Monday, November 11, 2013

Hip, Hip . . . and No Hooray

It's another Veteran's Day. Did you know the 11th of November was proclaimed a national holiday in 1919 by President Woodrow Wilson. Only then it was called "Armistice Day" and it celebrated peace, the day that the "war to end all wars" had ended the year before in Europe.

Now we live in a state of perpetual war. There's no peace to celebrate. So we deify the survivors of our various wars, and we wax eloquently about their "sacrifices" and the "ultimate sacrifice" offered by all those dead guys in all those cemeteries from this war or that one since 1918. Killed in the name of freedom, we proclaim, and we thank them for their preserving it for us. But it's all a hoax. If there's anything that's tended to sap our freedoms, it's the dreadful imperatives of wars for empire this country has waged virtually without ceasing since the end of World War II. Which require vast sums of us and steadily erode our privacy and our liberties. But all this patriotic conflict creates veterans, many thousands of whom are cruelly wounded and deprived of normal lives physically, mentally, and emotionally, whom we feel incumbent upon us to celebrate. I guess it's inescapable. There's so damned many of us.
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