Picture of the Day
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photo of
              vietnam vet on train, recovering from nervous breakdown
World War I, with its introduction of machine guns, tanks, aerial bombardment, and chemical weapons, was such a horror that people optimistically called it "the war to end all wars." Its end (brought on more by an influenza epidemic than awakened consciousness) on November 11, 1918 was eventually commemorated as Armistice Day, to be observed ever thereafter on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month with two minutes of silence for reflection on the horrors of the past and resolve for a peaceful future. It wasn't long after that that the war machinery geared up again and Armistice Day was changed into Veterans' Day, a day not of hope for peace but of recognition for war's seeming necessity, as usual justified by noble-sounding words such as honor, sacrifice, and duty.

Listen to a general--war is not the answer:
Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together. ...Disarmament, with mutual honor and confidence, is a continuing imperative. Together we must learn how to compose differences, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose.
~from Dwight David Eisenhower's 1961 Farewell Speech