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Remembrance Day


The "War to End All Wars" passed out of living memory last year. This Remembrance Day is the first one since the inception of the holiday where there is no one left alive that directly remembers fighting in World War I. It's more important than ever to remember now: remember what the holiday was created for.

This is not a day to sing the praises of war. This is a day to remember the horrors of war, honour those that endured them, and in so doing remember and learn that war is not to be entered into lightly. This is not a day to glorify war, this is a day to glorify peace. It was hoped that November 11, 1918 would be not only the end of the World War I, but the end of all war.

The creators of wars always claim one noble ideal or another as the motive, but the real cause is and has always been over resources. If there was enough space, food, and energy to go around there would be no war. Each tribe is trying to ensure its own survival. The noble words about gods and ideologies are just ways to delineate one tribe from another. It's a nice ideal to cherish diversity but when the cold creeps in or the food runs out there will always form an "us" and a "them" to fight over what's left. War ends and tolerance of diversity only happens when there is enough to go around.

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( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
turtle_time
Nov. 12th, 2006 12:44 am (UTC)
Every November I miss the poppies. The US has Veteran's Day - same day - but there is not the visual reminder everywhere you look in the days leading up to November 11 that the people around you have taken the time, even if only the few moments it takes to find a quarter and drop it in the tin, to think about what the day stands for. It's a day off, there are sales, and I'm sure there are parades and ceremonies somewhere, but there is no moment of silence at 11:00, and there are no poppies.
seymour_glass
Nov. 12th, 2006 01:25 am (UTC)
It's a nice ideal to cherish diversity but when the cold creeps in or the food runs out there will always form an "us" and a "them" to fight over what's left.

which, even if wrong, makes sense...what makes little sense is those wars for power and greed started by countries that have excess...but then power and greed are powerful motives...
mbarrick
Nov. 12th, 2006 06:08 am (UTC)
Which is really just an extension of the same thing - greed has it's roots in simply making sure "we" have a big pile in reserve so "they" won't get it when times are tough. It's a sound strategy from an evolutionary standpoint. Humans, like most animals, don't think in terms of the species, but rather in terms of the clan/tribe.
seymour_glass
Nov. 12th, 2006 08:08 am (UTC)
very sound from an evolutionary standpoint, and at one time a necessity...thing is now wants outweigh needs...you'd think in all this time we'd have worked that through a little bit...
magiknat
Nov. 12th, 2006 02:35 am (UTC)
Lest we forget.
sovietnimrod
Nov. 12th, 2006 05:27 am (UTC)
This Remembrance Day is the first one since the inception of the holiday where there is no one left alive that directly remembers fighting in World War I

Huh??? I thought there were still three living veterens from the Great War?
mbarrick
Nov. 12th, 2006 06:03 am (UTC)
There might be, but they're either not Canadian or didn't see combat. The last Canadian WWI combat veteran died late November last year.
sovietnimrod
Nov. 12th, 2006 11:12 am (UTC)
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/remembrance_day

In Toronto, First World War veterans Lloyd Clemett, 106, and Dwight Wilson, 105, were among 500 war veterans and hundreds of others at Sunnybrook Hospital's Warriors' Hall for a wreath ceremony.

As the band played, Wilson tapped his knee and added his voice to "O Canada" and "God Save The Queen."

Clemett, Wilson and 106-year-old John Babcock, who now lives in Spokane, Wash., are the last three surviving Canadian veterans from the Great War.


mbarrick
Nov. 12th, 2006 07:57 pm (UTC)
From the article from last November that linked in the post:

"Of the four (veterans) now remaining we know they were young and never saw action," Janice Summerby, spokeswoman for Veterans Affairs Canada, said on Monday.

I guess one of the four alive last November must have died this year since your article says there are now only three.
embraceyouth
Nov. 12th, 2006 06:14 pm (UTC)
"If there was enough space, food, and energy to go around there would be no war."

It's too bad that you're wrong. There is enough space, and enough food, and enough "energy" (whatever you are trying to say).

The problem is with Capitalism itself, as it thinks the Earth is having a going out of Business Sale and is trying to steal everything it has left before it dies (humans kill it).

Humans can create a sustainable world, with energy and food that is in abudance, but we have to change every moment of how we live today, to something different, something sustainable, without hate, but with love.
mbarrick
Nov. 12th, 2006 07:51 pm (UTC)
Your last paragraph (less the fluff about love and hate) says the same thing as what you've quoted so I'm not sure what you see as wrong with my statement.

As for the love and hate fluff, no social solution is going to be sustainable unless it accounts for instinctual human tribalism. Distrust of the "other" is always going to be there.

Humans cannot kill the earth. Other than the infintessimally small amount of matter we've flung out of Earth orbit we've removed nothing from the planet. Even at our very worst, even if we tried, we couldn't match the Permian-Triassic extinction event.

Whatever we do, regardless of what value judgements we place on things, we are as much a natural part of this planet as any other species. Was blue-green algae "evil" for completely changing the chemistry of the planet, altering the atmosphere by stripping out the methane, flooding it oxygen, and reducing the carbon dioxide level to 1% of its former value. The climate of the planet was reduced by many degrees and virtually all anaerobic life that was living along side the algae was utterly wiped out.

That algae is not only our ancestor, we are that algae. The algae reproduces by mitosis. When a cell splits how do you determine which half is the orininal and which half the copy? You can't. Each cell is the same organism living on. Some of those cells evolved cooperative stategies that eventually developed into multi-cellular organisms. Like it or not, every thing alive, including you, are pools of that same, immortal algae. If some faction of that algae changes the chemistry of the globe again, what makes it less natural this time over last time? The algae will go on.

Good and bad/evil are value judgements that are entirely about humans. It's bad/evil to alter the chemistry of the earth because it impacts *us*. It's bad/evil to arbitrarity exterminate other species because unknown ramifications could imapact *us*. The idea of an objective good and bad/evil descending from the divine is nothing more than the way religion is used to bind tribes together as nations. That which benefits the nation is good, that which is detrimental to the survival of the nation is bad/evil.

"Of all things the measure is man, of the things that are, how they are, and of things that are not, that they are not." - Protagoras (c. 490 - c. 420 B.C.)
(Anonymous)
Nov. 13th, 2006 10:36 pm (UTC)
I was just wondering: when is civilian war casualty/survivor remembrance day? Seems we focus so much on the soldiers, the non-combatants get left out of the historical record.
mbarrick
Nov. 13th, 2006 11:52 pm (UTC)
This is a very good point.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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