When you are on a US military installation, whether soldier or civilian, you're supposed to stop out of respect if you're walking outside when the bugler plays taps at the end of the day.
Yesterday, a day ahead of Veterans Day, as the November 11 Armistice Day ending World War I has been known in the United States for more than fifty years, President Obama observed that respect in the Fort Hood ceremony. Dignified - the proper stance for a Veterans Day that is as delicate a moment as any in recent years. For once, a President and his advisers are doing war planning that will strive to end our two ongoing wars/occupations, deliberating in a way that apparently was not done when President Bush - with typically undeliberative speed - got the US into those wars.
Dignity doesn't always come naturally to Americans wanting to profit from identification with patriotism. "Free onion rings for men and women in uniform" promises a fast food outlet, its way of "investing" a few scraps in the war effort. Well, I suppose that if you're a private or airman risking your life on what approaches minimum wage, anything that comes free is welcome.
But don't ask the fast food magnate to sacrifice his son or daughter to the defense of the realm - that's for people who eat onion rings in greasy spoons.