Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Armistice Day - A Peace Day

On 11/11 there will be much talk of "patriotism", "sacrifice", "love of country", and "defending our freedom", but little about "mutual understanding" or "friendly relations". 

I’m a military veteran – Army, infantry, Viet Nam – and I find it interesting how the eleventh day of the eleventh month has been transformed from a day of peace (armistice - truce, suspension of fighting) to a day of justification of violence (Veterans Day). The original Congressional resolution stated that "this date should be commemorated with . . . exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations" and they invited "the people of the United States to observe the day . . . with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples".

Instead, on 11/11 we will be subjected to a continuous stream of flag waving and images of strong, brave young people in full combat dress. The message is that violence will keep us safe and violence will keep us free. The reality is that young people are sent to kill other young people, because older people lack the skill and/or the desire to resolve the conflict using non-violent methods.  We are taught to do awful things.

Please observe 11/11 as it was originally intended.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thank you for your take on this day. It is quite refreshing to hear this opinion from a former military person. A truly powerful message.