Veteran's Day

’nuff said.

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68 thoughts on “Veteran's Day

  1. I mostly think of my grandfather who was near the front lines in eastern France at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh year when the Great War ended. His diary says little about military affairs other than the mundane, except for one comment about “ghastly sights” in the final days of fighting.
    The entry for Nov 11th reads: “Armistice starts at 11 A.M. – beaucoup joy & excitement.” Thank you, veterans.

  2. Good post.
    Father 20 year veteran, ‘Nam and Korea USAF
    Grandfather WWII Vet USA
    Uncle KIA St. Lo France, July 13, 1944 USA
    Uncle 30 year vet Korea and ‘Nam USA
    Myself, MM2 USN 6 years

  3. My late Father in Law- Utah beach. Tank Driver, Normandy, Battle of the Bulge,
    Remagen, Aachen, Dachau.
    Thanks, Carl RIP, soldier…
    There’s a famous picture of the first three tanks going across the Bridge of Remagen.
    He’s driving the third….
    [From me and my family, accept my thanks. Robt]

  4. Bravery means you do not, in any circumstance, ever, join the mass insanity called war. Brave the insane!

  5. Thanks, but I did it mainly for the college tuition money.
    About this time of year, I always recall Kurt Vonnegut’s admonition in Breakfast of Champions about Veterans Day:
    When I was a boy, and when Dwayne Hoover was a boy, all the people of all the nations which had fought in the First World War were silent during the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of Armistice Day, which was the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
    It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one another. I have talked to old men who were on battlefields during that minute. They have told me in one way or another that the sudden silence was the Voice of God. So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind.
    Armistice Day has become Veterans’ Day. Armistice Day was sacred. Veterans’ Day is not.
    So I will throw Veterans’ Day over my shoulder. Armistice Day I will keep. I don’t want to throw away any sacred things.
    What else is sacred? Oh, Romeo and Juliet, for instance.
    And all music is.

  6. Laurence Binyon, For the Fallen (21st September, 1914)
    With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
    England mourns for her dead across the sea.
    Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
    Fallen in the cause of the free.
    Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
    Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
    There is a music in the midst of desolation
    And a glory that shines upon our tears.
    They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
    Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
    They were staunch to the end against odds uncountered:
    They fell with their faces to the foe.
    They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
    Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
    At the going down of the sun and in the morning
    We will remember them.
    They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
    They sit no more at familiar tables at home;
    They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
    They sleep beyond England’s foam.
    But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
    Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
    To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
    As the stars are known to the Night;
    As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
    Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
    As the stars are starry in the time of our darkness,
    To the end, to the end they remain.
    Replace “England” with the country of your choice. The sentiment’s the same, the feelings just as deep.

  7. Yesterday was the United States Marine Corps’ 235th birthday. The Marine Corps was officially formed by decree of the Continental Congress on November 10th, 1775 and began recruiting that same day at the Tun Tavern in Philidelphia which had long been a meeting place for our nation’s founders. Marines often refer to November 10th (among ourselves) as Chesty Puller’s birthday. Puller was the most decorated Marine evah.
    So happy Veteran’s Day to all my fellow veterans and happy birthday to all my fellow Marines.
    And thank you Anthony for providing this forum and thinking about us on this day.

  8. In Flanders Fields
    By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918) Royal Canadian Army
    In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
    Scarce heard amid the guns below.
    We are the Dead. Short days ago
    We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie
    In Flanders fields.
    Take up our quarrel with the foe:
    To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
    In Flanders fields.

  9. November 11th is a day that everybody in the free world should respect and use for reflection. So many people, men and women, gave their all and more to help ensure we could live in a free democratic society by standing up to tyranny and just getting it done.
    In my own country it has additional relevance as it marks the day we began to try by all means possible to resist the tidal wave of Communism sweeping through Africa in the 60’s and 70’s. Many good men gave their lives to that cause and we didn’t prevail.
    Today intolerance is everywhere again and the desire of the left to surrender much that was won at great cost is quite startling. Peace isn’t the absence of war it is the absence of fear. Just look at what is happening to Ms. Dott in Germany today and recognize that the tyranny never sleeps and is everywhere the opportunist.
    Resolve and vigilance in the face of oppression is what is required of all of us. Remember those brave giants of yesteryear and do what you can to emulate them.
    Thanks.

  10. My father and most of my uncles were in WWII. All kinds of stories about things that happened.
    One I liked was that one of them (not my dad) was hiding in a cellar in France for several weeks so as not to get captured by Germans. Although there were some food stuffs, he was forced to eat butter alot to stay alive. He got out sucessfully and after the war could not eat butter anymore.
    Mike Kelly
    CWO4 USN ret

  11. This day depresses me every year. I guess its the weird way I look at things, but it seems to me that the “Great War” never really ended. Unspeakable evil had been unleashed. By the sacrifice of so many, on the 11 hour of the 11 day of the 11 month it was contained. But not destroyed. It periodically break free of its bondage, once again blinding the minds of men with hatred and rage, as it did during WWII, like an aftershock. Thank GOD for generations of Men and Women who have answered the call, forsaking all, to confront that evil, when ever and where ever it has appeared.

  12. Cousin Sam, currently in Afghanistan
    Dad – U.S. Army 23 yrs Vietnam
    Uncle – U.S. Army – Korea
    Uncle – U.S. Marine Corps, Siapan & Iwo Jima
    Uncle – U.S. Army – Normandy
    Uncle – POW Germany – U.S. Air Corp
    Uncle- KIA Germany- U.S. Air Corp
    G. Grandfather Spanish- American War
    GG Grandfather- Civil War-KIA
    GG Grandfather- Mexican American War
    Other cousins and uncles in places too numerous to mention.
    They went where they were sent.
    To them and all others. Thanks guys, we owe you much.
    Myself, U.S. Army active 1988-1992 active reserves 1993-1997.

  13. November 11th is Remembrance Day here in Canada, where much like Veteran’s Day, we remember the sacrifices made by Canadian soldiers.
    In Flanders Fields
    By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
    Canadian Army
    In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
    Scarce heard amid the guns below.
    We are the Dead. Short days ago
    We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie
    In Flanders fields.
    Take up our quarrel with the foe:
    To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
    In Flanders fields.

  14. #
    Andy says:
    November 11, 2010 at 9:16 am
    #
    Thanks for posting this even though reading it always makes me cry.

  15. I always – always – stop to remember at 11:00 am on the 11th day of the 11th month that the Armistice commenced that ended the war of all wars. It makes me sad for those who fought and didn’t make it to that day and makes me grateful for those that fought to get the world to that day.

  16. (Refers to WWII, I agree, but my contribution anyway)
    Men, in khaki dressed.
    Twenty columns, twenty rows; a rose between the headstones grows
    Rank and file, creed and race, all are gathered in this place
    Now all here is neat and ordered, not so then, for the war dead
    Cretan soil their final rest; four hundred men in khaki dressed.
    New Zealand’s shores they’ll never reach; Souda Bay, their nearest beach
    May ’41, the leaders knew, the date their foe’s arrival’s due
    Enigma signals told it all, but Freyberg had to hold the call
    Strategy, played close-to-chest, doomed these men in khaki dressed.
    Brothers, uncles, fathers, sons: family heroes every one
    Heard the call their country made; great the price that many paid
    Now that generation’s passed and we wander on this grass by sea
    And in our freedom feel so blessed by all the men in khaki dressed.
    M Grainger, Souda Bay, December 2009

  17. Thank you to all my fellow vets and thank you to those who wish us well. I served in the Cold War USAF during a period of peace in the mid 80s.
    My father served in the Army and spent a year in Pakistan near Pershawar. He watched Gary Powers take off on his fateful trip to a Soviet Prison.
    My grandfather drove landing craft in the Pacific during WWII.
    My great great grandfather served in the 15th NJ Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War. His grandfather served in the Revolutionary War.

  18. Thanks for the posting.
    My how the times have changed (for the better).
    When I served we were encouraged when traveling to do so in civilian garb to avoid the insults we might experience in uniform, during the 70s, when Viet Nam was so unpopular. Now troops can travel in their fatigues and be greeted as heroes, even if Iraq and Afganistan aren’t as ‘popular’ as they were early in the decade.
    It is good to see.

  19. Grandfather – WWII – Pacific – Artillery Battery
    Great Uncle – WWII – Battle of the Bulge – KIA
    Thank you.
    [Moderator NOTE: Not the same Anthony as the blog owner]

  20. Armistice Day, and most especially the Two Minutes Silence at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day, holds a very special place in the hearts of the British. In town and country alike, at the stroke of 11:00am people stop where they are and they remember the fallen; not just the British and Commonwealth dead but the dead of all nations.
    Then this happens.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1328703/Remembrance-Day-Poppy-burning-Muslim-protesters-mar-Armistice-Day.html

  21. RR Kampen:
    It’s good that you have the freedom to express your opinion. I will use this day to honor the men and women who gave you that freedom.

  22. Father — WWII — ETO — Bradley’s HQ
    Uncle — WWII — PTO — AAF, KIA 1944
    Uncle — WWII — PTO — Served on the (original) Fletcher (11 of 13 Battle stars)
    Uncle — WWII — ETO — Infantry, Bronze Star
    Uncle (by marriage) — WWII — ETO, CAF — 13 Victories (P-47).
    Et al.

  23. I thank all those who had the courage to serve, Be it WW 1, WW 2, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf, or just the mundane sitting around waiting for all hell to break loose. I consider it an honor to buy a poppy from my local VFW post. My mother was a nurse in WW 2 that hit Normandy soon after we did. She followed along behind the front lines setting up field hospitals. Basically the MASH of the time. She had many stories of people of great courage, valor, and dedication. I will not play my relatives did more than yours in this post. I will just state that I have relatives that served in the Spanish American War (uncle by marriage), WW 1, and WW2. These people are the people who made America what it was. A nation that believed in freedom. I commend Truman for his desegregation of the armed forces. It was long overdue. It is sad that now we have in place a bunch of climate moonbats and people who are not in touch with the reality of a out of control 12er Shia’ nutcase running Iran. Hopefully the wheel will turn again.

  24. Uncles — England, France, Belgium, Aleutian Isl., WWII
    Grandfather — France, WWI
    GG Grandfather — Missouri, Civil War on the Union Side. His brother was in the CSA.
    GG Grandfather — Mexico, Mexican War
    GGGG Grandfather — War of 1812
    GGGGG (or thereabouts) Grandfather — French and Indian War, Revolutionary War
    GGGGGG (or thereabouts) Grandfather — Scotland, Jacobite Revolt (Losing side)
    Me — CDR USN (Ret.) and I keep the memories of old warriors alive by writing WWII novels.

  25. A Government Department in Victoria, a State of Australia, refused to observe a minute’s silence, as they didn’t want to offend other cultures.
    Shame.
    The Greens want to close the Coral Sea to all forms of Fishing – everything – to honour our fallen Heroes, among other things. Is that what they died for?
    For me? A day of reflection, and grateful thanks to my many relatives who fought, suffered (and a couple died) in Foreign Lands for Australia. But also a day that highlights the insidious risks to that hard won Freedom we now face.
    Cheers,
    Tim

  26. My father notes in his log for 6th June 1944, “Patrolling rds behind invasion beachead.”[sic] It was his 69th operation.
    2 hours 50 minutes at night in a Mosquito of No. 487 Sqn.
    He said that as he flew over the beaches toward England in the dawn, he could see the whole invasion fleet laid out before him. He never forgot it. He also said that he just avoided a church steeple (he belatedly saw it silhouetted against the sky), which almost caused subsequent underwear laundry! When he landed he had some French hedge foliage snagged in the tail wheel. He must have been a bit low!
    I salute him and the 48 young men out of the original 50 that he trained with who lost their lives, and of course all of the others from many nations that stood to for freedom from tyranny.

  27. Further to the above, my mother’s brother was shot down and killed over Kiel.
    My father-in-law who was badly wounded in North Africa, was born in New Zealand on 12 November 1918 (11th in Britain), and named what else but Victor.
    “Lest we forget.”

  28. For the lads in Afghanistan and for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, so that we may live in freedom, God bless you all.

  29. Since folks seem to be posting various family military history:
    Me: USMC 1963-1983. Beyond that it goes back to 1632 – every war, police action or revolution that has involved what is now the USA, has involved members of my family since then and up to the present day. I’m saddened by that fact but recognize the necessity that some must die, that others may live. As it has been throughout history, so shall it be in the future.
    I’m reminded of Patton’s poem.
    THROUGH A GLASS, DARKLY
    by Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.
    Through the travail of the ages,
    Midst the pomp and toil of war,
    Have I fought and strove and perished
    Countless times upon this star.
    In the form of many people
    In all panoplies of time
    Have I seen the luring vision
    Of the Victory Maid, sublime.
    I have battled for fresh mammoth,
    I have warred for pastures new,
    I have listed to the whispers
    When the race trek instinct grew.
    I have known the call to battle
    In each changeless changing shape
    From the high souled voice of conscience
    To the beastly lust for rape.
    I have sinned and I have suffered,
    Played the hero and the knave;
    Fought for belly, shame, or country,
    And for each have found a grave.
    I cannot name my battles
    For the visions are not clear,
    Yet, I see the twisted faces
    And I feel the rending spear.
    Perhaps I stabbed our Savior
    In His sacred helpless side.
    Yet, I’ve called His name in blessing
    When after times I died.
    In the dimness of the shadows
    Where we hairy heathens warred,
    I can taste in thought the lifeblood;
    We used teeth before the sword.
    While in later clearer vision
    I can sense the coppery sweat,
    Feel the pikes grow wet and slippery
    When our Phalanx, Cyrus met.
    Hear the rattle of the harness
    Where the Persian darts bounced clear,
    See their chariots wheel in panic
    From the Hoplite’s leveled spear.
    See the goal grow monthly longer,
    Reaching for the walls of Tyre.
    Hear the crash of tons of granite,
    Smell the quenchless eastern fire.
    Still more clearly as a Roman,
    Can I see the Legion close,
    As our third rank moved in forward
    And the short sword found our foes.
    Once again I feel the anguish
    Of that blistering treeless plain
    When the Parthian showered death bolts,
    And our discipline was in vain.
    I remember all the suffering
    Of those arrows in my neck.
    Yet, I stabbed a grinning savage
    As I died upon my back.
    Once again I smell the heat sparks
    When my Flemish plate gave way
    And the lance ripped through my entrails
    As on Crecy’s field I lay.
    In the windless, blinding stillness
    Of the glittering tropic sea
    I can see the bubbles rising
    Where we set the captives free.
    Midst the spume of half a tempest
    I have heard the bulwarks go
    When the crashing, point blank round shot
    Sent destruction to our foe.
    I have fought with gun and cutlass
    On the red and slippery deck
    With all Hell aflame within me
    And a rope around my neck.
    And still later as a General
    Have I galloped with Murat
    When we laughed at death and numbers
    Trusting in the Emperor’s Star.
    Till at last our star faded,
    And we shouted to our doom
    Where the sunken road of Ohein
    Closed us in it’s quivering gloom.
    So but now with Tanks a’clatter
    Have I waddled on the foe
    Belching death at twenty paces,
    By the star shell’s ghastly glow.
    So as through a glass, and darkly
    The age long strife I see
    Where I fought in many guises,
    Many names, but always me.
    And I see not in my blindness
    What the objects were I wrought,
    But as God rules o’er our bickerings
    It was through His will I fought.
    So forever in the future,
    Shall I battle as of yore,
    Dying to be born a fighter,
    But to die again, once more.

  30. DesertYote says:
    November 11, 2010 at 9:51 am
    ……
    In Flanders Fields always brings tears to my eyes as well. I’ve always found Remembrance Day tremendously solemn. It does us all good to remember the sacrifices made by others.
    My Welsh grandfather served in both World Wars, but his injuries from the first (France) kept him on the home front in the second. An uncle who served in the Second World War survived, but the troubles he experienced then stayed with him for the rest of his life. As a merchant marine, he survived three ships sinking after being torpedoed, two in one day, but he never adjusted well to civilian life afterward. My mother-in-law’s brother was shot down over the English channel (he was a rear-gunner in a Lancaster Bomber) and was sorely grieved by his family.
    So many lives sacrificed in one way or another… thank you to all veterans.

  31. I live in Falmouth in Cornwall, UK. About 15 minute drive from my home is Trebah Gardens (a beautiful sub-tropical garden open to the public). The remains of a concrete road run down the side of Trebah Gardens to the remnant of a small harbour.
    The road and the harbour were built to embark the US Second Infantry who were transported from there to Omaha Beach, Normandy, on D-Day. The horror those young men entered is unimaginable, and only two of every ten of them left Omaha Beach alive.
    Each year a memorial event is held by the water at Trebah Gardens. Many British war veterans always attend, and a brief religious service is conducted when wreaths are laid by the memorial to those who left from there for Omaha Beach. Last year a survivor of those who left the harbour for Omaha Beach was in the UK so was invited to attend the event. The Display Team of the British Parachute Regiment dropped into the sea, came ashore and formed file for inspection by the American Veteran after which they presented him with a Memorial Baton. He seemed overwhelmed.
    That day was also attended by an officer and ratings of the US Navy (they are at a nearby naval base) who carried their Colours and the officer laid a wreath. They told me that such events are rare in the US, and this saddened me.
    Perhaps Americans do not have the immediacy of having families whose homes and relatives were destroyed by the world wars which were ‘far away’ and fought by heroes who travelled to those wars: I do not know.
    But I am heartened to read the many comments on this thread by Americans who do recognise the great sacrifices of many people from many lands who gave so much that we can live in freedom.
    Richard

  32. T.C. says:
    November 11, 2010 at 10:15 am
    Just as an aside – I think this is photo of the Canadians landing at Juno Beach.
    It is Omaha beach, 1st or 29th infantry division.

  33. My uncle told me about driving supplies in WWII. Yea that “safe” job. Drive at night (so you wouldn’t get bombed), without GPS, without night vision goggles, with your headlights off (so you wouldn’t get bombed), on winding, narrow European roads. Miss a turn or checkpoint and you are in the wrong place bigtime. Not pay attention and you are crashing without seatbelts or airbags. No such thing as a safe job in war. At least not for the enlisted men.
    Will we ever learn from the wars we fight? Not just how to fight them better but how to solve things without the senseless waste of life all around? I hope so.
    Cheers

  34. Well I just got back from the Cupertino War Memorial where they now have an annual veteran’s day remembrance. The memorial was built to honor specifically a Cupertino hero lost in Afghanistan in 2005 in “Operation Redwings.” Matthew Axelson is his name; and he and his buddy are the figures in the beautiful bronze sculpture that is the centrepiece of the Memorial. The operation is the Story of the book “Lone Survivor.” Matthew was the last of the fallen to be recovered. Three were lost in his Navy Seal Team, and the 16 air force and army soldiers trying to rescue them all died, when their chopper was shot down. At today’s ceremony, was the air Force officer who headed the resuce unit that recovered Mattthew; and who recently contacted the family. He is still on active duty.
    I’m old enough to remember when the US Navy plus a whole flock of Marines, and Army chaps at places like Guadalcanal, were all that stood between my A*** and the empire of the rising sun.
    We can never repay you, those that served; nor the families that raised them; and I thank you for what you did, and what you do.

  35. In Flanders Now ~ Edna Jaques
    We have kept faith, ye Flanders’ dead,
    Sleep well beneath those poppies red
    That mark your place.
    The torch your dying hands did throw,
    We’ve held it high before the foe,
    And answered bitter blow for blow,
    In Flanders fields.
    And where your heroes’ blood was spilled,
    The guns are now forever stilled
    And silent grown.
    There is no moaning of the slain,
    There is no cry of tortured pain,
    And blood will never flow again,
    In Flanders fields.
    Forever holy in our sight
    Shall be those crosses gleaming white,
    That guard your sleep.
    Rest you in peace, the task is done,
    The fight you left us we have won,
    And Peace on Earth has just begun,
    In Flanders now.

  36. When You Go Home,
    Tell Them Of Us And Say,
    For Their Tomorrow,
    We Gave Our Today
    WE WILL REMEMBER THEM

  37. The most poignant, eye-misting tune ever.
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4NtSqZcT_4&fs=1&hl=en_GB]

  38. Thank you, although I was never shot at in anger (just by accident).
    We buried a friend last year.
    He was a Pearl Harbor survivor.
    Had another ship sunk under him in the Pacific.
    Got his choice of duty after that and chose Naval Air.
    Survived 3 airplane crashes without a scratch.
    Received the Silver Star and 2 Navy Crosses, as well as other medals.
    At the age of 87 he was traveling the world and had a zest for life.
    We remember you and love you Fred.
    Thank you.

  39. My father was captain of minesweeper HMAS Echuca, Royal Australian Navy. He served from ’39 to ’47. He left a prosperous legal practice to do so, and his lungs suffered long-term damage. He remained RANVR, voluntary reserve, for many years. Never marched or discussed the war.
    I’ve done nothing, so my special thanks to all Aussies and allies who have served.

  40. vigilantfish
    November 11, 2010 at 2:19 pm
    DesertYote says:
    November 11, 2010 at 9:51 am
    ……
    In Flanders Fields always brings tears to my eyes as well. I’ve always found Remembrance Day tremendously solemn. It does us all good to remember the sacrifices made by others.
    #
    What made WWI “real” for me was visiting Verdun while stationed in Germany as a young man. Me and my buddies visited the Douaumont ossuary first. In a dense morning fog, as we neared, the spire appeared in the sky, brooding like a ghost. It sent a chill down my spine. We were all very quite. In fact we hardly talked all day. I had many other vivid experiences during this trip.
    Now, every time I think of poppies, Armistice Day or not, I picture all of thous bayonets sticking out of the ground as if they were planted.
    I also had a relative, a great Uncle, shot down over Germany during WWII. He was given a Catholic burial by the local Lutheran towns people. According to the letter my family received, the crew had all parachuted except for my Great Uncle and the Gunner he was trying to free from his harness.

  41. Thanks, Anthony, for remembering.
    Commendations from the Congressional Medal of Honor. [Click on the particular war in the middle of the page.]
    And not to forget the New York firefighters and police, who repeatedly entered the World Trade Center buildings to rescue civilians, until they collapsed:
    click1
    click2
    click3 [some average Americans]
    And some advice for peacenik RR Kampen, November 11, 2010 at 7:57 am above:
    “Those who beat their swords into plowshares usually end up plowing for those who kept their swords.” 

    -Benjamin Franklin
    “War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength.”
    – George Orwell
    [~Smokey, Tuy Hoa, Viet Nam, 1966 – 1967]

  42. ‎”For it has been said so truthfully that it is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the agitator, who has given us the freedom to protest. It is the soldier who salutes the flag, serves beneath the flag, whose coffin is draped by the flag, who gives that protester the freedom to abuse and burn that flag.”
    ~Zel Miller

  43. Fijidave:
    My Mum was born in August 1919. Conceived Armistice Day. (Grandad had been wounded in one of the last battles.) She once told me she was supposed to have been named “Peace” but her parents decided to call her Frances after the land Grandad fought in. There were lots of Victors, Peaces, and even Anzacs in her generation.
    Ken

  44. Ancient relation fought at the battle of Stangebro 1598. Got hit in the head by a sword but survived. Being the master of the king’s stables in Stockholm, he was given land by the king as a reward for helping win the battle.
    However, the farmer of the land to be given didn’t agree, so they fought for it in a field. My ancient relation got hit in the head again with a sword, but survived again. I have concluded that we have never quite recovered from that last blow.
    One of my American side relations was a soldier of the war of 1812. Have a picture of him! Another fought in the civil war, on the North side, and had his foot blown off. Grandpa was a medic during First World War, however never saw battle. Mom was too young during the World War II, however her cousin died on board the USS Reid. There is, to me, chocking pictures of his death. The destroyer was attacked by seven kamikazes within less than two minutes. The last one crashed and exploded amidships, ripping the ship in half. The pictures show the attack and the aftermath.
    I suspect my mom’s cousin was in the engine room and never made it out.

  45. Thanks for this, Anthony.
    I am one of the incredibly lucky generation born during WWII, which made me either too young or too old to serve at any time of war in any branch of the Services, and a physical defect resulting from an accident during childhood also rendered me unusable by the military.
    My father spent his 16th birthday as a Mounted Trooper in Flanders during WWI and also served in various theatres of war in Italy and North Africa during WWII. He returned home without a scratch from either war. When I was young, I could never figure why he, as a convinced and convincing atheist, marched every year with his old comrades at the annual Anzac Day Dawn Parade and stood, with his head bowed for the prayers at the Cenotaph. I understood later and I am proud that my grandson, who never knew my father, marches in that parade wearing his great-granddad’s campaign medals.
    My older brother joined the RNZAF straight from school at 16, got his wings, shipped to England and died at the controls of his De Havilland Mosquito shortly after his 20th birthday, a few weeks before D Day. My cousin Ken joined the RNZNavy at the same time and age, also straight from school and was lost on one of the infamous Murmansk Convoys. Most families in New Zealand at that time have similar stories.
    I am reminded of them and give thanks every time a young soldier’s body is flown back to the UK, where I am living temporarily, from Afgahnistan and the colour party is shown on the evening news.

  46. “RR Kampen says:
    November 11, 2010 at 7:57 am
    Bravery means you do not, in any circumstance, ever, join the mass insanity called war. Brave the insane!”
    Well said.

  47. Thank you, Huth.
    As I was a little suprised my remark came through the moderation, I feel it is my duty to commemorate a piece of enlightenment if there ever was one. It is the Marshall Plan for Europe. Before implementation of this, the country where I live (Holland) and much of Europe was freed – in the real sense of the word – from the nazi’s and actually from (pseudo-)communism or Stalinism as well. USA and other allies (most notably the Canadians and the Poles for Holland), whatever your motives were for this participation in the World War: thanks, and thanks again.

  48. Several have mentioned Armistice Day. Here is a note on the U.S. history of Veterans/Armistice Day [from my book on the Christmas Truce of 1914]:
    By October of 1918, everywhere, hopes were rising
    for an armistice. In the first week, Austria-Hungary
    and Germany had sent notes to the United States,
    seeking an armistice based on President Woodrow
    Wilson’s “Fourteen Points.”
    73
    Armistice: The Ending of Hostilities
    On 11 November, the warring parties signed the armistice,
    bringing that great bloodbath to an end.
    Only those who suffered through those cataclysmic
    events truly understood the meaning of that day.
    On the Continent, Russia and Germany had each
    seen 1.7 million of their own soldiers slaughtered.
    Between them, some 9 million were wounded.
    France saw 1.3 million of its soldiers sacrificed, and
    over 4 million wounded. Austria-Hungary suffered
    about the same number of tragic loses.
    Great Britain mourned almost a million soldiers and
    twice that number suffered wounds.
    The United States, which had only been in the war
    for a year and some months (but a very long year for
    those military men), saw over 100,000 of its own men
    killed and over a quarter million wounded.
    The deep meaning of that armistice remained in the
    minds of World War I veterans a half century later
    when the U.S. Congress, in one of its clueless moves,
    changed the observance of the federal holiday from
    November 11th to a certain Monday of October. Memorial
    Day, Veterans Day and Washington’s Birthday
    were all moved on the calendar in order to create
    three-day federal holiday weekends.
    Because of the war that had followed that “War to
    End All Wars,” President Eisenhower had signed a
    law that broadened the meaning of “Armistice Day”
    by making it “Veterans Day” in 1954. But in the
    minds of the World War I generation, the memory of
    that armistice still held sway.
    74
    Oh Holy Night
    So, in the late 1960s when Congress changed the
    date, I can still remember my grandmother adamantly
    asserting that Armistice Day was November 11th,
    NOT the fourth Monday of October. The thousands
    of soldiers who, like my grandfather, had served in
    France and other lands would not hear of such a
    change.
    So, South Dakota and Mississippi refused to follow
    the federal lead. And one by one, the other states began
    reverting back to the November 11th observance.
    And the politicians received an earful. The World War
    I generation was still alive and well; remembering
    and speaking up. They again took back lost ground.
    The end result was that one decade after changing
    the date, Congress, in 1978, restored the observance
    to November 11th.
    The height and depth of the longing for an end to
    that bloody war was revealed in the celebrations that
    broke out on November 7, 1918. Following a reply to
    the German government from President Wilson, on
    that date, the Chief of Staff of the German Army, von
    Hindenburg, sent a telegram to the Allied Supreme
    Commander seeking a date for negotiating that armistice.
    A mistaken news report declared that the
    armistice had been signed. And despite all attempts
    by capitols and headquarters to correct the mistake,
    celebrations broke out around the world.
    Newspaper “Extras” proclaimed “Peace.” Workers and
    students poured into the streets with whistles and
    bells and anything that could make noise. Church
    bells pealed. Parades processed. Jubilation went unquenched.
    And it started all over again, four days later,
    on the 11th of November.

  49. Ken Stewart says:
    November 11, 2010 at 11:31 pm
    I wonder how many were named after the Battle of the Bulge? 🙂
    BTW, love your site. Have it bookmarked
    Cheers

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