up their clothes at 3pm and discover that the cleaners closed at noon. All around the city today, there are people with their faces pressed against the glass of closed dry cleaners mouthing "Why?" into the dark store.

Then they try to go to the bank, only to find that closed as well. At least the bank has put up a friendly sign, saying "Closed for Veterans' Day." Now all these people know why they can't get anything accomplished today. And really, what makes people more appreciative of the heroic efforts of our country's veterans, the efforts that allow us to live in a (partially) free and (somewhat) functional society, than being inconvenienced?

Veterans' Day is a very empathetic holiday, in that way. Christmas is sympathetic. We give to the less fortunate on Christmas. But on Veterans' Day, we celebrate veterans by making sure people have no clean clothes and no money, so that we can all know what it's like to be a veteran. And really, who wouldn't prefer making others badly off to making themselves better off?

One great "sacrifice" deserves another, so today, be sure to show your appreciation for the Purple Hearts, the amputees, the medal-winners, and all the soldiers who left their homes and their families to risk life and limb on our behalf, by putting off your banking until Friday.

Yours in patriotism,

S. Misanthrope

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