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View Diary: Morning Open Thread: Veteran's Day Edition (38 comments)

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  •  The rest of the world (allies) (10+ / 0-)

    Observe Remembrance Day. In England the country comes to a halt for two minutes. We shop.

    We used to commemorate Armistice Day.

    The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926, with these words:

    ...Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations...

    An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday - - a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as "Armistice Day.

    I will come to a time in my backwards trip when November eleventh, accidentally my birthday, was a sacred day called Armistice 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.

    Kurt Vonnegut
    Breakfast of Champions (1973)

    My contribution will be to pick up a puppy to foster for a homeless Iraq vet until he can get housing.

    White-collar conservatives flashing down the street, pointing their plastic finger at me..

    by BOHICA on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 03:52:32 AM PST

    •  Thank you for these additions, BOHICA (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BOHICA, gooderservice

      I don't recall having seen the Vonnegut piece before.

      I don't want to throw away any sacred things.

      Thank you too for your service - both active duty and since.  The community service geared towards our service members and vets that you provide is invaluable.  You, BOHICA, certainly are an angel among us.  Thank you.

      As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

      by JaxDem on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 04:03:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Two or three silences (4+ / 0-)

      The Queen often observes three two minute silences each year.

      In recent years the tradition of a general public silence at 11.00 on 11/11 ("the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month") has been revived.

      The main official ceremonies are held at the Cenotaph in Whitehall on the following Sunday. The Cenotaph is the war memorial erected shortly after WWI and replaces the wood original temporary version. (The name means "empty tomb" and was a great comfort to the many widows and families whose loved ones had no known grave.) The silence starts at about 34:45.  

      The evening before she attends the Remembrance Festival of the Royal British Legion (the organisation for veterans and current members of the armed forces). That ends with a "drumhead service" in which regimental drums are formed into a makeshift altar. Start at 12:30 to include the traditional valedictory, known in Canada as the Act of Remembrance:

          They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
          Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
          At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
          We will remember them.

      The silence ends with a exhortation taken from the memorial at Kohima:
       When you go home
       Tell them of us and say
       For your tomorrow
       We gave our today

      Two 6 year olds present a posy of poppies to thank their forebears for preserving their freedoms, Poppy flowers, the British symbol of remembrance also rain down on the assembled service personnel during the silence.

      BTW the serices include prayers for peace for the Queen, Commonwealth and all people and for harmony between nations.

      This year of course 11/11 is on a Sunday so there have been only two acts of rememberanc. The next time this will occur will be 11/11/2018, the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI

      "Who stood against President Obama in 2012?" - The trivia question nobody can answer.

      by Lib Dem FoP on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:11:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you, Lib (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        for adding these traditions from Great Britain and these videos as well.

        I sometimes use the quote you included from Robert Laurence Binyon in his poem, For the Fallen in my IGTNT tributes.  Here is the complete piece:

        For The Fallen

        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 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 uncounted;
        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 condemn.
        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 of 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 that are starry in the time of our darkness,
        To the end, to the end, they remain.
                    ~ Robert Laurence Binyon

        He wrote this in 1914 during the Great War and it is recited on Remembrance Sunday in Great Britain, Remembrance Day in Canada and in Australia and New Zealand as part of their Anzac Day ceremonies.

        Prayers for peace...

        As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

        by JaxDem on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:35:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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