From Lx 121, via Wikimedia Commons, used w/o permission.

Today is Armistice Day. Over the decades it’s been called Poppy or Remembrance Day, and now Americans call it Veteran’s Day.

Some of the most sensible words I’ve read that apply to this holiday come from a comic strip character, and an American president:

“Y’know, it seems to be me this is all backwards….We, Ever’body, ought to keep our big mouths shut all the whole year long so’s we’d have time to think of two minutes worth of somethin. to say on the eleventh day of November.”
(Porky Pine, in Pogo; Walt Kelly (1953))

“Human nature will not change. In any future great national trial, compared to the men of this, we shall have as weak and as strong, as silly and as wise, as bad and as good.”
(Abraham Lincoln, Response to a serenade (November 10, 1864))

The day was originally named after the Armistice of 11 November 1918, signed at 11:00 a.m. Paris time: the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. We’ve endured quite a few wars after “the war to end all wars,” and that’s another topic: