Monday, November 14, 2011

Veterans Day - 11/11/2011

I'm a veteran. I was in the Army, infantry, Viet Nam. I think Veterans Day has been subverted from it's original intent and is now just one more tool that is used to build the myth that the solution to conflict is military action.

I feel that the glorification of the military is so pervasive it has become part of our culture. "The few the proud . . .", "An army of one", highways dedicated to military units and organizations, fighter jet fly overs, POW-MIA flags, basketball games on war ships - the list goes on and on. What is seldom said is that military action is death and destruction. Therefore, all of these subtly add to the myth and glorify the act of killing.

The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918 was when the killing stopped in WWI. In November of 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day. He said this day should be used by America "to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations". On June 4, 1926 Congress passed a resolution that said we should observe the day "with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples."

I recommend that you use the eleventh hour of the eleventh day to research the most decorated Marine in history - two time Medal of Honor recipient General Smedley Butler. After his career he wrote a booklet titled, "War is a Racket". Reflect on General Butler, the trillions of dollars spent on war, the millions of lives lost and ruined, and the original intent of Veterans Day. Then, do something to promote peace and justice.

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