‘Let us reclaim the Significance’
Written 6th November 2005
‘When on the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th Month the Guns stood quiet at the end of World War 1 (Poppies)
Extract: Voices in the Wilderness email notification
Now that the U.S. election is over, violence in Iraq has increased and is continuing to spiral chaotically. Fallujah and other areas of Iraq are faced with brutal and escalating military operations. Fallujah has been the target of numerous recent air strikes, and has been sealed for the eminent U.S. military strike, a strike that many have been warning of for sometime. Armistice Day is less than a week away. Let us reclaim the original significance of Armistice Day, when on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month the guns stood quiet at the end of World War I.
Themes which near-future action could be built upon might include:
- reclaiming the original significance of Armistice Day:
- end the US war in Iraq and bring the troops home:
- full funding for health care for veterans, including those injured by the use of depleted uranium;
- full participation by the US in the rebuilding of Iraq as the rebuilding is directed by the people of Iraq with payments for the damage done by 14 years of economic and military warfare against the people of Iraq;
- end “stop loss” orders that keep soldiers beyond the end of their enlistment agreement: and
- amnesty for war resisters.Arundhati Roy gave a speech on the evening of the U.S. elections in Australia to tell us,
“There can be no real PEACE without JUSTICE.
And without resistance there will be no justice.
Today, it is not merely JUSTICE itself, but the IDEA of JUSTICE that is under attack.”
This resistance is happening. Below are a few summaries of those stories with links to the full article/update on our new web site. First, Ceylon Mooney of VitW and the Wheels of Justice Tour has a request.
Dear friends and affiliates in peace, justice, nonviolence and anti-war work,
A project of Voices in the Wilderness and Al-Awda, the Wheels of Justice Tour (http://justicewheels.org), is coming to the south early 2005. we wish to bring our nonviolent witness to war and occupation in Iraq and Palestine to your neck of the woods. We wish to spend January and February in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.
We are looking for individuals and organizations to host and organize events in these states. There are a number of ways to put us to work…..
Ireland provides the history, the people, the acumen, the experience and particularly in the light of the Peace Process to make an impact towards global peace and justice. Let us think of inclusivity and the words of John Hume ‘Diversity in Unity……’
Armistice Day: The poppy; its poignancy always makes me think of those who fought and lost life for Peace and Justice.
Micheal: Both of us share two close family members lost to Suicide
by Michelle Clarke – Social Justice and Ethics – Please
Sunday, Oct 10 2004, 11:08pm
Micheal (I do not know Micheal)
I read your response a few days ago. The facts are harsh and confirm what I feel about the society we live in today. To me, the rise in the number of suicides particularly men (1980 to date) correlate to the expectation (be it corruption driven or otherwise) that this Celtic Society has for each individual member.
People tell you – Get Tough; Harden up. They refuse to accept that you think differently about life and worse again insist that you join their camp – your destination is nothing but inadequate. Basically, this is the way they judge you.
The interconnectedness of our society has broken down; the word inclusiveness to me states the world of those within the corporate clique – those people who drive the cars that represent status; who live in the right areas; who take several holidays a year; those who have the arrogance to put down those with sentiment and categorise them as basically nothing. They mock them amongst their clique for their non entity. Our school curriculum promotes this and this is further endorsed by our universities. There is an educational stranglehold that determines a certain kind of ‘success’ within the world order. Noam Chomsky is worth reading on this topic.
I fell out of the nest at the age of 32 and I battle. I know the other side and I experience the reality of now. I have the right address but I don’t feel accepted. The only people I know who accept me are the few I met on the Trinity Horizon programme because we know deep down the hell within. It appears and strikes the spirit to nothing and all you can do is hope you make it through yet again.
All I can say is keep thinking of the word Hope. There is a reason for those who are sensitive and satient to the pains of society and why we exist.
It is my own personal belief that Dr. Kelly felt duty bound to humanity to commit suicide, to highlight the need for people at every level of society to realise the gravity of the Iraq War and the fact that the weapons of mass destructions non existence. Durkheim; sociologist in the 1800’s spoke of this in terms of Anomie.
Poets, writers, artists often express what others are afraid to feel. These people use Denial as their boundaries and have the capacity to have distractions like drink, consumer goods; holidays; fast cars; to deal with their basic needs.
For others and often the children of people with what appears to be ‘ALL’ escape into the sensual, the sensitivities and often take their lives. The pain in society adds to their accumulated pain and the only answer is out. Yes; the answer is Suicide.
The question for those who remain is Why? What drove them? What amount of pain in society can be swept over by some and yet demolish to death others? Where is the research carried out by the Humanities in our Universities? Sometimes, I feel it just gathers dust because people do not have the impetus to truly assist those who are vulnerable in society. Science means to learn yet this word is surrounded by parameters in Ireland that submerge it under inability to have an economic value. We seem have no grasp or value on anything that does not appear to have a social value.
I am particularly fond of Professor Kennelly. So often in the most unusual of places I have seen his smiling face. The other day as I wandered in pain to Haddington Road Church, I picked up a magazine. It included an article about Professor Kennelly’s retirement and a poem simply titled Good that he had attributed to Sr. Stanilaus Kennedy. Alas in a scattered state I cannot include it now but I will find it and enter it to this site. The simplistic words make you realise there are others who feel just like you do and it is worth the fight. Life is about mystery. Maybe the onslaught of corruption within Ireland now is the threshold that switches the equilibrium towards equity.
October is a particularly poignant month. It is about the change of seasons…..it is about thinking……it is about hurting……so all I say is be alert and think of others who may be vulnerable and just a little too soft for this world and form a connectedness with them.
All the best
Reviewed September 26th, 2019
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