Armistice Day

It is Veterans’ Day in America. This national holiday was known as Armistice Day from 1926 until 1954, when an Act of Congress changed the name to Veterans’ Day.

I agree with the thought behind that change. We should remember, honor and thank those who served in all conflicts that imperiled our nation and the free world. Thank you once again to all American veterans, and to your comrades in arms from Britain and Canada, for going into harm’s way for the sake of my freedom.

I am old enough to remember Armistice Day. I think that it is unfortunate that the name of that day, and what it meant, is fading into the background of history. Armistice Day, while a celebration of the cessation of World War One hostilities on the Western Front, also was a sobering and necessary reminder that the War to End All Wars was anything but that. Perhaps the best way to honor our veterans is to learn, and to belatedly apply, the lessons of Armistice Day.

Here is a link to a 1948 Armistice Day speech by General Omar Bradley.

His words are still relevant today, especially the following:

“With the monstrous weapons man already has, humanity is in danger of being trapped in this world by its moral adolescents. Our knowledge of science has clearly outstripped our capacity to control it. We have many men of science; too few men of God. We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount. Man is stumbling blindly through a spiritual darkness while toying with the precarious secrets of life and death. The world has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants.”

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