Today is “Veterans Day” here in the United States.  November 11 was initially called “Armistice Day” to mark the end of World War I, while England and other Commonwealth countries call it “Remembrance Day.”

Reggie Black is a veteran; I asked him if he wanted to write a “guest blog” today and he declined.

The announcer on the classical music station was uncomfortable as he tried to arrive at the appropriate vocal tone and posture for talking about the day.  He noted that many people have the day off and there will be parades and observances.  He has been trained to sound happy and upbeat (it pleases the advertisers) and I didn’t hear a somber tone in his voice.

He says we should “remember the brave men and women who have kept this country strong.”

What does that mean? Is being “strong” the same as being “free?”

Recently, I read an article about new streetlights the city of Las Vegas is installing.  Not only will they illuminate sidewalks, but they can also broadcast messages and music.  Maybe they’re like those annoying video screens on gas pumps.  Although the Las Vegas public works is trying to downplay it, the streetlights can also record sound and video.  Soon, Las Vegas will have surveillance streetlights.

Late one afternoon last week, I was driving home along some country roads.  Cows were grazing in the fields and the darkness quickly descended.  Suddenly, I noticed how dark it was along this particular road and it was because there were no streetlights.  It was peaceful and calm.  I felt safe in the darkness.  I’m happy to know there are no surveillance streetlights in my own little corner of the world.  Not yet, anyway.

I don’t have any words of wisdom about Veterans Day.  What I have are questions, a never-ending litany of questions about freedom, peace, and privacy.  They are hard questions and they require critical thinking and contemplation, not the distraction of flag-waving or the blinding beam of surveillance streetlights that purport to keep us safe.

My questions will go unanswered today.   I hope they’re heard, understood, and acknowledged (HUA).

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3 Responses to Hooyah

  1. Slippah Sistah says:

    Yes, Sistah Slipper – a time of quiet prayer and comtemplation on behalf of all those who have served, are serving and will serve; ain’t a bad way to spend some time on this Veterans day. They and their families have sacraficed and will sacrafice a great deal. Finding ways to help and support them and thank them when we see them not a bad idea either, pay for their meal, their gas, their toll, they are paying for yours sweet heart with their lives. And if a whole town can celebrate Moxie with people’s blessings, why feel bad over paying adieu to our soldiers-living and dead? Strong- the courage and strength to do what is right; Free, to choose to do it, even if chosing to do what is right means paying for it with your life.
    Of course you are welcome to come join me for some time before our Lord, at the Adoration Chapel at Holy Cross church on Route 196, Lewiston between 12:30-1:15. It probably won’t be too crowded.:)

  2. Loosehead Prop says:

    Perhaps your enlightened readers should spend some time reading Major General Smedley Butler, USMC, the most decorated combat veteran in Marine Corps history. His book is titled “War Is A Racket,” and can be found in many places on the web, including here: http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.html

    The origin of this day is a war that the majority of Americans wanted nothing to do with, but were tricked into. This is so well documented that it is irrefutable, but you were never taught this in school and will be mocked as a “conspiracy theorist” if you actually examine the records. In early 1916, the majority of Americans actually favored the German cause in the war. JP Morgan, however, the Wall Street front for the City of London, was running a serious risk of England losing and defaulting on all the money that had been loaned to it–loaned as fast as could be printed by the brand new Federal Reserve Bank (which is neither Federal, nor a reserve, nor a bank). Our brand new national income tax secured those loans. And so new editors were bought and paid for by Wall Street interests and placed on the top 23 newspapers of our country to insure the right stories and tone that the nation’s other 600+ newspapers would follow, and a passenger ship, the Lusitania, was loaded with thousands of tons of war materiel for the British.

    I spent a few years in England, and even now, a century after that war, the country still reels from it. Not a single village, no matter how small, lacks its own cenotaph inscribed with the names of its young men, often many from the same family. How many of those men were shamed and mocked for not volunteering, were taunted with jeers of cowardice and presented with white flowers by the women they thought loved them? Remembrance Day remains a solemn day in England, and the entire nation stands outside in silence, swearing they will be remembered.

    I’d rather not lecture today. Instead, let’s let Liam Clancy (from the Irish who wisely stayed out of that trap) sing us two songs written by the Australian Eric Bogle gives us a little perspective, and maybe someone will go and contemplate the fates of the men named on that tired old memorial above the playgrounds of the Marion T. Morse school.

  3. Loosehead Prop says:

    “I gave my youth to King and country, but what’s my country done for me… ”

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