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Old 11-04-2013, 02:14 PM   #661
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The best teachers are those who show you were to look, but don't tell you what to see.

-- Alexandra K. Trenfor
Love that one!
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:46 PM   #662
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Given that we are getting close to Remembrance Day (November 11th in Britain) perhaps the Kohima Epitaph is worth putting here. It is a slightly altered version of an epitaph written in 1916 by John Maxwell Edmonds and, whatever your views on war, could apply to a number of the conflicts of the last 100 years.

"When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,
For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today"

The battle of Kohima lasted 3 months in 1944 and has been called "the Stalingrad of the East". It effectively halted the Japanese advance to capture India. My Uncle was there and came home at the end of the war but was never the same. A form of shell-shock or PTSD, I suppose.
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:23 AM   #663
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November 11th is our Veterans Day. Originally it was to remember the end of WWI. Now it is to remember all our Veterans. Why is it Remembrance Day for England? I would think any calendar day regarding WWII would be Remembrance Day. I can't think of any of our allies that suffered so much at the hands of both enemies.
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:18 PM   #664
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November 11th is our Veterans Day. Originally it was to remember the end of WWI. Now it is to remember all our Veterans. Why is it Remembrance Day for England? I would think any calendar day regarding WWII would be Remembrance Day. I can't think of any of our allies that suffered so much at the hands of both enemies.
Our Remembrance Day is the same as your Veterans Day. It’s just the name that was chosen back then. It often used to be called Armistice Day by people old enough to remember the armistice at the end of the First World War. At one time it incorporated the 2 minutes silence at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. But by the 1980s that had been largely abandoned except at Remembrance Day services – usually on the nearest Sunday to the 11th November. It was re-instated somewhere around Y2k and although optional many businesses observed it (although the buses and cars didn’t stop as they had in the 1920s and ‘30s).

Do you have poppies? Here the poppy buttonholes are made by disabled ex-service men and women and sold in the run up to Remembrance Day to raise money for the Royal British Legion, a charity which supports servicemen and women and their families. There are a number of similar charities in Britain but the RBL is arguably the best known.

The Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London takes place on the nearest Sunday to Remembrance Day and is broadcast live on television and radio and repeated later in the day. Wreaths are laid by the Royal Family and representatives of the Commonwealth countries, most of which were either directly involved in the conflicts such as Australia during the second world war, or who sent volunteers, for example soldiers from the Indian sub-continent who fought in both world wars were all volunteers, as were West Indian service-men and women as, before Pearl Harbour brought the USA into the war, were many Americans. The “official” wreath laying is followed by a march past and wreath laying by ex-servicemen’s and women’s organisations, military nursing organisations and, since 1945, organisations like the London Fire Brigade and London Transport, all of whom lost many members in the blitz and the “Bevin Boys” (men called up and sent into coal mines as part of the war effort). It is a sight to see and always makes me well up. Most cities, towns and villages have their own Services of Remembrance around their local war memorials.

There is a small group of people in the UK who disapprove of Remembrance Day because they see it as jingoism and glorifying war, etc., etc., but I’m inclined to the view that it’s more about “man’s inhumanity to man” and our inability to learn by our mistakes. When I walk past our local war memorial I always stop and read the names because so many of the people who knew and loved them are no longer around to read them. Sadly there are new additions even now of names of young men, often no more than boys, killed in Afghanistan.


Sorry if this is a bit long.
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:52 PM   #665
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Our Veterans Day used to be a legal holiday. Which meant a day off from work. Not any more. Most companies give the employees the options of the day after Thanksgiving or Veterans Day off. Most choose the day after Thanksgiving. Who wants to get up the next day with a tummy still full and a hangover from too much beer and football and go to work. The closest we come to any celebration is the President placing a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Some small towns have the veterans place flags on the graves of soldiers buried in their local graveyards.

Last month we lost one of our residents who was one of the last survivors of the battle of Iwo Jima. He was 19 y.o. at the time. I have a thing about flying our flag with respect. We have buried our boys by the thousands all over the world that defended that flag. The least we can do is fly it with respect. Our own flag was in terrible disrepair. The stripes were all separate and the edges tattered. I raised holy hell with management about the condition of the flag. We have a very tall pole out on the main lawn and it can be seen flying from the highway. I wrote letters to our local newspaper, HUD offices in Boston and anyone else I could think of. I made sure I mentioned Jerry in every letter. The flag has never been in better condition since. And it continues to be properly taken care of. You read the names on plagues, I look after our flag.
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Old 11-06-2013, 09:26 PM   #666
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Old 11-09-2013, 10:31 AM   #667
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"Loyalty to country ALWAYS.
Loyalty to government, only when it deserves it."

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Old 11-09-2013, 10:37 AM   #668
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.
Do you have poppies?
We have poppies.

First World War Poems - In Flanders Fields by John McCrae
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Old 11-09-2013, 05:56 PM   #669
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Old 11-13-2013, 04:26 PM   #670
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This one's for us oldies...

"I remember back when hats were worn with business suits,
When women did the housework and their husbands the commutes,
When blackberries and apples were regarded just as fruits."

Judith Viorst from her poem, "How I Know I'm Old"
that begins,

"I remember running boards, Victrolas, Frigidaires,
And when the really, really rich were merely millionaires..."
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