Today, on the anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I, we pause to remember our veterans. (More)
“The war to end all wars”
At 11am local time on November 11, 1918, the armistice that ended World War I took effect. Optimists hoped that horrific struggle would be “the war to end all wars,” but that was not to be. The Russian Civil War raged on past the armistice, and wars of independence broke out in Silesia, Turkey, and Ireland. In the 1920s and 30s, civil wars erupted in Afghanistan, Austria, Brazil, China, Iran, Ireland, and Spain. Japan invaded Manchuria and Italy invaded Ethiopia. Arabs revolted in Palestine. All before September 1, 1939 and the start of the world’s deadliest conflict, World War II.
Neither the dawn of nuclear weapons nor the founding of the United Nations in 1945 ended war. The Center for Systemic Peace has documented 328 armed conflicts in the years since World War II. That’s an average of four new wars per year, and 30 armed conflicts are currently underway worldwide. Indeed World War I officially ended just three years ago, when Germany paid off the last war reparations owed under the Treaty of Versailles.
“Salute to Service”
This weekend the National Football League offered a salute to our veterans. Teams wore camouflage brims on their caps, and some players wore armbands and pads with camouflage patterns. Stadiums painted “Salute to Service” in the end zone borders, and fans held up banners in the stands. The NFL also donated $300 per point scored – $100 each to the Pat Tillman Foundation, the USO, and the Wounded Warrior Project – for a total of almost $200,000.
Such efforts are meaningful, as are the many memorials around the world that were dedicated on this day in history. Yet when we exchanged Veterans Day greetings this morning, my son offered an even more touching tribute: “Maybe someday we’ll have a country that doesn’t need a Veterans Day.”
To all of our veterans, thank you for your service.
As always, we also thank last week’s writers:
On Monday, you shared your stories of offline political activism in Things We Did This Week and addisnana chuckled at Someone Else’s Problem in Midday Matinee.
On the weekend, we explored how our society is Grappling with Sexual Assault in Saturday’s Morning Feature, Ms. Crissie was asked Not Enough Time? in Sunday’s Morning Feature, and winterbanyan brought our weekly Eco News Roundup in Our Earth.
Note: Please share your stories of offline political activism in Things We Did This Week.
Happy Veterans Day!