Veterans Need a New Day

Ninety five years ago, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Germany signed a treaty with the Allies to mark the end of World War I. There were over 37 million casualties.

The Armistice marked hardly more than a pause for breath. Soon after, Japan invaded China, Germany invaded Poland, France and the United Kingdom. Italy teamed up with Germany, conflict spread to Africa and the Soviet Union and Pearl Harbor, and on it went. We’re masters of self-inflicted misery, more like fire ants than the rational beings we’d like to think ourselves. Put up your dukes.

November 11th: remember the War to End All Wars and try to keep a straight face.

Veterans deserve a day of their own. If we don’t want to clutter the calendar with more federal holidays, there’s a good candidate coming up. The ode to pilgrims is getting stale.

Let’s save the moments of silence for the day when we’re feasting with our families. Let’s leave flowers on the graves when it’s darker and colder, use Thanksgiving to thank the soldiers who served and continue to serve, and November 11 to remember the folly of fooling ourselves that wars end war.

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  • It would be nice if we’d give them moments of silence every day, I think, but hopefully by having other holidays, we will think of them more than once. So I like your idea of paying homage on Thanksgiving, too.


  • Dear Julie,
    I appreciate your historical perspective and resonate with the value of looking at war as an obsolete institution. Thank you for this post. Hope you are doing well.


    • Obsolete… A lot of people make a lot of money off of wars. Where there is profit to be made, and territory (real or imagined) to be defended, we’ll have wars, whether they are obsolete or not. Still, you’re right that a historical perspective helps in seeing how cruel and ridiculous we can be, over and over again.


  • Amen! This morning as my facebook page was blowing up with all with photos of soldiers, flags and words of gratitude I thought to myself “really?” If people would show that sort of appreciation every day maybe there wouldn’t be so many soldiers living on park benches.

    Pilgrims are very over rated in my book!


  • We continue to lose a Veteran every hour to suicide twenty-four hours a day. Unfortunately this number is not reported properly and thousands go unrecorded. IMO our nation has a lot of cleaning up to do before we continue to extend helping hands elsewhere. The entire world knows we are broke so there’s no pride lost in having to say no, we can’t afford to help you when our government can’t help itself.


    • It’s so hard to face the aftermath, but doggonnit we must. A friend’s son just returned from Afghanistan – it’s as if the country has moved on and forgotten troops still coming home. I’m with you. Our swooping in to fix things was always an iffy proposition. Let’s help our vets, regroup, and get down to the work we need to do at home.


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