netcurmudgeon (netcurmudgeon) wrote,

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Armistice Day

HouseOfHum 11/11/05Eighty-seven years ago, at eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month an armistice concluded the Great War — the War to End all Wars. Since then Americans have observed 11/11 as a day of remembrance for their war dead. Originally the day was known as Armistice Day.

After the Great War, the peace imposed by the victorious Allies at Versailles sowed the seeds for the next war. Two decades later the Great War became merely the First World War as the Axis and Allies plunged into the second. Armistice Day became Veterans Day. After that, the Cold War: Korea, Vietnam and numberless conflicts-by-proxy.

In the written history of the world you can count the years when there has been no war anywhere on your hands. Since the founding of our nation in 1776 I believe that the number of war-free years on Earth is perhaps two or three. There is an Anthropological theory that societies with immovable things of value (fields, factories, mines, etc) are condemned to periodic spasms of violence because they simply can't get out of each others' way.

Now, again, American men and women are fighting and dying somewhere far away. I don't believe the President or his administration. I think that they lied and twisted and concocted a reason to knock over Saddam Hussein. I also think that we can't simply walk away from the Iraqis. We broke their country. You can call it advancing democracy or you can call it atoning for our leaders' sin, but we — the common people of the United States — owe it to them — the common people of Iraq — to fix what we smashed.

My brother is safely back from Iraq. He seems mostly unscathed from his year in and around Mosul. He and I haven't gotten along all that well in our lives, but I am deeply grateful that he is home with his wife and children, and all in one piece. I am also grateful to all of the men and women who have answered our nation's call to service. I might not be free to write that I don't believe the President or his administration were it not for your service and sacrifice. Thank you.

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