On the other hand, the animals surely have not signed up for this, and could not care less about the medals and monuments bestowed upon them. They do not realise that they are serving a human made ‘higher purpose’ (the ‚hero‘ label in this context is as such also very anthropocentric) and they just want to live, free from the horror of war, the risk of being killed, the ensuing shell shock, the physical and mental trauma. The honouring of animal casualties of war in many cases seems more like a way of easing one’s conscience: you see: we truly care about them, we even give them a medal! But if one really cared about them, they wouldn’t be used for such purposes in the first place.
As such, I feel that respecting and commemorating the millions of animals fallen on our battlefields is nobel, but it should go hand in hand with a plea to halt the use and exploitation of animals, which is most often missing on such commemorations.