IRVINE, CA–Veterans Day is meant to honor America’s servicemen of yesteryear. But it should also be a day to pledge to our future vets in the War on Terrorism that they will not be asked to sacrifice their lives for a “selfless cause,” said Dr. Edwin A. Locke, a senior writer at the Ayn Rand Institute.

“It is often said that our soldiers must selflessly sacrifice themselves for their country,” noted Dr. Locke. “But this is precisely what we in the United States must not ask them to do. We should ask them to go to war only when America’s self-defense requires it. If a serviceman risks his life, thinking ‘I would rather die than live in constant fear of being killed by a terrorist,’ his death would be a tragic loss–but it is not a sacrifice. Such a hero acts in his own self-interest to protect his most precious values–his home, his loved ones, his freedom, his life. But if a soldier is ordered to give aid and succor to an enemy trying to kill him, that would be a true sacrifice–and morally obscene.” 

“The best way we can honor our veterans and give real meaning to Veterans Day–aside from ceremonies honoring their bravery and dedication to their values–is to pledge that we will fight this war with all the means at our disposal because our individual rights and America’s interests as a free nation are under attack,” said Dr. Locke. “Then, instead of saying ‘My country right or wrong,’ every American could proudly declare, ‘My country–because it stands for what is right.'”

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