Looking at the Stillness

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”!

39 thoughts on “Looking at the Stillness

  1. Standing still is nice. Volunteering to help with a few veterans gain employment, supplies, or just a listening ear especially for Vietnam Vets is wonderful. If I were not working full time, I would do this. Thanks for listening.

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      1. I would love to but I have a full time and a part time online job. Perhaps when things calm down, I will. I am a veteran so I am well aware of veterans in our community. Volunteering there can really tug at the heart strings.

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    1. I am too emotionally attached these days to assist in a hands-on manner. This is why I raise baby succulents to sell at markets or any surplus of books. I can raise a few dollars to donate to organisations that have the skill set to assist our ex vets.
      A report came out yesterday that stated that in Oz in the last ten days four vets had committed suicide. Not good enough!!!!

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  2. This makes for a wonderful blog because volunteering at the VA can be very challenging if you let your emotions rule. When I did have the time over the summer, I hesitated and did not. I hope I will be able to accept the challenge one day. There are so many stories one hears in the waiting room and one sees with the eyes and the heart. Thank you for putting me on the spot and keeping me real.

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    1. My younger sister works for the VA and my mother volunteers (though COVID has curtailed her opportunities). I was contemplating volunteering but then COVID… so that is an activity that is “on hold” until the danger has passed!

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  3. In the past when I still was in good shape I went at every November 11 to the ceremonies at the monument to the deads . In France each village has his monument to the dead soldiers . The list of the deads is frightening and this hemoragia may explain the lack of reactivity of France in 1940 ( de Gaulle excepted , of course ).
    Love ❤
    Michel

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  4. Evocative post. Thank you for this reminder and thank you for your service to our country. I am guilty! I forgot the roots of this day and merely celebrated a day off! But you’re right! It’s roots are much deeper! I will definitely join you in a moment of stillness and knowing! Thank you!

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  5. Today I grieve for the young men who did what they saw as their duty. My heart aches for their families who lost their beloved sons, husbands, brothers. But we must stop glorifying war. There is no honor in killing. There is no glory in following the orders of corrupt leaders. A friend of mine is currently being deployed for training in the suppression of protest. His wife is sick with anxiety. She has kissed him good-bye many times, heading off to Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and places he can’t name; but never before has he faced the prospect of facing his own countrymen as the enemy.

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    1. There is no winner in war. All sides have losses that are too valuable to place a monetary price. And yet as a species we are all too willing to send our youth to die. It is wrong on many levels. As for your friend’s husband, that is exactly the issue – his countrymen are not the enemy. To have the government deploy the military against civilians exercising their right to protest is the action of a tyrant or a dictator – not something a President should ask of this country’s military!

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  6. We may well be getting out of the Regime Change business-although, ironically, one of the loudest voices against such foreign involvement has turned out to be a steadfast supporter of the sitting president.

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    1. Our country has fought along side allies and against evil but until recently (Pres. GW Bush) had never been the instigator of hostilities. That the US became the aggressor didn’t sit well with me then and it doesn’t now. (of course the US has backed others who would topple leaders and foreign govt. -just ask Oliver North!)

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