It’s important to remember what those who fought to defend our countries (plural as am dual citizen) went through, Samantha Beach.

I have a Vietnam War vet in my American family. On Sunday, my husband went to see him and thanked him for his service, as one does. Unexpectedly, he broke down crying, telling him about the horrors he had witnessed (forgive me but I’ll spare you and your readers here). He’s now very old and served as an USAF chaplain, which tells you all you need to know.

My beloved Polish-born grandpa was a WWII vet who spent most of the war as a POW (he served in the French army) in Nazi forced labor camps (here too, I’ll spare you because his experience defies language). No matter how many military medals he was subsequently awarded for his service, the scars of his time in captivity remained in the ways he behaved, with some of those behaviors passed on to his eldest son, my dad.

As far as I can remember, Nov 11 was always a very somber day for me, both in France and in Britain. We take it very seriously and it’s an occasion to take stock, reflect, and give thanks to our own military and to our allies (UK, Canada, US, New Zealand, Australia etc…). Generally, parents will take the time to remind their young children what the day is about.

In America, it’s just another excuse for mattress sales and going to the mall to snag deals and that infuriates me. It shocks me how little respect this country has for history, and for those who put their lives on the line every day to defend it. Some foreign servicemen and women who served in the US military are still being deported, others live out of their cars because they can’t afford housing, and many suffer from crippling PTSD and are not receiving the care they need and deserve. To me, this is yet another example of how dehumanizing America is.

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