Friday, November 11, 2005

Veteran's Day

"...That we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain..." -Abraham Lincoln

Veteran's day commemorates the signing of the Armistice to end World War I The armistice treaty between the Allies and Germany was signed in a railway carriage in the forest of Compiegne, some 65 km north-east of Paris, on November 11th, 1918.

(in 1940 Hitler exacted revenge by forcing the French to sign an armistice - on German terms - in the same railway carriage).


The actual fighting between the Allies and Germany ended with the armistice, which went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918. Armistice Day, as November 11 became known, officially became a holiday in the United States in 1926, and a national holiday 12 years later. On June 1, 1954, the name was changed to Veterans Day to honor all U.S. veterans.

In 1968, new legislation changed the national commemoration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. It soon became apparent, however, that November 11 was a date of historic significance to many Americans. Therefore, in 1978 Congress returned the observance to its traditional date.

The United States lost 126,000 men in WW I, but it is important to remember that, while the "War to end all Wars" lasted 4 years, from 1914 to 1918, America didn't enter until 1917. This is not to say that America didn't have any forces in the war prior to their official entrance into the fray. Many Americans were already over there fighting, having enlisted in the French and British armies. There was at least one All-American French squadron fighting the air war in French planes. It was called The "Lafayette Escadrille".

Note: One of the best tributes to Veterans I have ever seen can be found here.

Here is a song written by Eric Bogle in memorial of the brave men who lost their lives in "The Great War":

The Green Fields of France

1) Well, how do you do, young Willie McBride?
Do you mind if I sit here, down by your graveside,
And rest for a while 'neath the warm summer sun.
I've been walking all day and I'm nearly done.
I can see by your gravestone you were only nineteen
when you joined the great fallen in nineteen sixteen.
Well I hope you died quick, and I hope you died clean,
Oh Willie McBride, was it slow and obscene?

Chorus:
Did they beat the drum slowly, did they play the fife lowly,
did they sound the death march, as they lowered you down?
Did the bands play the last post and chorus?
Did the pipes play the flowers of the forest?

2.) Did you leave a young wife or sweetheart behind
In some faithful heart is your memory enshrined,
Although you died back in nineteen sixteen
In some faithful heart are you forever nineteen?
Or are you a stranger without even a name
Enclosed now forever behind a glass frame
In an old photograph torn and tattered and stained
And faded to yellow in a brown leather frame.

Chorus:
Did they beat the drum slowly, did they play the fife lowly,
did they sound the death march, as they lowered you down?
Did the bands play the last post and chorus?
Did the pipes play the flowers of the forest?

3.) The sun shines bright o'er the green field of France
The warm summer breeze makes the red poppies dance,
The trenches are buried long under the plow
There's no gas or barbed wire, there's no guns firing now.
But here in this graveyard it's still no-man's land
The countless white crosses in mute witness stand
To man's blind indifference to his fellow man
And a whole generation who were butchered and damned.

Chorus:
Did they beat the drum slowly, did they play the fife lowly,
did they sound the death march, as they lowered you down?
Did the bands play the last post and chorus?
Did the pipes play the flowers of the forest?

4.) I can't help but wonder now, Willie McBride,
Do those who lie here really know why they died?
And did they believe when they answered the call
Did they really believe that this war would end wars?
Well the sorrow, the suffering, the glory, the pain,
The killing, the dying, was it all done in vain?
For young Willie McBride, it all happened again
And again, and again, and again, and again.

Chorus:
Did they beat the drum slowly, did they play the fife lowly,
did they sound the death march, as they lowered you down?
Did the bands play the last post and chorus?
Did the pipes play the flowers of the forest?

10 comments:

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Great history lesson, Mark.

Thanks to all who have served!

Sheila said...

Mark,

Eloquent homage. Thanks! To everyone else that surfs here today. Thanks for your Service!

Jaymeister said...

Let us never forget the sacrifice, and never relinquish the freedoms these heroes fought for. Thank you all for your service.

Poison Pero said...

Freedom isn't Free.........Never has been, never will be.

As much as we honor those who've served in the past, we must also remember to honor those serving at this time.

I do not expect everyone to appreciate their battle (as many didn't in WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam), but THEY MUST BE HONORED!!

THEY are fighting our battles, and as Americans we must all realize each battle they fight is our battle........Whether it is popular or not.
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Many wonder how can they show their appreciation.......There are many ways.

1. Join an organization which supports those in the military. Solier's Angels is my favorite, but there are many........Write them letters, send them calling cards, send them magazines, etc., etc., etc.

2. Thank them when you walk by them.......This sounds trivial, but do it one time and you will see the sparkle in their eyes. --> At our jobs we all love to be praised and recieve a 'pat on the back'........This is exactly what a simple thank you in person is to our troops.

3. Find ways to support our troops families.......This is enormous!!! --> Nothing is worse for a soldier away from home than worrying about those they have left stateside. They are not affraid of roadside bombers or flying bullets. They are afraid of their wives and children at home.

HAPPY VETERAN'S DAY everyone.......Please keep our "Veterans in the Making" in your thoughts. --> Our current hero's are every bit the hero's our former hero's were.

Jaymeister said...

From the other side of the spectrum, I second what Poison Pero wrote.

Poison Pero said...

From one "Jay" to another, I'm glad we can at least agree on this, "Meister".
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And if that's the case, I'm sure there are many other things as well.

Jaymeister said...

Absolutely, PP (or Jay. Nice name.)

Look, I've read your blogs. You're very good at it. I'm just a rookie at this game, and have no pretense to do anything but leave a record for myself and posterity. I honestly don't know how much of what you write you truly believe, and how much is schtick - kind of the way I feel about Ann Coulter. My point is that I find a lot of what you write to be a caricature of both the conservative perspective and what you perceive to be the liberal perspective. Once I cut through all of that, I do indeed find a lot of points of understanding and sometimes absolute agreement. I can see that you put a lot of effort into all your blogs, and I wonder what you feel the purpose is. You clearly know how to preach to the choir, but wouldn't somebody of your talents want to fine tune your message to spread the gospel if it's something you truly believe in? Please don't take this as my slagging your work, it's just a question I have since you are obviously very passionate about your beliefs. I'm just a duffer.

Poison Pero said...

Good questions jaymeister.......Lets see if I can answer. It's hard to put this together in this 3 inch box, but I'll try. This may get long.
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I really do believe everything I write........On all 3 of my blogs.

The Libby Quotes and the Right is Right are sharp as a tack, and short and sweet.......I feel this is the only way to get people to notice it. --> Most people have short attention spans, and yes I may go over the top at times, but the content is absolutely me and the format is by design.

The This Day in History blog is my true passion.......I am a history nut, and love the opportunity to show my wits.....And put my mark on how I see events have unfolded, and how I see them continuing to unfold.
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Background: Abandoned by father, raised in the ghetto, dropped out of college, went to the Air Force (Active then Reserve), got married (12 years), two kids (11 and 4), Office Manager at a huge 3 office peditric practice (11 years)
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I started doing an email blast group around 2002.......With the intention of turning 50 Democrat voters to the Republican cause by 2004. I wanted to turn them absolutely, not just for Bush. --> I joined various Yahoo political groups, and started my efforts........Then I added Democrat family and friends.

I can honestly say, I think I turned at least 50......I did more in my daily emails than I could have done by donating a thousand dollars to the Republican Party.
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Then I found blogging.......I am so hooked........So much so, I hardly even bother with Fantasy Football any more. LOL!
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I've said it before, but I'm not a fan of the Republican Party......I am a Conservative.

Most of all I am a National Defense Conservative.....Then cultural, economic, etc.

I bitch about Bush and the Senate a ton......They may be Center-Right, but they are not Conservative......Some aren't even Center-Right. --> I devote an entire topic to them called "REPUBLICANS IN WONDERLAND".

And oh by the way, there are no Moderates........ANYWHERE!

That said, I do not beleive in 3rd Party's and do not wish to see one evolve.......I would like to see the Republicans change, but I know better.

3rd Parties are destructive to the Party they are closest to (Greens hurt Dems, Libertarians hurt Republicans, etc.).......I'm a realist.

I am religious, but not in any form recognized by any religion.....I've taken from many. --> I am a "right vs wrong", "good vs evil" guy.

I look at the Democrat Party and I see a complete mess......I don't undertand most of what they want, and admit to being more of an Anti-Democrat than a Republican.

Majorities matter in the U.S. system, so no matter who is running I always vote (R).......Even if I don't like the candidate (McCain x2 here in AZ).

Since majorities matter, it is better to have an Olympia Snow in the Senate as an (R) than a (D) who may or may not be more Conservative.......Snow makes sure the (R)'s control the agenda. Even if she drives me nuts.
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As far as "preaching to the choir"...You are right.

I think most of the choir is too carefree, and must get more involved.......And also think much of the choir is playing in the wrong band.

Especially Roosevelt Democrats (my grandparents generation) and JFK Democrats (my mother's generation).

Both of these men would be considered ultra-Conservative by today's standards.........I want to bring "their voters" to the voting booth with the values "they carried" (Conservative = R), instead of the "party they carried" (Liberal = D)
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So, yes I have an agenda.........And yes, I beleive in everything I put to paper (type)

"Writing is the mirror of the mind" - Unknown.
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I hope you will come by my blogs often...Please comment as you wish.....I may not agree, and may not respond kindly, but I will not delete your comments no matter what --> Unless you start selling penis pumps or something (Damn spammers).

Just in case you don't know where to find my blogs.

This Day in History
http://thisdayinhx.blogspot.com/

The Right is Right
http://therightisright.blogspot.com/

Liberal Jackass Quote of the Day
http://libbyquotes.blogspot.com/

Jaymeister said...

I thank you for your response, PP. I can't possibly respond to all of that - and there are plenty of things I have questions about - but we shall meet again online for sure.

Poison Pero said...

Feel free to email me, Jay.......Can be found in the profile.