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“I will come to a time in my backwards trip when November eleventh, accidentally my birthday, was a sacred day called Armistice Day. When I was a boy, and when Dwayne Hoover was a boy, all the people of all the nations which had fought in the First World War were silent during the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of Armistice Day, which was the eleventh day of the eleventh month. It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one another. I have talked to old men who were on battlefields during that minute. They have told me in one way or another that the sudden silence was the Voice of God. So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind. Armistice Day has become Veterans’ Day. Armistice Day was sacred. Veterans’ Day is not. So I will throw Veterans’ Day over my shoulder. Armistice Day I will keep. I don’t want to throw away any sacred things. What else is sacred? Oh, Romeo and Juliet, for instance. And all music is.“ -“Breakfast of Champions” by Kurt Vonnegut
Kurt Vonnegut was born on this day, November 11th. Also known as Veterans day or the day formerly known as Armistice day. Not only was Kurt brilliant an influential to literature and society, but he knew what he was talking about.
We may glorify Veterans day where we pay our respects to those who fought in our wars. I respect our troops and those who have served our country, but to view war and death and raise it up may seem honorable, but let us go back to Armistice day.
Armistice day glorifies the beauty of peace. As Vonnegut said in “Breakfast of Champions,” it was when millions of people stopped killing each other.
While you are remembering and showing our veterans respect, I challenge you to also think about the implications of an Armistice day. Let us try to bring back the term, because remembering peace is better than remembering war.
Happy Birthday Kurt Vonnegut.
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