This holiday was originally to mark the end of World War I (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month) but, now, we honor veterans of all wars.
Normally, on Wednesdays, I blog about something seasonable. But today, as I do on all Veterans Days, I think of my late father.
My late father suffered a traumatic brain injury during his World War II (non-combat) service, and lived with seizures and other side effects for the rest of his life. After he came back from war he found it near impossible to find employment, a fate that too many veterans of our modern wars suffer. For a time, he ran a newsstand with another veteran. Finally, he found a civil service job but was never able to rise too high in the ranks, due to his disability.
When I visit a city or town, I tend to gravitate to the war memorials. For example, back in September I visited the small village of Skaneateles, New York, on the shores of Skaneateles Lake. They have memorials on the lakefront for their dead of all wars, from the American Revolutionary War forward. I always scan the lists of the dead when I visit these monuments. For some reason, I feel like I am in touch with my father, although his eventual death was not service related.
Today, I repeat my Veterans Day post of November 11, 2013, for my 11th post of NaBloPoMo, National Blog Posting Month.
Today, let us all take a moment out of our busy schedules to think of those who made this day possible for us.
Our veterans, past and present, deserve our thanks, and so much more.
As you look at these monuments, please take a moment to ponder the poem at the end of this post.
These are some memorials in our area of upstate New York. I took the Endicott photos this past August - I wish things were that green here now!
Endicott, New York, just down Main Street from where I live.
Veterans Memorial statue.
The war memorials - World War II, which my father served in (in the Army Air Force) as did one of his brothers, and one of his sisters.
The Korean War. When I grew up it wasn't a "war", it was a "police action". But the people were just as dead.
Binghamton - part of the Korean War monument on the Broome County courthouse lawn.
And the Revolutionary War monument, also on the Courthouse lawn.
I am not a "poetry person" (although there are a couple of poets I do enjoy) but this poem always touches my heart. Written by a Canadian soldier in 1915 upon the battle death of his friend in Flanders, Belgium, during World War I.
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.