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World War 2

World War 1

Vietnam ~




It’s November 11th.  (That’s 11-11.) If you are reading this at 11:11 (on 11/11) did you know that on this day at this hour in 1918 World War 1 formally ended?

Today is also Veterans Day, a day to say Thank You to all who served and serve in our military.

So on 11/11, Veterans Day, I’m thinking about how the Navy sent us to the US Army War College for 11 months.  Not 12 months, not 10 months—11 months.

There’s got to be something to number 11.  So I googled this 11 phenomenon.  The word Synchronicity kept popping up.  Apparently, when 11’s are involved repeatedly someone is trying to tell you something.

Synchronicity, according to wikepedia, is the experience of two or more events as meaningfully related, whereas they are unlikely to be casually related.  The subject sees it as a meaningful coincidence, although the events need not be exactly simultaneous in time. The concept of synchronicity was first described by Carl Jung, a Swiss psychologist, in the 1920s.

Jung was transfixed by the idea that life was not a series of random events but rather an expression of a deeper order.  He also believed that synchronicity’s purpose was shifting a persons’s egocentric thinking to greater wholeness.

The whole essence of our US Military is sacrificing self for the greater good.   I wonder if it is a coincidence that Veterans Day falls on 11/11?  I wonder if it is a coincidence that World War 1 ended on 11/11 at 11:00?

I’m pausing here.

I’m from Michigan and I am pretty sure growing up that I probably never thought about what it meant to be in the military.  Wars were a distant thing that had no bearing on me except in history books and “violent” movies.  I suppose to give myself a little credit I recognized that our country’s freedoms were in a vague way tied to our country’s military past and present.  But here’s the thing I wonder now…is that how the rest of the country sees it if they aren’t directly linked to a military member, their family, or a military town?  What if you don’t read the paper/watch the news, you live far from any military base, and you aren’t related or know anyone in the armed services?  If it’s not personal to you and you choose to not keep up with current events then wouldn’t it remain a vague notion?  When the government shut down and we wondered if we would get a paycheck I thought about people, for example, living in Los Angeles or Hollywood, and wondering if this was just a vague news story to them.  In 2006ish when the war in Iraq and the mess in Afghanistan resulted in more and more military being sent, deployments extended, and shore duty cut short I wondered this same thing again…have people “not involved” forgotten there was a war going on?

I have a clear image in my head of Jack Nicholson on the witness stand in A Few Good Men.   He is giving his famous YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH speech and says “…but deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties-you need me on that wall”.  Maybe it feels a little better to keep it vague because otherwise it feels too hard–and what can we really do?

Maybe it’s not vagueness maybe it’s avoidance?  Maybe it’s too raw, too uncomfortable? I get that.

But there is something we can do, we can openly say Thank You.  We can acknowledge. Thankful Thursday this week will be full of addresses just for this purpose.

It’s 11/11.  That’s a lot of 1’s that add up to more than 1, more than ourselves.

This I really liked and it seemed very appropriate.  11 represents TRANSITION, OPENNESS, and TRANSFORMATION.

Have I mentioned it’s November 11th and I’m here in Army World via Navy World for 11 months?  It’s a transition and a transformation.  I’ll open up more about that later, maybe at 11 or on December 11th…In the meantime, watch this.

VJ Day, Honolulu Hawaii, August 14, 1945 from Richard Sullivan on Vimeo.

None of us would be here without you.  Thank you.


  1. Phyllis says

    “Thank you” to your husband, Jeff, for his ongoing service in the Navy, and to your father, (my husband), John, for his service many years ago, in the Air Force.

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