Now-a-days, we honor our veterans on November 11, but time was that on 11/11 we celebrated Armistice Day and the end of World War I. Earlier tonight a group of activists from the South East New England office of the American Friends Service Committee held a vigil to mark the 11 years of war we’ve been mired in, the thousands of American service people who have died and the untold more civilians that have been killed.
“It is important to remember that war is devastating,” rote Martha Yager. “War destroys many things, but most of all it destroys lives. It is a ruthless tool that creates at least as many problems as it purports to solve. Let us use this Armistice Day to rededicate ourselves to ending wars and occupations and finding other ways to settle our differences.”
Yager sent this short explanation of Armistice Day:
Veteran’s Day was originally called Armistice Day. It marked the end of the carnage of World War I, in which over 20 million people died and perhaps as many injured. It was set aside as a day to honor the dead and to think also of the survivors, both soldiers and civilians. The war was so horrific that people hoped that those who start wars would understand there could be no more, that the cost was too high. WWI was to be “the war that ended all wars”.
That determination only lasted a couple of decades. World War II soon followed, as have many other wars. Today a war in Afghanistan, now 11 years old, drags on. “It is time to end it”, said Martha Yager of the American Friends Service Committee. “Wars have rarely done more than settle scores and often sow the seeds for yet more war. There are better ways to solve problems. We gather this day to rededicate ourselves to ending the nightmare of war.”