Today at 11:00 AM I will stand still. My eyes will close and I will remember that many lives were lost. Although I will remain motionless for a moment, there are so many that will never stir again. The dead are unmoving, unfeeling, unremembered by most of those now living. Today is a holiday that has been reimagined. The original reason for the day has been relegated to the history books (Armistice Day). We call today Veterans’ Day and have expanded the scope to honor all who served. Still I think about “the war to end all wars” and the lives laid down in defense of freedom.
According to the internet “At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the Great War ended. At 5 a.m. that morning, Germany, bereft of manpower and supplies and faced with imminent invasion, signed an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car outside Compiégne, France. The First World War left nine million soldiers dead and 21 million wounded, with Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary, France, and Great Britain each losing nearly a million or more lives. In addition, at least five million civilians died from disease, starvation, or exposure.” Since that time there have been other wars fought. Some were quick conflicts that have faded from memory (Invasion of Granada) and others were full on wars that took years of fighting and a similarly high number of casualties.
So in honor of the sacrifices, I will be still, still as death. I will maintain one full minute of stillness. I hope you will join me for a single moment to honor the memories of all the soldiers and civilians that were destroyed or their lives turned upside down in war.
As a bonus this is exactly will fulfill CalmKate’s challenge for “still”!