~ Veterans Day, which used to be known as Armistice Day is a national holiday that falls on November 11, and is set aside as a day to honor combat veterans who fought and died for their country.”
I’ve never known much about this particular holiday because it doesn’t seem like people pay much attention to it. There are flags on many of the houses and and businesses in town-but since the kids aren’t out of school–even that doesn’t normally get my attention. It’s always just been one of those random holidays that I mixed up with the other ones– Memorial Day, Labor Day, Veteran’s Day.
So after some guilt induced research on the subject I learned that Veteran’s Day marks the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. Ok, fine…well done…the ending of a terrible war. But here’s the part that surprised me.
In 1938, Congress passed a bill that each November 11 “shall be dedicated to the cause of world peace and …hereafter celebrated and known as Armistice Day.
I love the phrase, ‘dedicated to the cause of world peace.’ So, I looked up World Peace and came up with tons of sources. There were hundreds of World Peace sites, World Peace photos, and even a World Peace cookie recipe. I especially enjoyed the World Peace quotes:
“The structure of world peace cannot be the work of one man or one party or one nation. It must be a peace which rests on the cooperative effort of the whole world.”
— Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945)
“Peace, in the sense of the absence of war, is of little value to someone who is dying of hunger or cold. It will not remove the pain of torture inflicted on a prisoner of conscience. It does not comfort those who have lost their loved ones in floods caused by senseless deforestation in a neighboring country. Peace can only last where human rights are respected, where people are fed, and where individuals and nations are free.”
— The XIVth Dalai Lama
But even those great words from good people left me feeling very hushed and small on a loud, angry planet. I want to help–I do. So we recycle, and conserve energy, and carpool, grow a garden, and try to compose, and make hats for struggling babies, and filter our water, and hand make whatever we can…I could go on and on.
But world peace? That’s a big one.
Then I found a few other words that shrunk the world back to a smaller, more manageable size for me. One that helps me feel strong and settled and able to make a difference again. This one:
“If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can smile and blossom like a flower, and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace.”
— Thich Nhat Hanh
This, we can all do…
…and change the world.