11 November 2007


It has been 89 years since the First World War ended in the 11th month, on the 11th day, at the 11th hour. It was the end of a great war that signaled a great prosperity for America and other Western countries.

It was, also, the time of great mistakes. The signing of the Treaty of Versailles (in 1919) is considered by many the start of World War Two. Its provisions against Germany were harsh and punitive, and gave rise to an anti-West sentiment that allowed the Nazi movement to gain a foothold. Hopefully, you know the rest of that story.

Every year, we celebrate the end of that war. For a time in America, it was known as Thanksgiving Day (making two Thanksgivings each year). The name has changed a couple times; but now it is called Veteran's Day in America and Remembrance Day in Canada and England.

Why do we remember this day from so long ago? Presumably to remember the men and women who fought (including my grandfather Joe Martinez). But, I hope, also to realize the futility of war. War is never the answer to problems between countries. It is neither noble nor great. It is always (and history bears this out) a mistake filled with consequences unintended and, often, severe (look at World War Two).

It is very sad that we have to remember the dead from war. How much better would this world be had they been allowed to live and create and love and make and laugh and cry?

I find it hard to understand how, in this country, so many people demand an end to abortion, demand an end to the death penalty, and yet do not lift a finger to put an end to the greatest folly in human history.

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