In 1918, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the guns fell silent along the Western Front and a war-weary world heaved a sigh of relief -- except in those places to the East, where the fighting continued.
It is sobering to look back and reflect that people sincerely believed that particular war had been so horrible that surely Humanity had taken a lesson from it, that surely now swords were to be beaten into plowshares; it is even more sobering to consider that in the United States at that time, there were still Civil War veterans who could recall a war as terrible as the one just ended and much closer to home.
"Humanity," taken as a whole, does not learn much and I believe learning not to fight would be a very bad thing for our species, for there will always be aggressors to be resisted. Those who step up to defend civilization are heroes. There will plenty of noble speeches and solemn cermonies today but behind them all are those who fight in the blood and dust and horror of war.
Take a moment to think of them. Take a moment to thank a veteran.
4 months ago