Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Veteran's Day

Hal Pepinsky, pepinsky@indiana.edu , pepinsky.blogspot.com
November 10, 2009

I figured it was a good omen when I chose November 11 for a second Ohio chiropractic routine adjustment and the receptionist suggested 11 am appointment. 11.11.11. On November 11, 1918, at 11 am local time, an armistice—a cease fire—took effect. All weapons fire ceased. World War I ended. Tomorrow is Veteran’s Day. When I grew up, the holiday was called Armistice Day. That’s the way I think of 11.11.11, as the moment a world war ended.
Then there was August 11, 1945, when the Japanese emperor’s military representatives unconditionally surrendered on a US aircraft carrier.
That national myth of military victory, of ending wars, persists in my country. But it can’t happen. In 1967 I heard Secretary of State Dean Rusk call Vietnam a war to end all wars. Today, wars can only be negotiated, grievance by grievance. There is no end, only acknowledgment that the ending of international wars ended the year I was born. Victory, and the moral arrogance that goes with it, r.i.p. May all our adjustments to today’s military reality work as well as the adjustment my chiropractor makes promises to do for my bodily integrity. Love and peace--hal

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