Federal Defense Minister Boris Pistorius has spoken out in favor of introducing Veterans Day. "I think that's a good idea. I'm absolutely open to it," said the SPD politician to the news portal "ZDFheute.de".
Since it is the Bundeswehr, i.e. a parliamentary army, the initiative should come from the Bundestag. But he could imagine, “if you do it right, it’s a really good idea.” The German Bundeswehr Association had repeatedly brought up the idea of an annual Veterans Day.
Högl: “Will promote it”
Yesterday, the German Bundestag's defense representative, Eva Högl, also supported the idea.
"I am counting on this debate gaining momentum during the Invictus Games and I will promote it," she told the "Rheinische Post" and the Bonn "General-Anzeiger" on the occasion of the international sports festival Invictus Games for war-disabled soldiers in Düsseldorf . The Bundeswehr Association had suggested September 9th or 16th of this year as the first date for an annual Veterans Day. This is the beginning and end of the Invictus Games.
A veteran of the Bundeswehr is anyone who is in active service as a soldier in the Bundeswehr or who has honorably left this service. This means that almost all current and former members of the Bundeswehr are veterans.
The idea of a Veterans Day was already brought up in 2012 by the then Defense Minister Thomas de Maizière (CDU). He now spoke out in “ZDFheute.de” in favor of defining the term veteran narrowly. "If all former soldiers are to be honored, the term veteran will be devalued. Then I would be against such a special day. That's what the Bundeswehr Day is for."
Left leader: completely out of time
Left leader Martin Schirdewan opposed the introduction of such a day and described the idea as completely out of date. It promotes militarization and the glorification of war.
Pistorius also criticized increasing hate comments on social networks against soldiers and veterans as “difficult to endure”. You have to ask yourself where the hate comes from. "And against people who were injured while serving Germany."