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Thread: Remembrance Day

  1. #1
    Senior Member Feops's Avatar
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    Default Remembrance Day

    Remembrance Day (aka Veterans Day for americans) is, in my opinion, one of the more meaningful named days of the year. While religious holidays vary from person to person, state holidays from region to region, and halmark holidays cater primarily to commerce, Remembrance Day remains one of the more grounded and practical reminders of a reality that potentially faces every human being equally, that of war and sacrifice.

    I won't claim to respect soldiers and their causes universally - there are many pointless conflicts we send our people into that burns shamefully. If anything, Remembrance Day should serve as a stark reminder of the reality these men and women face when sent into a conflict, having the potential to be killed or maimed at any given moment. Not just the soldiers themselves but also the civilian populance, who may suffer horribly during and for many years afterwards. "War is hell" is perhaps the perfect summation. It is easy to view a conflict from a distance, read of the statistics, and remain detached from the events, and so I appreciate the grounding this day provides and what it teaches.

    But despite that I won't always agree with their cause, I will always respect the willingness of the armed forces to sacrifice that which is most precious in the service of their people.

    Lest we forget

  2. #2
    Senior Member Saslou's Avatar
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    Agreed.

    I was astounded today by the amount of people that didn't respect the 1 min silence. How disrespectful.
    “I made you take time to look at what I saw and when you took time to really notice my flower, you hung all your associations with flowers on my flower and you write about my flower as if I think and see what you think and see—and I don't.”
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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Yes, I can't always respect the overall decisions that countries make to fight and kill each other... but I think it's pretty clear that on an individual level, many soldiers are motivated by valuable ideals (loyalty, freedom, commitment and love for people they know, courage. etc.), and they actually put everything on the line in pursuit of those values, and for that the individuals should be commended.
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    full of love Kingfisher's Avatar
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    does anyone have any stories about a soldier that means a lot to you? a family member, or friend? or yourself?

    my grandfather was in France, in the U.S. army, during WWII. his service ended after the war.
    he was the best man i have known. he and my grandmother were my role models for what love can and should be.

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    IRL is not real Cimarron's Avatar
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    Stories...

    My middle school science teacher (our class had him for 3 years in a row) was a U.S. Marines veteran who served in the Korean War. He was also friendly, cheerful, fun and creative, and an inspiration to us students. He was going to retire, but (especially with us begging him to stay) he waited until we were graduating because he didn't want to leave us in the middle of our schooling. So he left at the same time as we all left. Even years later, we all consider him one of the best teachers we've ever had.
    Last edited by Cimarron; 11-12-2009 at 04:00 PM. Reason: remembered that we begged him to stay
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Qre:us's Avatar
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    I my soldier. That. is. all.

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    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    My great uncle lived with us on and off while I was in high school. During the war, he had fallen in love with his younger brother's English widow (both drove trucks of supplies to the front lines during the war and his younger brother was killed shortly before the end of the war). Her mother was against the marriage to his brother and against the engagement to him and she had hid many of their letters in the walls of the house (which were found 50 years later, unopened). She convinced Rosalie to marry someone else back in England instead of coming to Canada as Rosalie had planned. Rosalie just sent a telegram the day that she had been supposed to arrive on the train to Hector's prairie town. The hall was all decorated and ready to welcome her. He never got married after that. She divorced within a year and a half after having had a baby with him. She wrote to him many years later to ask if he would like to meet again and he declined. He ended up choosing to spend most of his years drinking, but I remember him as one of the most generous, stubborn, kind, men I have been privileged to have known.

    Remembrance Day was always special to me because of him and it was a day that was celebrated by our family. The ceremony was a standard part of the day, as well as going out for dinner after (which we rarely ever did when I was young).

    While I was in high school, I ended up transcribing the war letters that he and the brother who died had written home as young men of 18 and 21 as an alternative assignment to the book we were taking. It allowed me to meet Elmer for the first time, as well as the uncle I knew only as an old man. In it they talked frequently of two of their cousins who had also joined up, and through that experience I happened upon many letters that one of the cousins had written to her husband throughout the war, as well as wonderful writing that she did later. It made all of those young people come alive to me as people I felt like I knew and I had a sense of what life in the little town they came from was like and got acquainted with all the "characters" in those those letters who were actually real people and part of my family.

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    Senior Member Willfrey's Avatar
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    My grandfather on my mother's, rest in peace, served in the Korean War for the navy. I don't recollect him telling any stories about the war, and I am unsure exactly what role he played.

    My grandfather on my dad's side, rest in peace, served in Europe in World War 2 in the infantry. Amazingly he was drafted, a few months before he suffered wound across his back from a shotgun misfiring in his car. Still bandaged, they drafted him. He never spoke much of the war directly to me, or much to my father, aunts, or uncles.

    There are one or two things I've been able to learn, first off he served underneath and thought Patton was a titanic asshole. I could be incorrect, all the stories are second hand, but I believe he served under Patton while he was pushing through and driving the Nazis out of France. During this time he received a Purple Heart, as the story goes, his unit hitched a ride on a tank. Uncomfortable, he got up, bent over, and adjusted the pack he was sitting on. Just then several tanks in front of them were ambushed, and he caught a stray bullet in the rear which would have otherwise went through his skull.

    Reading old letters sent between my Grandpa stationed in France (after getting wounded) and my great uncle who was involved in the battle of the bulge, we learned that he may have possibly had an illegitimate child somewhere in France. This wouldn't be a surprise, my dad had a half-sister get in contact with him about three years ago who claimed my grandfather as her dad, who impregnated her mother shortly before he was shipped overseas (grandpa had the rest of his kids with my grandma after he returned)

    At some point near the end of the European theater he boarded a boat that he thought was destined for the US, instead they ended up shipping him around the horn of Africa to serve in the Pacific theater, though from what I understand he saw no combat in the Pacific and returned home shortly after.
    ...Then I ducked my head and the lights went out, and two guns blazed in the dark;
    And a woman screamed, and the lights went up, and two men lay stiff and stark...

  9. #9
    That chalkboard guy Matthew_Z's Avatar
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    I've always had a slight objection to Remembrance Day is that if all the "notable" or "worthy" causes for people who are largely strangers were signified, we'd run out of space.

    That being said, both of my grandfather's served in the US Army at one point. (paternal grandfather as an engineer, maternal grandfather as a mechanic) They were good people, but I will confess that I know neither well.

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    full of love Kingfisher's Avatar
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    that is great that you guys have been able to read war letters from your family members! it's pretty interesting, isn't it, to see them in a whole new light? i really enjoy finding out about the past of my family members.

    my grandfather (mother's father) also wrote letters during WWII. he wrote (prolifically!) to his wife, my grandmother, who was back in Albuquerque. but it is interesting, no one in our family ever knew about the letters until after nana and granddad died. we found the letters in their house, they had never mentioned them. it was really interesting to read these letters, written when my grandfather was a young man. they are very romantic and passionate, and he was always a stoic guy when i knew him.

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