It is a question of perception. Back in the days during and before the Great War, the ordinary person, everywhere was becoming a little more educated. The general attitude towards patriotism was becoming more associated with the general public, rather than just those more educated and elite people within British society. It was the general belief that without very strict rules of conduct and obedience the ordinary soldier would gladly have done other than his duty. Prior to the Great War, those men that had been in the army were not thought of in the wonderful way and worshipful attitude we adopt to our armed forces of today. If anything they were thought of as scum mostly. Ex criminals and louts and social outcasts. Men to whom most people would have found not very endearing in the least.
Today the media would have us treat anyone in uniform, no matter, as heroes. No doubt our men and women deserve more of our tribute and understanding than has been in the case in yesteryear.
Then there is more severe and strict military code of behaviour. Firstly there is duty, and it is expected that each individual should conduct themselves in a proper manner expected of soldiers, even under fire. Especially under fire! This modern heroism is because society is much more sympathetic to the lot of our military. They judge how heroic it is for an ordinary citizen to interfere in some type of physical dispute and would give that citizen a medal for that contribution. They then compare this with having to face such horror on a day to day basis as with the military. If this feeling continues, and I for one am not saying it shouldn't, we will be giving everyone who volunteers for military service with a medal upon enlistment, and a gong for almost every action thereafter. Perhaps they should.
Back then, in the Great War, such duty and actions, were accepted as merely necessary acts in the pursuance of battle. Only exceptions deeds of bravery would be considered worthy of mention and a medal and such. The conflict was so massive and awesome that the individual entity was lost among the many, many daily sacrifices, tribulations and utter horror of War. Personally each and every soldier in the Great War that suffered the traumas of that conflict should be given far more recognition. Almost any soldier on the line deserved far more praise and respect than all the pampered generals together, that supposedly led them.
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· 7 years ago