The News on Veterans Day
Today is Veterans Day. It's been over a week since Election Day. Trump still refuses to concede. We're facing the worst days of pandemic. More Americans hospitalized than ever... And Trump has mostly been on the golf course.
I was surprised to see Veterans Day events, in two places. If I were a Veteran, who would I want to recognize me, today?
Who are the Veterans?
I didn't grow up in a family with many military connections. I'm somewhat ignorant about the sacrifices and worries of military families. During these pandemic times, I've tried to make myself pay attention and learn about people who are not like me. Today, I looked on FB and saw all the posts of fathers and brothers... sons and sisters. I wondered about them all. I tried to appreciate.
I talked to Dad and asked him about the picture I have of him in uniform. Dad was too young for WWII, but he was in the reserve for a short while later. Dad was a teacher and a director. He never told stories about this small part of his life. But today Dad talked. He reminded me that his brother and father were both in the Navy. Uncle Bob in WWII and Grandpa in WWI. How I wish I had a photo of the day he described, when Uncle Bob came home in uniform and Grandpa pulled his out of storage and put it on.
I got curious about how long our country has celebrated Veteran's Day. I found out that until 1954, the day had been called Armistice Day. On November 11, 1919, President Wilson issued a message about peace. It was one year after the end of World War I. It later became a legal holiday, dedicated to world peace... and evolved into a holiday that honors all veterans.
I decided it was time to get out my grandmother's diary again! I looked at the few pages leading up to November 11, 1918. "Daw" was volunteering in D.C., during WWI.
On November 7, Daw writes, "Peace in the World!" She mentions going to Baltimore in the morning and hearing the news at noon and being "crazy" to be back in Washington. After getting back in the evening, she and her sister got Mrs. Chambliss to take them downtown, where she "never saw such crowds of people. All departments stopped work. So wish we'd been here earlier."
November 11, 1918
A few days later, Daw wrote again. "Another peace celebration today. All war departments dismissed." Then Daw and her friends went to the picture show, before heading out... to see the celebration, I assume. She added, "The Old Kaiser has gone. The Germans have signed the armistice."
The next day, Daw mentioned going to the Liberty Hut with my Aunt Mary, who she called, Sister. "saw Douglas Fairbanks the moving picture actor- he worked for a war fund campaign."
I love picturing my grandmother in D.C., over 100 years ago. I looked up Liberty Hut and found this old photo. Surely she didn't play pool!
How I love having glimpses into the past. How I love having the time to explore and wonder. I love having the help of my grandmother's diary. I love having technology and Googling history. I love having access to my dad, just by picking up the phone.
I'll always think a little differently when Veterans Day rolls around.
I started this complaining list/blog, in May 2016. I posted 200 gripes about my breast cancer and then I was done.
On March 13, 2020, I started venting all over again, when another disease (starting with a C) interfered with my life. Only this time, it was affecting more than me. I ranted for a year, until I got my vaccine in March 2021.
Coronary Artery Disease was the reason I restarted this blog on September 26, 2021. This time it was Don who was dealing with a worry that started with the letter "C".
Coronavirus and Cancer, Coronary Artery Disease! All are evil, but none can totally get me down... if I vent! I usually end up feeling a little more positive at the end of each post!