November 12, 2007

Armistice Day

I enjoy our changing vocabulary. There are words and phrases I know that you have no reason to. So sometime the NY Times crossword is easy for me and you’re lost. Of course, the opposite is also true. I only found out the other day that IMHO was not an inside out pancake house or medical plan but a texting abbreviation. I don’t text message so, in my humble opinion, I had no idea what that meant.

I missed writing this yesterday – I would have loved writing 11/11. (I’ll make sure I will in four years (11-11-11)) When I grew up, yesterday was Armistice Day – the day WWI ended – The War to End All Wars.

In 1918, that was their prayer. It became our cynicism and we changed it to Veteran’s Day, so we could lump all our wars together. I’ll bet you can’t count how many since then.

We have become inured to the devastating emotions of war. It is the stuff of TV serial killers crime drama. The PBS series The War spoke it well – not in the recorded battle sequences – we’ve seen those in Saving Private Ryan and other such movies. No. It spoke of the suffering of war when old men and women, 60+ years later still broke down when remembering, still seeing, still feeling, still being there. War has now entered almost all of our every day lives. But it has had an opposite impact. We can easily empathize - But we haven’t found the will to end it.

So Iraq goes on. And because this is a compartmentalized war, we ‘feel bad for.’ We ‘understand.’ We ‘sigh.’ Me too. I vote and I have no idea whether my vote counts, is counted or matters. My disgust and distrust are irrelevant.

All I can do is speak to you about our real ability and power to change the predictable future – for each of us to cause the viability of our planet, the future viability of our species.

I write this with a new grandson and with a still newer one on the way and with a bunch already here. I pray.

 Useful Quotes

In such a world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people, not to be on the side of the executioners.
Albert Camus

 In peace the sons bury their fathers, but in war the fathers bury their sons

 Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. The world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. [1953].
Dwight D. Eisenhower

I have seen war. I have seen war on land and sea. I have seen blood running from the wounded. I have seen the dead in the mud. I have seen cities destroyed. I have seen children starving. I have seen the agony of mothers and wives. I hate war.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt

 Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living. We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount.
Omar N. Bradley

Creative Corner

What Time Is It?

For everything there is a season,
And a time for every matter under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate,
A time for war, and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

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