Sunday, November 11
THERE are times when I think if I could change only one thing about this country it would be to return 11-11 to its original name and original meaning, even at the expense of losing its holiday status to another date selected to celebrate sacrifice and martial glory; even if it meant the dead of Passchendaele and Ypres and Belleau Wood were condemned to lie even less remembered than they are today. Just give them back the day, the hour the guns fell silent, even if we ignore it. And give the rest of us back some sense of the enormity of modern war, same as those who set aside the day had when they did so.
Worthless sacrifice is the rule of war, not the exception. We don't need any prodding to remember the fight against Fascism as noble, or to view all service as heroic. But it's obvious we too quickly forget that senseless, unspeakable slaughter has always started out sounding like a reasonable idea to too many people.