I come from a military family. Almost everyone on both sides has served in the Canadian Armed Forces in various ways. So I'll admit, I probably have a bit of a bias here.
I've had many arguments with friends who take a pacifist view: that if there were no soldiers, there would be no war. I respectfully disagree.
Worldwide violence has decreased over the centuries and tolerance of violence has also decreased. It is no longer acceptable to hit another person to show them who is boss or to buy and sell people as so much property. We no longer shrug off stories of genocide and terror because they do not directly affect us. We've made great strides and should be proud of the changes we've wrought.
But there will always be those who seek to frighten or bully others. Sometimes those people gain power, because it is seductive to blame others for problems and feel powerful.
We will always need warriors to protect those who cannot protect themselves.
Warriors stand strong and tell those behind them that they don't need to fear.
Warriors sometimes take grievous injuries in both mind and body but often still seek to stand against the darkness.
Warriors use their strength not as a source of power over others, but as an umbrella to shelter.
Warriors deserve to be honoured and their sacrifices remembered.
I'm proud to be part of a warrior tradition. And I always will be.