Friday, September 5, 2008

Upcoming Calendar of Events

• November 11, 2008, at 11:11 AM: 90th Anniversary of Armistice Day. Before it was Veteran's Day, November 11 was a celebration of the peace that follows war. A day that recognized the civilian survivors of war as much as the veterans who fought it.

• December 10, 2008: 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Franklin Roosevelt died in office conducting the Allied Nation's cause for freedom. After his death, Eleanor continued and championed the struggle to guarantee those freedoms to every living person on earth, regardless of nation, without exception.

• February 14, 2009: Global Understanding Day. Though many of us recognize this as “Valentine’s Day,” there are many countries where Saint Valentine is not venerated, never mind recognized. And there are many people who are utterly ignorant of who Valentine was as a man, and presume that he’s a fat free-floating chubby baby with wings and a penchant for arrow fire. Instead, let this day be a global, more universal celebration for brotherly and sisterly love to all or fellow humans. This February 14, 2009 will be the 3rd Anniversary of the founding of the Global Understanding movement.

Exact events have not yet been determined. Please consider organizing your own, and post your commitments to hold events below.

One last thing: 11:11.

That was the time that the armistice fell over the Western Front of World War II. The “all quiet” spoken of in the famous novel.

If you truly wish to respect and honor the service of those who put their life on the line each day, whether in the military or even those who are paramilitary or police, to upkeep the laws and to safeguard their communities, use the moment of 11:11 AM each day to be a time of reverent prayer and reflective meditation. One minute each day. If you remember it.

Think about that moment, and consider in the world how many are fighting and protecting, versus how many are merely killing. I do not wish to venerate all veterans just because they wear the uniform. Otherwise, every psychopath who donned a uniform and did something patently criminal deserves kudos. Most soldiers have honorable intentions in what they do. Others abuse their power. The uniform itself is not the merit of the actor. What that person achieves while wearing the uniform is the basis of their personal honor.

Hence, I prefer to celebrate Armistice. The peace that follows conflict, or the peace protected by avoiding conflict. This “better peace” is what Saint Augustine saw as the only logical and moral reason for ethical people to come into physical conflict in the first place.

What we seek through Global Understanding is the “best possible peace” for all those involved in the conflict.

These three days may serve as reminders, on a worldwide basis, of what we wish to achieve: Peace through Armistice, the upholding of Human Rights, and the spread of Global Understanding through our care and interest, our love, for our fellow humans.

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