As a military veteran (Army, infantry, Viet Nam) I invite everyone to take a few moments each Veteran’s Day and think about the interconnectedness of life. Why Sunday, November 11th? Because the eleventh day of the eleventh month was originally called Armistice Day – a day to mark the end of WWI and the beginning of world peace. Congress passed a resolution that said in part, “this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and 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 in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples”.
Unfortunately, like many other “days”, the original meaning has been forgotten, or intentionally changed. This day is now called “Veterans Day”, and what will be promoted is the military solution to conflict resolution. There will be much talk of “patriotism”, and “sacrifice”, and “love of country”, and “defending our freedom”, but little about “mutual understanding” or “friendly relations” or non-violent solutions to conflict.
Peace cannot be obtained by bombs, bullets, invasions and occupations. Peace cannot be obtained by violence. Peace can only be obtained by the simple, yet courageous act of talking, and developing mutual understanding. Violence is the barbarian solution to conflict. Think about it!
Grass Lake, MI
This was printed in the November 18, 2012 – December 1, 2012 Edition