For the first time in 60 years, I consciously did not attend the Nov. 11 ceremony this year. Recently, I have been thinking that the event is full of gloom instead of celebration.
Yes, celebration, because winning the First World War put the Kaiser back in his box and freed those he trod upon so viciously. Winning the Second World War destroyed German and Italian fascists and once again freed the oppressed of Europe. Spanish fascism eventually withered on its own as a further result. Defeating the Japanese finished their expansionism and removed the associated oppression of so many peoples.
The "cold" and sometimes "hot" war with Russian-style communism, which was nothing but a dictatorship, has all but been won. The carnage resulting from the Yugoslav breakup was tempered by free nations taking action. Bumping off Iraq's Saddam was an act of shooting a mad dog. Syria and Iran are the next boils that need to be lanced. Al-Qaeda and the Taliban are ferocious insects to be dealt with in like fashion, when required.
All of this "success" has been at a colossal price, but think of the unimaginable cost if no action had been taken. War is a dreadful result of failure to find another way to resolve issues, but it seems there are times when it must be prosecuted vigorously if we are to eventually eliminate its need.
So yes, let's celebrate the victories while not forgetting the terrible cost, for there is evidence that we will someday put an end to the need for war.
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