Veteran’s Day in the USA, November 11, 2014.

 

 

The tompostpile seldom comments on the “news” or on politics.

Today is an exception.

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To think that the first World War was one hundred years ago…

At its final moment, at 11:11AM on 11/11, the first world war ended. In its honor, on that 11/11 day, we celebrated the Armistice, and for years after that, we observed Armistice Day. Then we had more wars, and Armistice Day became Veterans’ Day.

Canadians wisely call this day “Remembrance Day”.

We should remember.

Too many people forget the past, or even never learn about it.

Members of my family have been in the service for every war from the American Revolution up to Afghanistan. For my grandparents’ generation, it was WWI, for my parents’ generation it was WWII. For my generation it was Korea or Viet Nam. For my children it has been Iraq and Afghanistan.

I am so “old” I cannot remember or even count all the wars my country has been in during my lifetime.

There have been too many.

With all this remembering going on, this day can be a deathly sad sort of day. This morning, at the National Cemetery at the Otis Air Base, just a few miles from us here on Martha’s Vineyard, the Island I call Home, it took five hundred people to place the fifty-seven thousand brand new flags that this morning flutter over the graves of the dead who are buried there.

Fifty-seven thousand flags.

Throughout the world, flags will be placed on not thousands, but millions of individual graves.

Throughout the world, ceremonies will will the unknowns, who number millions more.

I was and am a conscientious objector. I refuse to be a part of the system that kills other humans. I deeply wish there were no such thing as soldiers or the military.

Many who have been in the military have done so for for the most honorable and noble reasons. How noble? Refusal to allow injustice. Love of home and country. And there are many more reasons, equally solid

These veterans are praiseworthy people, these people who have served, and I honor them with all my heart.

But may peace come to this fighting planet…

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