POSTNOTE Nov. 12: Yesterday, after the bell-ringing at the Victory Memorial, came some personal reflections on War, generally (see “Later” section). The most recent, overnight, is an essay from Heather Cox Richardson, on the end of WWI and the almost immediate transition to WWII. Her note is powerful and you can read it here.
On the way home (“Later”, below) I learned of Classical DJ Lynn Warfel’s essay in honor of her Dad and his colleagues at Normandy. It is a powerful commentary. My sister, Flo, commented on the Peace Corps (also below), which followed on a column in the Minneapolis Star Tribune by John Rash on the institution of the Peace Corps (also included).
Overnight my French-Canadian colleague Don Marier, reposted an article on the Mercy Train, which he had passed along to us on November 6, and reposted yesterday:
Every day we have an opportunity to learn from the past. This is simply another of those opportunities. Have a great day.
Saturday, Nov. 11, is Armistice Day, aka Remembrance Day. In the United States the name was changed to Veterans Day by Congress. I’m a veteran and I prefer the term Armistice Day, remembering the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 when hostilities ceased officially ending WWI.
The local Vets for Peace has its annual observance beginning at 10:30 Saturday in North Minneapolis. Their news release is below. I have attended frequently. The observance is always moving, even if the weather does not always cooperate.
Originating post Nov. 11: I have long expressed the belief that the only result of one war is providing the basis for the next. World War I begat WWII, and on and on.
I equally believe being anti-war is not set in cement: the choice in the 1930s was to act or not. We waited too long. There was evil to be confronted. All the rest is argument.
This year the world is faced with Gaza and Israel, and Ukraine and Russia, among other assorted conflicts. Both in one sense or another are creatures of earlier wars, including WWI. The rest is all argument – better, in my opinion, dialogue among us about other approaches. (I did a followup on Gaza earlier this week. Take the time, here.)
Veterans For Peace will conduct its yearly Armistice Day remembrance service by ringing bells at 11:00 am honoring the Armistice which was signed on November 11, 1918 which was to be the war to end all wars.
This year we will gather at the World War 1 Victory Memorial Monument on Victory Memorial Drive (45th Ave N & Victory Memorial Drive-where Xerxes crosses) at 10:30 am.
#1. 10:00 walk begins at 33rd Ave. N. & Xerxes Ave. N.
This always is a moving commemoration of the Armistice (rather than a salute to military veterans) that took place at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 — to end all wars. The Victory Memorial Drive in North Minneapolis is the biggest memorial in the world to honor those killed during WWI. The Victory Memorial Drive features tall trees with a marker at the base of each tree showing the name of each of the 568 Hennepin County residents killed during WWI (including two women who were nurses in the war zone). The central memorial is located at 4558 Victory Memorial Parkway, Mpls. 55412.
November 12 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pmSunday, November 12, 2023 at 1:00 pm, 4200 Cedar Ave S, Mpls MN Born In Gaza: This documentary film focuses on the violence of the Israel-Palestine conflict and its effects […]
The Merchants of Death War Crimes Tribunal aims to hold accountable U.S….
Opens Sunday night Nov. 12.
Today, I have a rather unusual reflection to offer.
Enroute to the event, on a busy freeway, a car slightly ahead and in the lane to my left, hit a unknown piece of road debris, which kicked up and hit my car. The debris dented the car hood, and almost surgically sliced off the rear view mirror on my side. A split second and a foot or two with an open window could have been very bad for me and others on this busy freeway.
Later, enroute home, I got to thinking about a cousin of mine, Marie Josephine Collette, two months younger than I, living in Manila P.I. The family genealogy says she died between February 3 and March 3 of 1945. She was 4 years old.
Many years later, in the summer of 1998 in San Francisco, her brother Alfred, one year older, told me the rest of the story, with considerable emotion.
WWII was nearing its end, and the Allies were about to re-take Manila and the Philippines from the Japanese. Their Dad was in Santo Tomas prison; their mother took the three kids to what she felt would be a refuge: the churchyard of the church where she and her husband had married Feb. 14, 1938.
As it happened, they got caught in the crossfire, and little Josephine climbed into her mothers arms for refuge. Soon thereafter a piece of shrapnel from someone’s shell killed her in her mothers arms..
It was really obvious that Alfred, in re-telling the story, was returning to long suppressed memories. He was there in the churchyard in Manila.
Obviously, I never met my cousin Josephine. I did know Alfred and his sister Julie, who ironically and sadly both died in 2007 of different illnesses. A fourth sibling was born after the war, and died at 13 in 1961.
As I was thinking about this in my car, I was listening to Lynn Warfel on the Your Classical Channel on MPR, ending a show of music dedicated to Veterans on Veterans Day. Her Dad had been at Omaha Beach (1944), and she was remembering him, and as the show ended, she played some of the music from the movie “Saving Private Ryan”. Her powerful contribution to today can be read here.
War is not a video game. There are many victims who don’t even show up on lists.
Continue the necessary conversation.
COMMENTS (more at end of post):
Back home, a comment to the blog was in the mailbox:
from Chuck a long-time activist for justice: I’m impressed with what you wrote and agree with you perspective 100%. But I’m not a vet. I dodged the Vietnam war by joining ROTC.
“one war is providing the basis for the next.” World War I begat WWII, and on and on. Non-ending war against a tactic that can never be beaten. And I too equally believe being anti-war is not set in cement. Sometime ya just gotta pick up arms…like the Ukrainians.
I grew up with guns. Thinking of buying one. Not sure it will be of much help against a bioweapons attack. Except against looters…
Stay healthy, fit and sane!
from Florence: I hope everyone will recognize Peace Corps Volunteers who continue to proactively work for Peace. There has to be more effort put into seeking that path for the good of the world and all who make it their home, including children to the seventh generation. Peace be with you!
Note to Flo: Today’s Minneapolis Star Tribune had an excellent column on the Peace Corps: Peace Corps Rash STrib 11-11-23