Niagara Gazette

Columns

November 6, 2013

BRADBERRY: Loyal opposition trumps blind destruction

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — However, fighting had actually ceased seven months earlier when an armistice or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, so November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

On June 1, 1954, President Eisenhower sign legislation changing the name of the legal holiday from Armistice Day to Veteran’s Day and after a series of efforts in the Congress and amongst the states, November 11 was finally established as Veterans Day effective in 1978 instead of on the fourth Monday in October, thereby confusing just about everybody for the next few decades about when to celebrate.

Veterans Day continues to be observed on Nov. 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to Nov. 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.”

Often overlooked during the celebrations is the term, “common good” which brings me to the connection between Veterans Day and elections.

Aside from war, which is usually the sad result of diplomatic failure when reason falls to force, most agree that nobody really wins much when everyone is constantly pushing and pulling in different directions to everyone’s ultimate demise.

I often quote my father’s parody of the farm workers who, having worked in the blazing heat all day to harvest their crops, spent more time and energy arguing about how to get their bounty to the market than they did in the fields.

They could not agree on whether they should push or pull the wagon, and in the heat of their discord, they tugged so hard in opposite directions, that they tore the wagon apart, wasting the crops as well as their labor.

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