You've probably seen the bumper sticker: "If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you're reading it in English, thank a veteran." or one of its many variants. Other people have discussed the implications before, but here's my take.

Except for the generations that are living during the occupation of a country, who may (or may not) have to endure learning a new language, who really cares? If I had grown up speaking Chinese, would I be sad on learning that English had been spoken in this part of the world before, and cry nostalgic tears? I grew up in central Maine, where French had once been the predominant language (after the Abnakis had been wiped out). Up through 4th grade, we were still being tought French in public schools in the 1960s. After that, it became an elective, and, though being half French extraction myself, I and many other French-named students dropped it like a hot potato, preferring to study Latin, German, or Spanish. People in general just don't give a damn what language they grow up speaking or what language their parents spoke.

Besides, how many veterans ever fought to prevent an invasion of the mainland U.S., regardless of the invader's will to change our language? I'm not a history buff, but I doubt that it's ever been any country's or group's high priority.

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last updated 2013-04-05 15:50:07. served from tektonic