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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Not Veteran's Day

Posted by: Jambo / 11:00 AM

Not Veteran's Day

My father is a veteran of 30 years in the US Navy, including tours in Korea and Vietnam, but he doesn't like Veteran's Day. In fact he refuses to celebrate it. He often made a point of telling me that Nov. 11th is not Veteran's Day, it's Armistice Day, the day commemorating the end of World War I, which ended the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. I was reminded of that today when I read in the NYT about the last remaining American soldier who served in Europe during the Great War. It was a war of great impact on the people of the time, a relentless slaughter that brought home the horror of modern war for the first time. We tend to not think much about it these days, tho we probably should. A favorite short story of mine is by Julian Barnes from his collection Cross Channel, about a woman who returns to France every year to remember the loss of her brother in that war. She visits the various cemeteries while quietly resenting the fact that they are being supplanted by the more media friendly memories of WWII. It's quit touching and I should go back and reread it. Anyone who's interested can let me know and I will send along the title, which is escaping me at the moment. Supplanted, I guess, by new titles.


Damn straight. As the grandson of a proud WWI vet, I applaud your dad's sentiment. The media call the Korean Conflict (what a ludicrous name) the "forgotten war" but WWI has been confined to the dustbins for even longer.

And Jambo, as LOTR freaks, we should always remember that WWI was what Tolkien was writing about, not WWII.

By Blogger Jerjo/Carjo, at 11:10 AM  

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