Saturday, November 11, 2023

Veterans Day: Crossing out war

  Armistice Day, which was first celebrated on November 11, 1918, was changed to Veterans Day when our government passed a bill to that effect on June 2, 1954. Originally, it was a celebration of the ending of World War I, but today it commemorates the service of those who fought in all wars. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could cross out war?

  "A quarter of a million crosses. That’s the price in human lives that America paid for victory in World War II. Russia and England paid an even higher price." (Since World War II, America has lost 33,746 lives in the Korean War; 47,355 in the Vietnam War; around 6,000 in the Iraq War, and we don’t know how many more will be killed in Afghanistan and other areas).

  The crosses reach far beyond the horizon of our vision. Those crosses are there because the men beneath them died to cross out war. They endeavored to cross it out with their blood. They crossed out their hopes, ambitions, and dreams. They crossed out their personal futures to save the future of the world.

  There is much crossing out that the living must do if we are to avoid new wars and new fields of crosses in new generations. We, the living, must cross out of our hearts hatred, intolerance, selfishness, and prejudice. We must cross out military force as a means of settling disputes. We must cross out narrow viewpoints and replace them with world-wide viewpoints. We must cross out fear and replace it with faith.

  Editor's note: This article first appeared in the Capital City Free Press on November 11, 2013.

  About the author: Dr. Robert Wilkerson was a minister, writer, and founder of People for the Christian Way, an organization whose mission was to encourage all people to practice Christian principles in business, politics, and every area of life.

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