"And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet." (Mark 13:7)
Most major cities and our nation's capital have many memorials to honor the veterans and their sacrifices in past wars. Some of those memorials are magnificent, stressing the glory and joy of victories won. Others are somber and heartrending, stressing the pain and sacrifice necessary to gain and hold onto freedom. All seek to honor the people involved, for the cost is and has been enormous.
Yet, Jesus said that "such things must needs be!" Some wars are more observably "necessary" than others, like wars to stop the spread of evil or to bring judgment on evil nations (1 Samuel 15:2-3, etc.).
But all wars have their sources in the wickedness of men (James 4:1). One of the chief responsibilities of national leaders is to wield the "sword" of national power against those who do evil (Romans 13:4).
It is for those reasons that we honor the soldiers who demonstrate strength in the battle as King David and his "mighty men" did (2 Samuel 23:8-22). It is for this reason that we erect monuments to commemorate great victories (Judges 6:24) or signal events in the battles for freedom (Joshua 4:5-7).
War is hideous and touches the lives of all involved. Yet it "must be" until the day when "they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more" (Micah 4:3).
Until that day comes, honor the memory of those who have given their lives and their livelihood to serve in this necessary duty. HMM III