Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Mike Ferner, "Remembering The War To End All Wars," American Forum, November 4, 2008.

At the stroke of the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 the roaring guns fell silent. Our holiday that marks the end of “The Great War” is now called Veterans Day, yet it’s worth taking a moment to recollect when it was called Armistice Day and meant more than midnight madness sales at department stores.

Thirty million soldiers were killed or wounded and another 7 million were taken captive in that war. Never before had people witnessed such industrialized slaughter. Congress responded to a universal hope among Americans that such a war would never happen again by passing a resolution calling for “exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding…inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.” Later, Congress added that November 11 was to be “a day dedicated to the cause of world peace.”

  Our collective experience tells us wars are easy to start and hard to stop.

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Ferner is a National Board Member of Veterans For Peace and is the author, with Cindy Sheehan, of Inside the Red Zone: A Veteran For Peace Reports from Iraq.Recommend this Post

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