Serious and poignant content alert! Not that all Veteran’s Day Celebrations don’t have good things about them. They do, and it’s always heart-warming to see people out for more than just the cookouts and sales. The small town celebrations though have such a personal feel to them and Homestead is no exception. Part of the reason I think is that like here, as the names of those who have been lost in time of war are read, you are in the crowd with a relative or descendent in many cases. They are more than names – they are a part of the town that the crowd knows. You can often find some of the same names on streets, roads, or buildings within a few blocks of the Veteran’s Memorial. Granted, the fact that Homestead’s municipal history doesn’t date back before the late 1880s means the memorial begins at WW I. To towns where they possibly have a few of the French Indian War and certainly of the Revolutionary War veterans, they have more extensive memories to capture. It is the sentiment, however, of the recognition of these men and increasingly women who perished in time of war that is identical. It is a stirring tribute and a joined hope that perhaps one day we will cease to turn to armed conflict to resolve our differences.
I have written in Facebook posts and perhaps on the blog that few people desire peace more than members of the military. No, not the ones who embrace a culture of death, but the nations who understand, sadly,the expression, “if you want peace, prepare for war” comes from “Epitoma Rei Militaris,” by Vegetius (Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus). The Latin is: “Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum.” (I found this on http://ancienthistory.about.com)
Although war and armed conflict does not come as quickly or as often as in the days when the words were committed to paper, it is still prevalent. Too many billions have been devastated throughout history, and I hope that somewhere in our future, our descendants will find a way to “beat swords into plowshares” in a meaningful way.