Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

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    ‘Armistice Day’

    Veterans Day was observed on November 11. The holiday is meant to honor all U.S military who served at war. It was, however, originally known as Armistice Day and was created by President Woodrow Wilson to commemorate the end of The Great War (now known as the First World War), which ended famously on the “11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918” some 97 years ago. 
    There is something interesting about the transition from Armistice to Veteran. The First World War was entered by the United States late in the conflict and only begrudgingly by a nation that had formerly been promised continued neutrality. 
    President Wilson, however, argued that America’s role was crucial in the “war to end all wars” in order to “make the world safe for democracy” two themes that would be echoed continuously in future American military ventures abroad.
    In retrospect, Wilson’s post-war dream that the League of Nations could truly replace armed conflict among nations appears to us as quaint, naive, and absurd, but at the time Armistice Day embodied that hope. In 1954 after World War II, The Korean War, and the dawn of the atomic peril of the Cold War, the holiday was renamed Veterans Day. An indication, perhaps, that any lingering hope for a universal armistice was long gone, and that future generations of veterans could rightfully be expected. 
    Over the decades American wars have become more abstract. One cannot even imagine what an “armistice” with drugs, poverty, or terrorism would even look like. 
    The 21st century is not populated by “Great Powers” that can declare a simple end to a conflict when they grow tired of it. The world of the 21st century is one globalized Balkans where conflicts are diffuse, unending, and fought for reasons even murkier than the events leading up to WWI. Suffice to say, it’s likely that our grandchildren will be honoring veterans of conflicts we can’t even begin to conceive of, not looking back on when or how world peace was finally won.

    Maxwell Sharp is a Tower co-editor. Email him at maxcsharp88(at)gmail.com.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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