Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day: Stop Creating More Maimed & Dead - Today was also Armistice Day

Making Armistice Day/ Veterans Day Real

Stop allowing DC (and other cities, national forests) to turn into a war zone:
Please read and sign - there is a place here for your own comments - Please Go

From several other groups:

Here's one from PEACE ACTION Education Fund for Veterans/Armistice Day: No soldier Left Behind - Rebuild Iraq/Rebuild America

Every year on this day Peace Action has traditionally sent you an Armistice Day message. We do so to honor the spirit of this day when we celebrate the end of World War 1 on the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour. Today though, we cannot reflect on our past without being reminded of our present.

To date 4,171 American troops have been killed in Iraq. Those who did survive to come home and speak out against the war have been met with police violence in the streets of New York and St. Paul.

Today, we ask you to remember Armistice Day and our Veterans by taking action to bring U.S. troops home from the failed war on terrorism and support them when they are here.

No Soldier Left Behind is a comprehensive plan to bring our troops home from Iraq once and for all; safely, speedily, and with the interest of sustainable peace in mind and a call to President elect Obama to pursue a strategy that includes:

- Withdrawing all troops and private contractors within one year without leaving a vulnerable and provocative residual force

- Creating a "diplomatic surge" that engages Iraq's neighbors (including Iran and Syria) and the international community

- Leading donor efforts for Iraqi-controlled reconstruction and humanitarian aid, and securing assistance to Iraq's almost 5 million displaced people, as well as for Iraqis endangered due to their assistance of the US effort

- Assisting in the establishment of international peacekeeping and stabilization forces if requested by the Iraqi people

President elect Obama has become a spokesperson for change in this country. Tell him to fully embrace that role by throwing out Bush's failed 'war on terror'. We cannot win peace with bombs. The only solution is to pursue real security through diplomatic cooperation and funding human needs here and abroad.

The actions on this site may be having some difficulty so perhaps use this above material and that below to inspire you to write your own letters...

Note although some readers may not believe that the following peace group goes far enough, for those with a spiritual perspective, time & again I find this group to say what needs saying for peace in a most eloquent way & IF all of Israelis and Jewish folk did and said what they did I'm sure Palestine/Israel and the US of A would behave much more like peacemakers all over the world...We can now hold these few at least to their word and strong commitment for peace and rights for all. And note that they have also invited us to dialogue with them. Connie, blogger here

From SHALOM CENTER: Making Veterans - Armistice Day Real

Ninety years ago today, at 11 o'clock on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, World War I ended. It was supposed to be the "war to end all wars" - but see how we have worse than wasted those 90 years! For many years in the United States, November 11 was Armistice Day. Now it is Veterans Day, when we honor those who at the call of an American government, no matter how misguided the call, risked their lives and limbs and minds and even souls.

But we can truly honor them only when we stop creating new dead and maimed, new veterans -- when there are no more rockets' red glare, bombs bursting in air.

Two years ago, at the initiative of The Shalom Center, 85 rabbis and four cantors from all the branches of the Jewish religious tree signed A JEWISH CALL TO HEAL GOD'S WORLD BY WEAVING WORLD COMMUNITY.

To see more from this group and their work and the information for a conference on ending war coming up in NYC Nov 23rd - go

For two years, many of us --- clergy and laity, Jewish and Christian and Muslim and Buddhist and Hindu and Sikh and Bahai and Wiccan and Indigenous-animist and godless --- have struggled toward the goals laid out in the Call. For months at a time during those years, that vision has seemed empty of hope, froth in an unholy wind.

Now we can scent the possibility of change. We welcome the first stirrings of a new American government, and even more the birthing of a new American movement for the practical visions set forth in this call. We know that it will take grass-roots effort and insistence to begin giving reality to those visions.

We invite you to share this call with your own networks, and we invite you to begin the discussions that can make the visions real. As the new American government unfolds, we will invite you to press these visions forward.

In the Jewish world, we will carry this Call into the November 23 gathering in New York, "Jews Uniting to End the War and Heal America." In the broader American community, we will be focusing on on these visions for the moment when Martin Luther King's Birthday (January 19) and Inauguration Day (January 20) converge.

Tern years from now, on the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that ended "the war to end all wars," can we see much of this vision accomplished?

Shalom, salaam, peace --- Arthur


The human race -- adam -- and the planet in which we live -- adamah -- are in the midst of a world-wide earthquake: political, economic, technological, military, religious, ecological.

One possible response is to try to control this earthquake through top-down, unaccountable power. Another is to try to reverse the history of the last several centuries and return to a remembered version of the pre-Modern world. A third is to reweave the web of life-forms and cultures into a richer planetary community in which power and decision-making begins at the grass-roots.

Jewish tradition and our history warn us against an approach to controlling the world that depends upon top-down, unaccountable, arrogant power: the approach of Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, Rome, the Inquisition, the Tsar.

Our tradition and our history also warn us against trying to restore the past, as we recall the Name God spoke to Moses at the crisis of the Burning Bush: "Ehyeh asher ehyeh, I Will Be Who I Will Be."

Jewish tradition and Jewish history teach us to seek the third alternative: to weave world community across boundaries of religion and nationality -- for the sake of the human race, which suffers deeply from war, and for the sake of healing our endangered planet and its wounded web of life.

Yet the present policies of the US government have done much to sever the threads of world community and to begin creating a pyramidal structure of top-down, unaccountable military and corporate power to control the world.

And in several religious communities, violence by national governments and terrorist groups has attempted to turn the calendar back to an imaginary earlier, world in which women, other communities, and the earth itself stayed in their "places" -- subordinate.

So we covenant with each other to draw from Jewish wisdom how to walk the path of healing into a just and compassionate future, to seek peace, justice, the healing of the earth, and a planetary community made up of richly diverse cultures. We call for specific changes that are rooted in this vision, and intend to keep growing and working together as the transformation of our world unfolds.

1. We call for an immediate decision by Congress to set a time-table to bring safely home all US troops, contractors, and mercenaries from Iraq, by a date certain not later than Rosh Hashanah 5768 -- September 2007 -- and to support the creation of a UN peacekeeping body that can swiftly midwife the achievement of self-determination by the Iraqi people

2. We call on the US government to insist on the convening of an Emergency International Conference on Peace in the Middle East, committed to achieve a full peace settlement among Israel, Palestine, all Arab states, and Iran, including mutual recognition of legitimate national rights of all the parties -- and in the pursuit of these goals, to carry on direct discussions with all the governments concerned.

3. We are profoundly concerned by the damage that human ignorance and arrogance are inflicting on God's creation of the web of life on earth. We especially call on the US government and on state and local governments, religious communities, businesses, labor unions, and universities to take all possible steps to avert the climate crisis of global scorching. We call on us all to maximize the use of sustainable, non-nuclear, non-polluting, non-CO2-producing sources of energy; to radically diminish the use of fossil fuels; and to provide public review and accountability for the present top-down, unaccountable power of Big Oil and Big Coal.

4. We call on the US government to ratify and carry out a series of existing and pending treaties to strengthen the fabric of world community. These include treaties to ban land mines, forbid the recruitment of children as soldiers, empower the International Criminal Court and accept its jurisdiction, define international terrorism as a war crime subject to ICC jurisdiction, and roll back carbon-dioxide emissions; to reaffirm, fully enforce, and open US courts to hear cases under the Geneva Conventions and other treaties against torture; and to modify "free trade" treaties and laws so as to protect workers, consumers, and the earth.

5. We call on the US government to commit 5% of the American Gross Domestic Product for each of the next twenty years to eliminating global poverty, homelessness, inadequate education, and inadequate health care; to assisting women and families throughout the world to make reproductive choices; and to encouraging grass-roots empowerment of people, throughout the world.

6. We call on the US government to make sure that all religious communities, majority and minority, are accorded the same legal and cultural freedom and respect. In response to specific contemporary dangers, we are especially concerned that Muslims and Muslim institutions be accorded legal freedom and cultural respect for their persons, their exercise of religious freedom, and their communal spaces and practices, as we have long asserted must be accorded Jews, Christians, and others.

7. We commit ourselves to speak out in public -- in the name of Torah and the values of the Jewish people -- against unethical and immoral actions by any government or politico-military group. We are especially concerned by acts that go beyond using violence in absolutely unavoidable self-defense,. We believe this standard must be used to measure the US government's occupation of Iraq and its willingness to use torture; the use of terror attacks against civilians by various Palestinian, Iraqi, Lebanese, and other groups; and the Israeli government's attacks on civilians and their vital infrastructure in Gaza and Lebanon, as well as aspects of the 39-year Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and people that may go far beyond self-defense.

8. We covenant with each other, with the Jewish community, and with the Holy One of Blessing to work together beyond this public statement to make its vision real.

9. And we commit ourselves to work with Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, and those of other religious, spiritual, and ethical communities not only for "interfaith dialogue" but for multireligious action to heal God's world and for multireligious affirmation of the Unity that calls us all together.
Here are the other Rabbis who've signed this commitment:

Rabbi Katy Z. Allen
Rabbi Rebecca Alpert
Rabbi Amy Eilberg
Rabbi Aryeh Azriel
Rabbi Chava Bahle
Rabbi Dennis Beck-Berman
Rabbi Lisa Sari Bellows
Rabbi Phyllis Berman
Rabbi Leila Gal Berner
Rabbi Amy Bernstein
Rabbi Erwin Bloom
Rabbi Joshua Boettiger
Rabbi Howard A. Cohen
Rabbi Hillel Cohn
Rabbi Neil Comess-Daniels
Cantor Doug Cotler
Rabbi Elliot Dorff
Rabbi Andrew Vogel Ettin
Rabbi Ted Falcon
Rabbi Michael Feinberg
Rabbi Tirzah Firestone Friedman
Rabbi Alan Flam
Rabbi Allen I. Freehling
Rabbi John Friedman
Rabbinic Pastor and Maggid Andrew Gold
Rabbi Rachel Goldenberg
Rabbi Marc Gopin
Rabbi Leonard Gordon
Rabbi Mel Gottlieb
Rabbi Art Green
Rabbi Andrew M. Hahn
Rabbi Judith HaLevy
Rabbi Linda Holtzman
Rabbi Geoffrey Huntting
Rabbi Shaya Isenberg
Rabbi Margie Jacobs
Rabbi Steven Jacobs
Rabbi Devorah Jacobson
Rabbi Burt Jacobson
Rabbi Raachel N. Jurovics
Rabbi Debra Kassoff
Hazan Jack Kessler
Rabbi Marc Aaron Kline
Rabbi Chava Koster
Rabbi Alan LaPayover
Rabbi Michael Lerner
Rabbi Joshua Lesser
Rabbi Moshe Levin
Rabbi Yael Levy
Rabbi Mordechai Liebling
Rabbi Ellen Lippmann
Rabbi Paula Marcus
Rabbi Natan Margalit
Rabbi Nathan Martin
Rabbi Malka Mittelman
Rabbi Stephen F. Moch
Rabbi Leah Novick
Rabbi Marcia Prager
Rabbi Rayzel Raphael
Rabbi Victor Hillel Reinstein
Rabbi Rochelle Robins
Cantor Aviva Rosenbloom
Rabbi Jeff Roth
Rabbi Joanna Samuels
Rabbi Julie Saxe-Taller
Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi
Hazzan Sunny Schnitzer
Rabbi David Seidenberg
Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller
Rabbi Bruce Bromberg Seltzer
Rabbi Gerry Serotta
Rabbi David Shneyer
Rabbi Richard Simon
Rabbi Nadia Siritsky
Rabbi Toba Spitzer
Rabbi Margot Stein
Rabbi Naomi Steinberg
Rabbi Gil Steinlauf
Rabbi Yaffa-Shira Sultan
Rabbi Louis W. Sutker
Rabbi Susan Talve
Rabbi Brian Walt
Rabbi Nahum Ward-Lev
Rabbi Arthur Waskow
Rabbi Nancy Wechsler-Azen
Rabbi Sheila Weinberg
Rabbi Melissa Weintraub
Rabbi Gordon Yaffe
Rabbi Lina Zerbarini
Rabbi Laurie Zimmerman

More on the history of Veterans Day (from several history sources)

They called it an end to the "Great War" to begin with...no one could imagine a larger more terrible war...

In one sense, Veterans Day has been a part of America's heritage for nearly a century. Yet in another way, Veterans Day is just a few years past its 50th birthday. For Veterans Day, you see, had its start as a slightly different holiday.

Although World War 1 officially ended in the summer of 1919 with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, an actual end to fighting had come some seven months earlier. Bullets ceased to fly the morning of Nov. 11, 1918 -- on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, to be precise -- when an armistice between Germany and the Allied Forces went into effect .

One year after this fragile peace, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11, 1919, Armistice Day -- a time for the nation to celebrate victory in "the war to end all wars." Wilson did not declare Armistice to be a federal holiday, but in the years that followed, state after state chose to make the solemn anniversary a state holiday. In 1938, the United States Congress followed suit. The official end of the "war to end all wars" would be a federal legal holiday in all then-48 states.

But just a few short months later, the outbreak of another war in Europe shattered dreams of world peace. In the years that followed, millions of soldiers the world over were caught up in the fury of World War II, a conflict that ultimately entailed fighting on every continent except Antarctica. Among the soldiers were an estimated 16.5 million Americans ... more than 400,000 of whom didn't make home. And on the heals of World War II, American soldiers were once again sent across the ocean, this time to participate in the Korean Conflict. Three short years of fighting there yielded another 1.2 million casualties (not including civilian injuries and deaths). Reflected in this number were 36, 516 confirmed American deaths, more than 92,000 wounded Americans, and another 8,000 American soldiers missing in action.

Armistice Day stood as a tribute to a peace that had failed.


1 comment:

Connie L. Nash said...

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