11 November 2010

The war to end all wars

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918, an armistice was signed to end the war. It wasn't called World War One then, of course. It was simply The War or even The Great War. The slaughter and futility of that dark time in human history did not quite make the impression on men and nations that it should have. Humanity had to go and do it all again, bigger and better this time, and call it World War Two. Some day, perhaps, we'll learn. I'd love to live long enough to see the last of all wars. I dream of a time when no one will ever have to bear arms against another. Unfortunately, that is not the world I live in. Politics, ideology, racism, fear, ignorance, and greed may fuel wars, but human beings fight them. People who put on a uniform usually do so to protect those they love. Nations will wrap their wars in the usual nonsense that nations wrap things in, making the killing of others more palatable to their citizens. But that doesn't take away from the fact that people serve their country and risk their lives for their families, their friends, and their fellow citizens. Armistice Day--the original 11/11--is no more. Now we call it Veterans Day. All of us have veterans in our lives. Think about them. Thank them. Wish them a good day. And wish for the day when we can all live in peace. After all, that is what they fought for.

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