Thursday, November 11, 2004

Veterans' Day

I'd like to remind all of you that it's Veterans' Day, known as Armistice Day on the other side of the pond. Eighty-six years ago today, the Great War finally, after just over four awful, bloody years, came to an end. Some eight-and-a-half million soldiers died in that war, plus about seven million civilians. The War to End All Wars, they called it.

How's that for a cruel historical joke?

Anyway, like I said, it's Veterans' Day, made an official holiday by a series of acts in June 1926, May 1938, and June 1954.

Take a look at what this day once meant (as opposed to it being an excuse for department store sales and empty bromides):

WHEREAS the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and
WHEREAS it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and
WHEREAS the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.

Wouldn't that be nice?

Oh, yeah--about our ultra-macho President and his buddies in Congress, who never miss an opportunity to talk about how much they looooooove the military, are (naturally) responsible for slashing veterans' benefits. Of course.

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