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Posted on Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 1:41 p.m.

Celebrate Veterans Day by promoting peace and justice, not war

By Letters to the Editor

I'm a veteran. I was in the Army, infantry, Vietnam. I think Veterans Day has been subverted from it's original intent and is now just one more tool that is used to build the myth that the solution to conflict is military action.

I feel that the glorification of the military is so pervasive it has become part of our culture. "The few the proud . . .", "An army of one", highways dedicated to military units and organizations, fighter jet fly overs, POW-MIA flags, - the list goes on and on. What is seldom said is that military action is death and destruction. Therefore, all of these subtly add to the myth and glorify the act of killing.

The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918 was when the killing stopped in WWI. In November of 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day. He said this day should be used to by America "to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations". On June 4, 1926, Congress passed a resolution that said we should observe the day "with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples."

I recommend that you use the eleventh hour of the eleventh day to research the most decorated Marine in history - two time Medal of Honor recipient General Smedley Butler. After his career he wrote a booklet titled, "War is a Racket." Reflect on General Butler, the trillions of dollars spent on war, the millions of lives lost and ruined, and the original intent of Veterans Day. Then, do something to promote peace and justice.

Arnold E. Stieber
Grass Lake


Bob Krzewinski

Sun, Nov 13, 2011 : 5:12 p.m.

"Top Cat" (why people don't use their real names on this forum is beyond me), are you a veteran? If not, you have to understand that people who are veterans (especially combat veterans like Arny Stieber) are some of the most vocal opponents of war. It is completely appropriate for veterans to speak out on veterans day to stop the slaughter of war. If you read the 1954 proclamation making November 11th, President Dwight Eisenhower told us the day in part should be used to help create a more peaceful world.

David Briegel

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 10:31 p.m.

The point is that Perpetual War Profiteering is our true value. It is our most dependable "jobs program"! And what soldier didn't think they had good ol' god on their side?


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 9:06 p.m.

I always wondered how they got the "eleventh hour" in the armistice agreement. Was it just to have all elevens? I appeciate your service as I do the others who have served in American wars. You are correct about the military-industrial complex having tremendous influences on government - and this influence is fueled by trillions of dollars in defense spending. It was warned about by President Eisenhower in his farewell address. The organizing principle of any society is for war. The authority of the federal government over its citizenry resides in its war power and its national security apparatus. DuPont in 1918 posted the largest corpoarate earnings in American history to that point since it manufactured hundreds of thousands of artillery shells used by the Allies in World War I. Dow Chemical manufacured napalm and Agent Orange for decades for use in Indochina. Boeing, Grumman, Bell Aerospace, General Dynamics, Westinghouse, Raytheon, Northrop, and Fairchild all are defense contractors who have reaped in hundreds of bilions of dollars in contract revenues over the last 100 years that could never have been realized without the governments participation in wars. America left behind 800,000 M-16 rifles manufactured by Colt Industries in Vietnam that the government of Vietnam to this day markets to raise revenue. The former Soviet Union's armanents are likewise being liquidated. The Kalashnikov rifle has been marketed around the world as are its Katyusha rockets. The rise of Nazi Germany as a military power was aided by industrial concerns such as Krupp and IG Farben who stood to, and did, benefit financially. Wars are not created nor do they exist in vacuums - they are fueled by powerful industrial interests that benefit from their prosecution.

Charlie Brown's Ghost

Fri, Nov 11, 2011 : 4:33 p.m.

"I always wondered how they got the "eleventh hour" in the armistice agreement. Was it just to have all elevens?" Probably because it was a easy thing to remember. The word was often passed verbally and needed to be easily remembered.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 10:21 p.m.

"The rise of Nazi Germany as a military power was aided by industrial concerns..." And the defeat of Nazi Germany as a military power was aided by industrial concerns in the US, some of which you name. What is your point exactly? Incidentally, in view of your fascination with the collection of factoids, I suggest that you get the US defense contractors right. Several on your list are long defunct, and major ones are missing.

Top Cat

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 8:28 p.m.

It is called Veteran's Day. Not War Day. Not Peace and Justice Day. It is intended to honor and remember those individuals who served. And that is how it should be kept.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 6:56 p.m.

Thank you for your service to our country. I have a father and grandfather who both served in the army and would definitely agree with your opinion in this article. Much gratitude to you.