Veterans Day began as Armistice Day. At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month the butchery of the first world war paused. At the time it was considered the end of the war to end all wars. Sadly it has not been so!
I will not join in the parade of military form and equipment. Like US Grant, I am tired of the glorification of war. I will address youngsters in school on Wednesday, November 10 and I will tell them that there are better ways to be of service than war—that we can find better uses of our military than war, uses like the assistance they are rendering to flood victims in Pakistan, earthquake victims in Haiti, tsunami victims in Indonesia. I will tell them that we can win more hearts and minds with disaster relief, humanitarian aid and civil affairs focus than with bombs and drones. I will tell them that when it comes to the glory of war and weaponry that they see in the military parades, Voltaire had it right when he wrote: “As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities!”