The Unknown Soldier

The inscription on the tomb of the unknown soldier in Tel Aviv, Israel:

Here lies Abraham Schwartz
Died 1973 During Arab-Israeli War
A good Soldier and Jeweller

It seems like a contradiction: he was the unknown soldier, yet known as a jeweller. The inscription on his tomb, like a paradox as of the noble-servant, speaks to two truths back to back as the sides of a coin.

Every soldier has a name, he/she was born somewhere, and grew into their identity. People and human like everybody else, their noble calling and the calling of the kings makes them figures of a chess board.

Arbitrary.
Unknown.
Figures.
Like the regular citizen to civil servants and senators.
And on edge; characteristic of their membership.

Maybe it’s just a job. But we know that it isn’t just any job.

Specially, they are worthy of national honour. (We may interpret this as tax exemptions, free education, guaranteed pensions etc.) Because they have the kingly call to heed the call of the kings, to life or death, they who stand for their nation as them also.

Life in the military makes one the sacred property of the government, and by extension their people. The person, the tomb, and the inscription tells a story succinctly: one aspect of membership of the military in the midst of conflict, particularly.

This is the season of the armed forces remembrance day in Nigeria. In this season, let us remember the sacrifice that is the military, the sacrifices that it is for their families, and purpose again to remember always to show honour and kindness to them as persons and a group.

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