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Recall Armistice Day and work for peace

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By calling Armistice Day on November 11 “Remembrance Day” we miss the point. The original Armistice Day in 1918 was a day of joy, celebrating the end of a hugely bloody war. As one newspaper at the time described it: “Whole country goes wild with joy at news of peace”.

Traditionally, Armistice Day has become a day for communities to remember and grieve together for those who lost their lives in war. Conventionally, the emphasis is on those who died in military service: uniforms, medals and solemn military display are the order of the day.

After four years of pointless slaughter, the so-called Great War — World War 1 — had come to an end. It had been “the war to end wars”, the first thoroughly industrialised war, which was unlike any previous war in the scale of its destruction.

When the guns fell silent, all involved in the grisly work of warfare must have heaved a huge collective sigh of relief. At last, the........

© Green Left Weekly