Wednesday, November 11, 2009
In Remembrance: Veteran's Day/Armistice Day
I don't think war is noble. I don't like what it puts people through, and I don't like what it does to the people who train for it, much less endure it. But I do recognize that at times it is necessary. And when those times come I am never more grateful than to those who willingly put themselves in front of the gun. Those people include my grandfather, several of my cousins, and most recently, my brother. So I take today to say that I hope for a day when humanity can stop killing itself off by the thousands, that we can be better stewards of the world we all share, a time when people stop dying from hunger and thirst and lack of basic healthcare so others can have swimming pools and fancy cars and throw food away. Until then, I hope for peaceful resolution of conflicts through negotiation and diplomacy as much as we are able, and for a few of the young men and women who are willing to die to protect the rest of us to end up in pine boxes as possible.
Thanks to all veterans, all over the world and everywhere, and to all the men and women who currently serve. I appreciate the sacrifices you already make -- time away from family, low income, putting off plans for your future -- and the risks you take with your physical, emotional, and mental health and safety everyday on our behalf. I hope we never need to ask you for more. As it is, we owe you far more than we give you, and it is my hope that we can improve your benefits and get you the help you need and deserve.
We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar
Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;
Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
Remember us—if at all—not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.
- "The Hollow Men," T.S. Eliot