Thursday, October 30, 2008

9/11 to 11/11 - From Tragedy to Truce

The Global Understanding movement wishes to bring people together to commemorate the 90th Anniversary of Armistice Day: 11/11, 2008.

For November, 11, 1918 was the Armistice of the Western Front of World War I. The Treaty of Versailles specified the Great War's end at 11:00 AM Greenwich time.

Around the world, this day is still recalled as Armistice Day: "a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as 'Armistice Day'." In the United States, it was renamed Veterans Day in 1954 to include veterans of World War II and the Korean Conflict.

By changing to Veterans Day, we alter the intent from commemorating the final cessation of hostilities, and the cause for world peace, to a personal homage soley to those who saw uniformed service. We indeed must honor and remember veterans. Yet we must focus on the causes they fought for, and what they hoped to achieve: a better and lasting peace.

How may millions also served their nations without benefit of weapon, training, or formal recognition? For every unknown soldier, how many unknown civilians were wounded or buried in rubble?

How can we measure what true bravery is? The soldier in a tank, or the mother whose only arms are her own, which she uses to hold her dear children to her chest as mechanized death rains all around?

By focusing on the original intent—Armistice—the commemoration of the truce that followed the fighting, we honor all who survived and all who died, during most terrible conflict. The concept of Armistice is universal. It may stand for the cessation of any war, at any time, anywhere in the world.

Therefore, the Global Understanding movement calls for the return to original intent of 11/11, as Armistice Day, to focus on global peace. We may broaden the charter of the commemoration of the First World War to honor all those affected by the ravages of war in their lifetime up to the present day.

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