The photograph was taken in Calvary Cemetery Queens, NY on October 30, 2012 — the morning after storm Sandy blew through.

The Great War (World War I) ended on this day 11 Nov 1918, when the Germans signed an armistice agreement. The cost of the war (human and economic) was staggering. It all could have been avoided if leaders were better.

Sadly, the lessons of the Great War and all the other wars are not being learned and taken to heart by people of our time. A pastor of a church in NYC wrote in his 11/11/12 Sunday bulletin: “Our freedom exists because of their (veterans) service.” A lot of people have that dangerously mistaken view.

In his book: “The Fall Of The Russian Empire” (Blue Ribbon Books, 1928) Fr. Edmund A. Walsh addresses such thinking: “If history be a looking-glass, it is intended for seeing men; a mirror is useless to a blind man. It is a ruinous conceit and stupid chauvinism to imagine that the perpetuity of any state, be it monarchy or republic, can be assured solely by industrial preeminence, superior armament, mastery in the technique of foreign and domestic commerce, or shrewdness in the conduct of international relations. Valuable assets, these, but edged tools and engines of destruction, unless controlled by minds liberalized by habits of self-analysis, comparison and reflection. Nor have we on the American continent any divine guarantee that these material excellencies — too often and too grossly proclaimed as irresistible — will insure indefinitely our institutions against the cycle of degeneration through which sister nations have already passed. Some see the decline already.”

Advertisements