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Veterans Day

PoppyOn the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918 the guns fell silent. The Great War, The War to End All Wars, was over…for a couple of decades.

The red poppies of Flanders fields became a symbol of that war and the veterans that returned from it. Known as Remembrance Day in much of the world, the poppies will be in evidence. Remembrance Day observances have more in common with the American Memorial Day as day to honor those who have died in war.

First called Armistice Day in the United States, the name was changed to Veterans Day, and its purpose changed to honoring those who are serving, or have served in the military. The change was made to avoid a conflict with the existing Memorial Day observance that goes back to the Civil War era.

A heart felt salute to everyone who managed to survive basic training. We can hope that sooner, rather than later, there will be no need for another generation to put on uniforms.


1 Cookie Jill { 11.11.07 at 3:56 am }

Thank you for your service to our country, Bryan.

Unlike most Americans today, I’m not going to be at the mall. I’m going to thank veteran’s for their service and say some prayers down at Arlington West.

2 jams o donnell { 11.11.07 at 5:20 am }

The Remembrance Sunday service here is underway as I type. For me it is a day for me to consider how fortunate I am here at all given the appalling death rate among RAF bomber crews in WWII. My grandfather was fortunate to have been taken prisoner at the very start of WWI. His regiment, the Munster Fusiliers, was wiped out several times over on the Western Front.

3 Bryan { 11.11.07 at 12:28 pm }

It’s appreciated, Jill.

My grandfather went to be a rifleman in France in WWI and ended up building ladders/litters behind the front after a couple of days on the line. In pictures of the WWI trenches you see the product of his labors used as the walkways, the “steps” in and out of the trenches, and carrying the wounded. One of his brothers, Frank, who stayed in the trenches with their unit was gassed.

My Dad sat in the plexiglas nose of a B-24 flying out of Italy against Romania, Austria, and southern Germany during WWII. There were 50% casualties on the Polesti oil field raids.

4 jams o donnell { 11.11.07 at 1:02 pm }

My dad was based in Bari before going to the far east. He did some raids on Ploesti too. He thought it was almost as bad as Krefeld.

5 Bryan { 11.11.07 at 1:17 pm }

Low level runs with antiaircraft guns packed together and if you hit something the debris would take out the aircraft behind you. My Dad was originally in maintenance keeping the bombsights working, but it wasn’t long before he was a bombardier because he knew how to use it and plexiglas didn’t stop flak.

He was in the US being trained on the B-29 to go to Asia when the war ended.

There wasn’t a lot to stop flak in a Mosquito.

6 Mustang Bobby { 11.11.07 at 1:31 pm }

Thank you, Bryan.

7 whig { 11.11.07 at 2:21 pm }

I honor the sacrifices that were made by veterans to make it unnecessary for there to be any more veterans. Who has seen war and wants more of it?

8 jams o donnell { 11.11.07 at 2:34 pm }

Mercifully they had their speed, manoeuverability and altitude to get out of being coned and to outrun night fighters. Mosquito squadrons had rather lower death rates than the heavies. True though, if they were caught they were screwed.

9 Bryan { 11.11.07 at 3:29 pm }

I was avoiding the draft, Bobby.

Generally true, Whig, but there are always a few crazies that you learn to avoid.

There are always compromises, Jams, but the Mosquito had a good record with the crews.

10 Steve Bates { 11.11.07 at 5:33 pm }

Thank you, Bryan, and jams’s father, and my father and his brothers and my mother’s brothers, and all the other veterans who have done service to the genuine cause of freedom and democracy (as opposed to Bush’s version). I owe all of you a lot.

My Veterans Day post expressed a sentiment not far different from whig’s: our goal should be to have no new war veterans, by having no new wars. I spent much of the day in Houston’s Memorial Park, walking the woods that took the place of the Army training camp and thinking of the troops that trained there in W.W. I, wondering how many came home, and what their lives were like. Today the place is beautiful and peaceful; it is easy to forget all about war in a place like that. Not so easy outside the park gates, unfortunately.