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[Comments] (6) Some thoughts on Veteran's Day: Happy Veteran's Day, everyone--or, as some people call it, Remembrance Day.

In England during the month of November they sell paper poppies to benefit veterans, and everyone everywhere is wearing one. Tony Blair appeared nightly on the news with a fresh crisp poppy on his label. Mine was pinned to my jacket and got a little crumpled because unlike Tony Blair I had the same one all through November; I still have it, in my scrapbook, along with the poem my history professor explained was the background of the poppies: In Flanders Field.

Armistice day is important because it's the day the fighting stopped. But it's not the day the war was over. To many, delirious with illness, they didn't even realize it. Isabel Hutton said, "On November 11, 1918, we heard it was Armistice Day, but nobody seemed happy about it, and we hardly seemed to realize what it meant" (With a Women's Unit, p 164). To others, going home with broken bodies or to broken homes, their troubles were far from over. And even though there's hardly any veterans from World War I left, to some, the war is still not over.


Posted by Susie at Fri Nov 12 2004 16:02

Linda, who served in the Navy back when women in the Navy were hardly allowed on the ship, told everyone she is taking today off because of Veteran's Day. In reality she won a free weekend in Park City.

Posted by Frances at Fri Nov 12 2004 20:17

Miranda, the protagonist in Pale Horse, Pale Rider (My thesis!) is in the hospital with the big influenza epidemic and wakes up on Armistice day to the sound of ringing church bells and the news that the soldier she loved has died of the flu.

Grandma Call had a brother who died in the war. Her mother went on the train to Los Angeles to claim the body and bring back his coffin. She was holding up okay until the Army people handed her his trombone...

Posted by Frances at Fri Nov 12 2004 20:18

The war never got over for Grandpa Call, by the way. But you know the story.

Posted by Alyson at Sat Nov 13 2004 04:19

I love that story. In fact, I shared it at recent book club when we were discussing Michael Ondaatje's Running in the Family.

Canadians wear poppies, too.

Posted by Frances at Sat Nov 13 2004 19:21

When I was a little girl, the vets sold poppies here in America too. I don't know what happened to that tradition.

Posted by Susie at Sun Nov 14 2004 05:24

Did your parents ever get yellow feathers for voting, instead of a sticker?

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