Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day

It was originally called Armistice Day, named for the armistice between the allied nations and Germany that went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918, ending World War I. (Ah yes, "the war to end all wars.") President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Armistice Day a holiday in America the following year.

It's still celebrated in France as Armistice Day and in England both as Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day. In the United States it has morphed into Veterans Day. The change was made in 1954 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to commemorate the soldiers who fought in World War II. Since then, we've acquired more veterans to honor, and honor them we do.

Here's a good gloss on the history of Veterans Day. Eisenhower proclaimed that public buildings would display the American flag. Banks and government offices close at 11:00 a.m. Speeches are given. Wreaths are lain on graves.

But veterans are still with us, thank goodness, and today we honor the living. Business goes on as usual in lots of places. Maybe that's thanks to those vets.

13 comments:

Bernie K. said...

“War is only a cowardly escape from the problems of peace.”—Thomas Mann

The soldiers are the only brave ones.

USelaine said...

A crisp and clean image, with the always identifiable flag.

I think of Walter Capps, a congressman who died in his first term of office. He had been a professor of religious studies at UCSB, and taught a wonderful class on the Vietnam War. I wish we still had him with us. No one thought more about the well-being of vets.

I feel deja vu. Did I already mention him here? Memory isn't my strong suit, so I better leave it there.

Hilda said...

"Business goes on as usual in lots of places. Maybe that's thanks to those vets."

That is so, so true.

Dina said...

Yes, I also appreciate your surprise ending of this post.

Laurie said...

I'm saddened by how little people pay attention to Veteran's Day. Wilson proclaimed that it was a day to remember those who died, and to work toward peace. We often leave out that last part of the equation when mentioning Veteran's day. When COngress passed the act that made it an official holiday, it stated that Armistice Day would honor those who fought, and the idea of diplomatic resolution to conflict.

My father was a veteran of World War 2 and my husband is a veteran of the first gulf war. My first teenaged puppy love was killed in the Beirut bombings of 1983. Our troops pay the price for our freedoms and our follies. ANd to think, some of them in IRaq don't even have body armor or any medical help when they return home. We must do better by our troops.

JM said...

Great composition and tribute too.

elizabeth said...

I love the poppies that people wear today, myself. They are little things, but are such a sweet remembrance of the hardship endured by so many.

altadenahiker said...

You're a sweetie, you are.

Cafe Observer said...

Saying a big THANK YOU to our Vets is the very least we can do for them.

There aren't enuf good words to express the sacrifice they've made for the resta us. They fought for us & put their lives on the line because they felt something invaluable iwas worth fighting for.

Also a Big Bark out to our military dogs who have courageously served!


A guess at the photo: looking at a white bldg on the corner of S.Lake & Cordova?! If so, then I used to work in that bldg.

Christie said...

I think Veteran's Day is one of the most neglected holidays we have as a country. We need to honor those who have sacrificed for us, some with their time and safety, others with their lives.

A friend of mine was on a plane the other day and met a soldier who was traveling with her 9 month old baby. She was headed to her parent's house where she was going to have to leave her baby while she headed for a tour in Iraq or Afghanistan. Her husband was on his way home from there and going to pick up his baby, whom he has yet to see, and take the baby back with him to the base. The husband and wife may or may not be able to see each other in transit. This is heartbreaking that a family cannot be together for so many months or even years. We must do what we can to help those in situations such as this while serving our country.

Petrea said...

I like that quote, Bernie.

Elaine, I don't know if you've mentioned Capps here or if I read about him on your blog, but I learned about him through you. My husband had heard of him before.

Hilda, Dina, I heard jets overhead today. Later I heard they flew over well-attended parades in the nearby suburbs.

I saw that in the history, Laurie - it's supposed to be a day to work toward peace. It doesn't seem we spend much time doing that on Veterans Day, though. A lot of commemmorating and speechifying but no making it better for the ones still out there, or better yet, preventing more of the same idiocy.

Thanks, JM.

Elizabeth, the Brits and French wear them, too. My dad used to always get a bunch for Veterans Day so we could all wear them. He was a Marine in WWII, as was my father-in-law, who is alive and kickin' it in the Northwest.

Pshaw, AH.

The very least, C.O. You got that right. Next thing we could do is raise (not cut! jeez) their pensions and benefits. Yep, that's the building on Lake at Cordova. They've always got a nice, fresh flag up there.

That's a heartbreaking story, Christie. I bet there are more.

Petrea said...

I wondered if this day is noted in any public way in Germany but couldn't find any information online. It looks like it's not. Does anyone know?

Bernie K. said...

Do not take money you promised from people who defended you.

How hard is this to understand? Don't do it.

No.

Uh-uh.

Keep your word. Do the right thing.

Like she said, jeez.