Today is Veteran’s Day, but it also marks the 90th Anniversary of the original name for this holiday, Armistice Day. The day was created to celebrate the war to end all wars, World War I.The Armistice took effect on November 11, 1918 at 11:00 A.M. or at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. That date quickly became a holiday in Allied nations to commemorate the many Allied troops that had died during theGreat War. Since then, however, we have been through World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, and countless other minor skirmishes throughout the world.
David Krieger is both the founder and president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. Under his leadership the Foundation has initiated many innovative and important projects for building peace, strengthening international law, abolishing nuclear weapons and empowering a new generation of peace leaders.
David is also a good friend with both the passion and compassion to work to see an end to war in general and nuclear weapons specifically.
On this Veteran’s Day, David offers this poem, a prayer for peace.
VETERANS DAY AGAIN
“The one thing I never want to see again
is a military parade.” — Ulysses S. Grant
We’ve seen far too many military parades
with their missiles, marching bands
and mechanized young men.
We’ve witnessed enough high-stepping
soldiers in their polished black boots
marching to the sounds of brass.
Spare us the old men dressed in uniforms
with their sorrowful hats and sewn-on patches.
Spare us the slippery words of politicians.
Let’s return to basics: On Armistice Day
the soldiers laid down their arms on the 11th hour
of the 11th day of the 11th month.
The survivors had had enough of war.
The 11th hour is here again, the sky clear blue.
I stand with Ulysses.