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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

52 Stat 351

My old professor, Jacob Levy (old as in erstwhile, not as in elderly), has these thoughts on the holiday:

There's commemorative cannon-fire outside my office right now, and I'm more disgusted than moved. Yet more artillery fire seems to me to miss what should be the point.

A Veteran's/ Armistice/ Remembrance Day observed on November 11 in particular shouldn't just mean a gauzy and somber honoring of live veterans and fallen soldiers. It should be in part a day of anger and horror about the particular war that ended on this day, the stupid brutality of it, and the evil that followed in its wake. Of course, no continuously-existing government (US, UK, Canada) is likely to create a day officially dedicated to pointing out that its predecessor contributed to the deaths of millions for no good cause. But we have the capacity to remember lessons other than the official ones.

I don't know as much history as I should, and so don't have a firm conviction about the "stupid brutality" of World War I, but I am certainly not confident that there was a good reason for most of the suffering that ensued.

Posted by Will Baude on November 11, 2009 at 03:05 PM | Permalink


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