Fail to Convey

This is a photo of the World War I monument in Kansas City, Missouri, dedicated on November 11, 1926.

2018 marks the centennial of the closing of World War I. In association with this memorial, the United States established a holiday entitled Armistice Day.

The legislation that passed threw the word “peace” around quite a bit:

Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and

Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations…

It invited all “to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.”

In 1954, however, the named was changed to Veterans Day. And instead of commemorating peace (armistice is derived from the Latin and literally means the standing still of weapons) to a vague celebration of those who wage wars.

Sure, this could be a bit of subtly lost on many of us, especially through the decades of virtually religious patriotism, but I think it’s a pretty important distinction.

‘Fail to Convey’

Camera: Imperial Savoy (c1956)
Film: Kodak Gold 200 (x-05/1994)

Kansas City, Missouri


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