So I get up at 2:30 AM (I have weird sleep patterns), nuke a cup of coffee and sit down to check my email. There is a message from one of our Veterans For Peace (ch 72) members who has been down at Occupy Portland (Or) on the action team. Last night he presented the GA with our Armistice Day event press release and asked for an endorsement. In the email he mentioned it got about a 95% approval from the GA. Fine, there's always some who are contrarians, that's life. He also provided a link to the Occupy Portland Wiki events page where it is now listed.
More below the Fleur-de-Kos
Last year, as I do every year, I wrote a diary on Armistice Day entitled Armistice Day was sacred. The title of the diary is from a passage in "Breakfast of champions" by Kurt Vonnegut.
Here is the press release presented to the GA:
November 7, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact:
Grant E. Remington
Veterans For Peace 72
(Phone and email address removed)
Veterans For Peace chapter 72 to remember Armistice Day
Where: Pioneer Courthouse Square
When: Friday, November 11, 2011 11:11 AM
On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, it became “All quiet on the western front.” An armistice signed at six o’clock that morning took effect and brought a cease-fire to the “War to end all wars.” Since that fateful hour, most nations, which fought in that conflict, observe Armistice Day. The United States in 1938 made it official with a proclamation that states in part: “…it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and…inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.”
Unfortunately the horrors of World War One were to be outdone by those of World War Two and to honor the sacrifices of the veterans who fought in it, Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day in 1954. While it is fitting and proper to honor all veterans for their service, it is a shame that the original intent of November eleventh has become lost to the militarization and commercialization of this important date.
Veterans For Peace chapter 72 will be gathering at the Pioneer Courthouse Square for our seventh annual commemoration of this solemn day. We invite the public to join us “with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations;…”.
Here is the Occupy Portland Wiki event entry:
The War to Begin all Wars
It’s hard to imagine that World War I involved 35 countries. It lasted five years, from 1914 to 1918. The United States only fought from 1917 to 1918. A year was more than enough time, however, to claim too many lives, and people held tight to the notion that this was the very last war. When the fighting stopped, leaders of several countries signed an Armistice on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month. An Armistice is an agreement to stop all fighting, in other words a truce. This truce was signed on November 11th, 1918 at 11 A.M.
This day was set aside to reflect and remember the sacrifices men and women made during World War I in order to ensure peace. The first official celebration was on November 11th, 1919. Veterans who survived the war marched in parades and were hometown heroes. A Veteran is any soldier who has fought in a war. Ceremonies were held and speeches were made. World War I was called ‘the war to end all wars’ because everyone hoped there would never be another one. It is important on this day to give thanks for times of peace, and to remember who’s protecting your rights every day.
The Occupy movement is pleased to be participating in this event to honor those men and women. As well as to remember the battle that we are all facing today and everyday until we win! There is no backing down! There will be no surrender!
They include this picture.
There is a disclaimer on that page:
PLEASE NOTE : Not all the events listed originate with Occupy Portland. They may be widely attended or endorsed by the Occupy movement, in general, or they may be local sponsors that share the goals of Occupy. In that case, the sponsors and other related information is provided.
Nowhere is VFP 72 mentioned as an organizing sponsor. Also this chaps my cheeks:
A Veteran is any soldier who has fought in a war.
I think a few of my brothers and sisters in arms who served in peace time or not in a combat zone would have a problem with that statement. They seem to want to conflate Armistice Day with Veterans Day which is not the point. The point is to return to the original meaning of Armistice Day, a day to "...be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations;"
This is the seventh annual commemoration we have organized and having an OP presence would be a welcome addition. Why the need to rewrite the press release into some BS screed ending with; "The Occupy movement is pleased to be participating in this event to honor those men and women. As well as to remember the battle that we are all facing today and everyday until we win! There is no backing down! There will be no surrender!" , is something I just can't grok.
At least they included a link to pictures of our 2010 commemoration
Am I being overly sensitive?