That is the question.
In today's world where and when most governments justify their existence in representing the good of the people, they tend to justify also going to war as an effort of “the greatest good.”
We honor those who went to war over the past century for what was believed to be the greatest good. And honor we must those who gave their lives for their country in previous centuries and those who returned half-whole.
We need to honor all of them more by what we do for those returning today from the actual wars we are engaged in.
Regardless of the questions raised considering the greatest good at times, the Japanese and the Germany's sent their soldiers to die in the interest of the greatest good for their nations.
And today, they honor their soldiers as they must, but need not raise the question as whether they died in the interest of the greatest good. But they died for their countries.
Today governments must raise this issue, of placing so many of their own in danger if they are not sure it is in the greatest good.
Many in our nation today, perhaps most, do not believe that being involved in war within two nations and perhaps within a third may not be in our own good nor in that of the nations in which we are involved.
I'm a veteran of the second world war but don't claim any honors for that, but being in that war, I can agree that it was for “our greatest good.” But not for the Germans whose country was devastated and as were most the people.
We cannot be so emphatic about present involvement in war. Yet in the interest of those who went and who go to war, we honor them today. The living, the dead and the maimed. We honor their families. But governments must face the question of “the greatest good.”
President Obama, didn't believe that being in Iraq was in the interest of what was our greatest good. If it isn't for the “greatest” good of what good is it that we are still there?
And for what good are we in Afghanistan? In honoring men and women of past and present wars, we honor them even more by raising the question of whether it is for the nation's greatest good?
The Germans and the Japanese thought that they were fighting for the greatest good of their nations. They should have raised that question.
It turned out that it was not in their best interest. They have all the right to honor theirs, those who fought in that war against us even if it wasn't in their best interest.
Tomorrow, our government should go about explaining whether we are at war in the interest of the people they represent. They should raise that question every day until at least the majority of us can say that it's in our “greatest interest.”
If it is not in our greatest interest, why are we there?
I can still raise this question even if my heart bleeds for all of those who have had to experience combat.