Veterans Day

Veterans Day

Today actually is Veteran’s Day, which was cemented on the calendar to commemorate the end of World War I in 1918:  The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.  With our reverence for three-day weekends, we too often forget that holidays used to be celebrated on a specific date for a reason.  World War I, of course, marked the first time that America embarked on her 20th- and 21st-century crusade:  wading into foreign wars to ensure that people other than Americans can enjoy the freedoms we too often take for granted.

While it’s been the politicians who have made the choice to send Americans abroad — twice to Europe, twice to Asia, and twice to the Muslim world, along with various sorties and battles in other faraway places — it’s been citizens, not government, who have actually boarded the planes and the boats that took them far from home to fight for others’ freedom as well as for our own.

In our grandparents’ time, in our parents’ time, and now in our own time, young American men and women, both draftees or volunteers, have always made America proud.  Whether politicians fought wars to win (WWI and WWII) or fought wars to stalemate (Korea) or, if Democrats, fought wars to lose (Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan), these men and women have always given their all.  Undeterred by partisan politics or fickle public support, they have taken their oath seriously, and given their hearts and souls and, too often, their blood and guts, to the fight.

Considering all that these troops have given to us and, sadly, how little is given back to them by our plutocratic Progressive government, saying “thank you” one day a year seems like a very small acknowledgment and repayment. Still:  THANK YOU!!

Incidentally, if you would like to add a little something to that thank you, I can recommend these military charities:


Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation

Soldiers’ Angels

Navy SEALS Foundation

Also, to make a difference in non-partisan political support for all of the “sea services,” there’s always my favorite, the Navy League.

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  • mdgarnett

    What ever happened to the sale of poppies for veterans day?  I don’t remember the last time I saw them in the US but they are still highly visible this time of year in Canada.

  • Bookworm

    Years ago, I bought a poppy here in Marin.  I still have it hanging on my office wall.  It’s definitely a dying or dead tradition here in America, though.  I think the Vietnam War mostly killed it off.

  • Jose

    During WW1, my Grandfather spent the entire campaign in the trenches, and escaped serious injury until the morning of the Armistice.  He said the artillery that morning, on both sides, was the most intense of the entire war.  He was hit by a large piece of shrapnel which broke his arm.
    I recently got his final pay record from the National Archives.  It shows that after the war ended (on 11 Nov), he did not return from France until May of the following year.  Many people felt the Army had been abandoned in France after the war ended.  I do know conditions were so bad that he resorted to stealing food.
    Many years later, while the family was listening to reports of the aborted Bay of Pigs campaign, he commented that he knew what it was like to be abandoned.  So much for the gratitude of the US Government.

  • Bookworm

    Jose, it seems that Progressive governments have a nasty habit of abandoning troops….

  • Bookworm

    On the difference between care from individuals and from governments, this seemed apropos.

  • Caped Crusader

    Jose, nothing new:
    In time of war, and not before
    God and the soldier we adore
    In time of peace and all things righted
    God is forgotten and the soldier slighed
    Fond memories of the late forties and early fifties in my home city when all of the ROTC units from city high schools, multiple units from the many nearby military boarding schools (a patriotic era now gone with the wind forever; now converted into coed pansy preps), college ROTC units, along with nearby 101st Airborne Division troops from home base Fort Campbell (the Screaming Eagles of Battle of the Bulge fame) accompanied by many marching bands joined in one massive parade through the city to the State Capitol. A sight to behold, and one never to be repeated, from a bygone era when even Democrats were proud and patriotic Americans, or at least afraid not to say so. One of the proudest moments in my life was marching in those parades.
    Originally Armistice Day, started to celebrate the end of WWll (at the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month), and ALWAYS celebrated on the day, regardless of what week day the 11th fell upon. Changed to Veterans Day in 1954, and later to a Monday holiday for the benefit of government workers — screw the veteran,s they are not that important compared to federal bureaucrats!

  • raymondjelli

    Thank you Caped Crusader for providing those words of Kipling. Very true.  I still remember a newspaper article about people who went to a firehouse to find out where to give for firefighter families after 9/11. The firemen told them not to give now but to come back in five years when the firemen were forgotten again.  We do have many ex-athletes in the NY area who haven’t forgotten and still do charity work for people and first responders.  We should be thankful not just for the veterans but people who remember the veterans. It is a two way street. We must be worth fighting for.

  • Caped Crusader

    I confess to being the world’s worst editor:
    In time of war, and not before
    God and the soldier we adore
    In time of peace and all things righted
    God is forgotten and the soldier slighted
    Also Veterans Day was to celebrate WWl, not WWll !

  • Ymarsakar

    Jose, Black Jack Pershing was said to have refused French and British demands to separate out American reinforcements to be given to European regiments as cannonfodder. Essentially splitting home grown and trained units makes for a much weaker force, the same was true in Vietnam. Pershing instead decided to keep his Americans together and sought out methods that didn’t just use numbers and casualties, while the leaders and generals sat safe behind the front lines. Of course, after the war I wouldn’t be surprised that Wilson and their like would redistribute money into their own pockets and projects. We also know how that works.
    WWI was the ultimate expression of what happens to a culture when all the brave ones go to the front to get killed covering for the weaklings and cowards at the back conducting orchestral politics. It’s not a good thing for a civilization in the short or long run, as we already know. Saving people’s lives and not wasting them in war, has more than just a military application and benefit.
    There was a nice passage in Gates of Fire concerning soldiers and the support from society at home.

  • Jose

    Caped Crusader,  Great lines from Kipling, which I hadn’t heard before.  Thanks!
    Ymarsakar, Pershing made a small concession by giving his black troops to the French, who integrated them in with their Algerian units.  Nonetheless they distinguished themselves, becoming known as the Harlem Hellfighters, and a number were decorated for Valor by the French.

  • bkivey

    I saw a remark some years ago that said that every generation of Americans is tested, and every generation answers. In my family my grandfather served in WW II (European Campaign), my father and uncle were career military (Army and Coast Guard, respectively), and my oldest sister is currently active National Guard. Duty, Honor, Country are not mere words in our family. I’ve met those who see the military as a way to open doors for personal advancement, but the vast majority truly want to serve a great nation. I salute those who serve and have served, and remain confident that future generations will continue to answer the call.