The armistice was signed at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month in a rail car in France. 1918.
Nearly 100 years since the end of the war to end all wars and we’re still fighting.
Today, however, three days after the presidential election in the United States, we’re fighting among ourselves, against one another. Even family members have drawn lines that may be difficult to erase.
Today the infighting and the ill will in our land make it harder to honor those who served to defend our freedoms, protect American interests, secure peace in the world, and establish justice and liberty for all.
This morning my hope is that the memory as well as the reality of those long ago battles in lands far away will temper our actions in the coming days; that somehow we can find ways to talk to one another, to understand each other, and to establish effective means to join hands and move forward.
For my part, I condemn the violence, the perceived fear and the evident hatred that are pervasive today. Demonstrations have turned violent in scattered cities from coast to coast and throughout the heartland. Distrust is evident. It is not one-sided. It is ugly. It is reprehensible and destructive. It is pointless. And it is tearing this nation apart.
Will you join me in speaking out against it?
For today, though, I choose to remember and honor the service of millions in the armed forces of the United States, many of them my blood relatives. It is with a deep sense of respect that I acknowledge that service. I am not so hopeful as to imagine a future when such sacrifice might not be necessary.
But that would be cause for jubilation, wouldn’t it?