Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Armistice Day

The 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month. Most people who know those words relate them to Veteran's Day, the day and time World War One ended. Few take note anymore of August the 14th, 1945 when the Second World War ended. There are always wars. There are always soldiers.While all honor should be given to those who serve, in many times and countries unwillingly, let's look again at the original resolution concerning this day from the Congress of the United States, adopted on June the 4th, 1926:

Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and

Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and

Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.

A 1938 act established 'Armistice Day' as a national U.S. holiday to honor those who fought that war, and to be dedicated to world peace.

 In 1954, after lobbying efforts by WWII veterans, the act which created "Armistice Day' was amended to remove the word 'Armistice' and replace it with "Veterans". The concept of 'peace' was left out of the amended version.

In our world, one returning to glorification of soldiering and of the military, it's time to get back to the original concept. It's time to lobby the governments of the world to spend, dollar for dollar, as much money waging peace as they spend waging war. The war I think most people would like to see declared would be a war on poverty, on want, on disease, on intolerance, on lack of education, not war to determine who controls land, or money, or people.

It has been estimated that if the major countries of the world gave the amount each spends on one week of their military budget, hunger could be eliminated worldwide. Forget for a moment the logistics and the seeming impossibility of that being accomplished. What that estimate really says is that financially it can be done, and it wouldn't cost all that much. What it says is that we lack the will to do it.

So forgive me for not observing this day by waving the flag of my nation (or any nation); forgive me for not remembering those who follow orders without question; forgive me for not honoring those in or out of the military who 'preserve peace'. I prefer instead to honor when it actually once happened. I prefer to remember a day when peace broke out.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That is a very thoughtful post. There are many kinds of war indeed.
Sadly, feeding the worlds hungry will not eliminate the zealots who insist on inflicting their views on the entire planet and in so doing create more wars. They will just be better fed while they practice their brand of evil.
I will continue to mark what we call Remembrance Day in Canada as a way of honouring all those who have, who do and who will continue to offer up their lives to the protection of their country and the rest of the year I will do my small part to promote peace.