Armistice Day Reflections

 

 

Monday we will have the day off from school to celebrate Armistice Day.  Most of you likely know the history of this event, but a bit of review may be in order.  Armistice Day honors the close of the Great War, marked by the signing of the armistice agreement, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.

 

The word “armistice” reflects the stilling of the weapons (‘arm-‘ = weapons; ‘-stice’ = still) after what was, at the time, the bloodiest conflict the world had ever known.  The Great War was also known for several decades as “The War to End All Wars,” since it was internationally recognized that such destruction and bloodshed was not to be repeated.  Armistice Day, in other words, is a holiday to honor peace and all those who work to create and preserve it.

 

Things changed in the 1930’s and 1940’s.  The Second World War erupted, which made it necessary to change the name of “The Great War” to “World War One.”  And following the Second World War, the celebration of Armistice Day was also renamed, and given the title “Veteran’s Day” to honor those killed in battle.  But as important as it is to honor veterans, the original concept of Armistice, and the vital importance of not just fighting but preventing future wars, has faded.

 

Why am I going on about history, when I’m not even a historian?  In part to explain why we choose to use the term “Armistice Day” instead of “Veteran’s Day.”  And more broadly because, as an educator, I believe that one of the most important things we can teach our youth is to address conflicts in a constructive and healthy matter.  This is vital, whether those conflicts are interpersonal or whether they involve greater issues around justice, fairness, freedom and human rights.  At Explorations, through our many curricular and metacurricular approaches to learning, we are doing our best to help prepare young people for a world in which they can be strong, moral beings who are not drawn into violence as a way of addressing conflicts.

 

You might consider taking two minutes of silence at 11am on Monday, as is still the tradition in many countries, to reflect on the importance of peace and peacemaking.

 

Peace is not an absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice.

                        — Baruch Spinoza
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2 Comments on “Armistice Day Reflections”

  1. Keith DAngelo Says:

    Nice Touch, director ,

    Thank you

    Let Peace begin with me.

    As you pointed out Peace is a state of consciousness , a virtue that can be taught

    I value the opportunity we have to teach peace, Have you considered a meditation course for our students , and/ or a survey of world meditation practices.

    In the rush to separate church from state , and education , I see a void and would like to see Explorations step in to fill that void for our students by teaching methods of achieving a state of internal peace.

    How can we further this together ?

    Keith D’Angelo Email keith@dangelointernational.com

    Tel 1 360 734 1046 Fax 1 360 714 8898 Cel 1 360 739 7554

    http://www.dangelointernational.com

    D’Angelo International LLC Bellingham, Washington , USA 98229

  2. Scott Caplan Says:

    Thank you for writing this.


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