When I was young, I vividly remember my mother making a point to buy a poppy for each of us to wear on our clothing for “Reembrance Day,” as she still called November 11. We know it as Veterans’ Day, but she was born November 30, 1918, just nineteen days after the guns fell silent to end the War to End all Wars, and that is what the day was called when she was a child. She always reminded me of 11-11-11 because the Armistice took effect on November 11 at 11 am.
Today is another 11-11-11. And, unhappily, many wars have followed.
Today, beginning at 9 am at both Germanna Community College campuses, students, faculty, staff and community members will read from the roll of those who have died in the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. You are welcome to participate:
Today we also pause to thank our veterans and remember those not here to be thanked. It is the least we can do.
We can also:
- hire a veteran
- retrain a veteran
- assist a veteran in trouble
- pray for those who are serving and have served
or just feel a deep gratitude in our hearts for those who have answered the call and stood their ground so we can live without having to defend ourselves.
The poppies that we wore memorialized the poppy fields in Flanders where many Americans lie instead of having come home. Around the cemetery, many battles were fought in the Ypres region. Heavy fighting over the years of the war cost about a million casualties. The battles were memorialized in a famous poem by a veteran of that war:
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
If ye break faith with us who die
In Flanders fields.