Tuesday, November 11, 2008


i woke up this morning to a post written by my friend, jen. jen and i have read many of the same books. well, to be more accurate, jen seems to have read almost everything, which happens to mean that, conveniently, she's read most of the books i really like (yes, anne lamott included). in her post today, she quoted kurt vonnegut in breakfast of champions. i've read breakfast of champions, but unfortunately, all i really remember from it was a picture drawn of an asshole. thank god jen has a better memory than i do. i copied the quote from her blog to put here...

So this book is a sidewalk strewn with junk, trash which I throw over my shoulders as I travel in time back to November eleventh, nineteen hundred and twenty-two.

I will come to a time in my backwards trip when November eleventh, accidentally my birthday, was a sacred day called Armistice Day. When I was a boy, and when Dwayne Hoover was a boy, all the people of all the nations which had fought in the First World War were silent during the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of Armistice Day, which was the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one another. I have talked to old men who were on battlefields during that minute. They have told me in one way or another that the sudden silence was the Voice of God. So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind.

my experience of military has been a little challenging lately. not because of the military necessarily, although the present war has definitely kept it more in the forefront of my mind...but many of the challenges are just part of who i am. i think i've mentioned before that i'm a non-confrontationalist who doesn't really even like to hurt other peoples' feelings, right? but this is me. it is not necessarily what i expect of the world...well, i mean, not in a forced way...

reflecting on today has been kind of difficult. maybe it is because i live in the south...maybe it is because i live near an army base...maybe it has nothing to do with what is going on around me and all comes from within me...but i am tired of being told what i should feel in regards to those presently serving or those who have served our country.

has it really gotten so bad that the assumption has to be that the general population is apathetic and needs to be told how to feel, what to do? and even if it has, are you trying to act in a way that perpetuates it? because speaking to me in a way that presumes i don't respect you makes me wonder why i should respect you, to be honest. (there may have been a bumper sticker here, a tshirt there...) are feelings about war supposed to be so simple? for or against? is that really all there is anymore...should it even be that easy? i find the feelings i have to be rather difficult to capture in a slogan and maybe that's why i feel so offended when i read some of these slogans...so like i said, it's probably more about what's inside me.

i liked this quote because of the way it portrayed armistice day/veteran's day...a moment of silence to hear the voice of god. it is comforting to me...the idea of god silencing a battlefield, of warriors stopping to hear.

it is hard for me to even begin to try to imagine war...very hard. but i know it is real. and i know as long the country i live in engages in wars, men and women will be called to man them. and i know those who are called to participate can do so with honor...and often do. so while i do feel gratitude, and many other emotions as well, i think the main idea of the day, for me, is...

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