Opinion

11/11 Your letters: Thomas Knapp, and Nicholas A. Pyle

Appropriate homage

In 1926, a concurrent resolution of Congress held it “fitting that the recurring anniversary of [the armistice which brought World War I to an end] should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations.”

In 1938, Congress enshrined November 11 of each year as an American holiday “dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day.’”

Somewhere between 15 and 19 million human beings – 1/3 of them civilians – perished in World War I. Fitting, don’t you think, to set aside a day each year for remembrance of the tragedy and for resolve against its repetition, however vain the latter hope might prove?

But Armistice Day is a thing of the past. In 1954, Congress acted yet again, striking the word “Armistice” from the 1938 law and inserting the word “Veterans.” Why? “[I]n order,” wrote president Dwight D. Eisenhower, “that a grateful Nation might pay appropriate homage to the veterans of all its wars.”

What does that mean, 63 years after Eisenhower’s proclamation and 99 years since the guns fell silent? USA Today reports that it means Free Stuff.

Should I care to cruise town with my DD-214 in hand this weekend, I could avail myself of free car washes, free haircuts, free flu shots, free food (including, no kidding, red, white and blue pancakes), and discounts on everything from toys to shoes to lumber.

I’ve got nothing against Free Stuff, of course, nor against anyone offering it or taking advantage of the offers.

But when I mentally stack up those red, white and blue pancakes next to a pile of human corpses tens of millions high (including the bodies of more than one million US military personnel since 1775), my appetite deserts me.

I’d rather have Armistice Day. “Prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace” seem far more appropriate to the occasion than a free car wash. Far more respectful, I feel, to all those whose lives have been cut short by war, and for that matter, to veterans in particular.

On a different armistice day -- VJ Day in 1945 -- my wife’s father and my grandfather were serving aboard (different) Navy ships in the Pacific. By way of honoring the memories of Bill Millay and Woodrow Knapp this Veterans Day, we’ve donated $11 to Veterans for Peace (veteransforpeace.org) to help make EVERY day Armistice Day. I hope you’ll do the same.

Thomas L. Knapp

William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism

The price of sugar

Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) is in the pocket of the nation’s beet and cane sugar cartels! Burr continually votes to maintain the U.S. sugar program. Why? It is really quite simple, Sen. Burr received well over $56,000 in political donations from the sugar cartels since coming to Washington in 1995.

Thanks to Sen. Burr and others, the U.S. sugar program continues. The program is a Soviet style command and control scheme that restricts planting and imports. This inflates the price of sugar in the United States to almost double the world price. So, when you go to the store to buy a snack cake or anything sweetened, you pay more! According to the Congressional Budget Office, the program means Americans pay $3.5 billion every year in increased grocery costs, which breaks down to $58 per household.

In Sen. Burr’s 22 years in office, he repeatedly voted against sugar reform, costing each North Carolina family an additional $1,276 for groceries. You have to ask yourself, is my senator really fighting to make life better, or is he just another politician in it for the campaign contributions? It’s time for Senator Burr to step up and end this costly government giveaway to the cartels!

The Independent Bakers’ Association is an international trade association that fights to protect the interests of mostly family owned wholesale bakers and allied trades.

Nicholas A. Pyle

Independent Bakers’ Association

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