Wednesday, November 9, 2011

In Remembrance

What is Veterans Day? Originally called Armistice Day to commemorate cessation of fighting between the Allied Forces and Germany, it was later named Veterans Day. November 11th has been set aside each year as a day of remembrance to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

The History Channel runs a documentary on the Vietnam War from time to time. This is the war that plays most prominently in my mind.

It is my generation's war. It is the war I saw broadcast nightly with my dad. It is the war that killed men from my generation. It is the one where friends of mine returned home with missing limbs.

It is brought to my mind when I listen to my sixties station. Everything about that war saddens me.

Descent down the side of Hill 742, northwest
of  Dak To November 14-17, 1967

Beginning with my grandparents, each generation has been affected by war.

Until I ran across the photos found in the Great War Primary Document Archive: Photos of the Great War, I didn't understand the true meaning of a World War.

Looking through the pages and pages of photos, I see more nations than I even knew existed fighting the "war to end all wars."  It did not end all wars.

My grandmother's brother fought in World War I. I remember daddy telling how both of his feet were frostbitten while serving. He lost his legs after his return home. I wish I had paid attention to daddy's stories about Uncle Floyd.

World War I troops on the march.
My parent's generation were most affected by World War II. A Tom Hanks movie I love and may watch again is Saving Private Ryan. Their depiction of the troops arrival on Omaha Beach appears painfully realistic. 

Although I had always heard of D-Day, I found the actual definition interesting. Link here for full explanation of D-Day and Link here for photographs WWII through Gulf War

Omaha Beach June 6, 1944
Survivors reach beach by lifeboat
Photographer Weintraub SC190366

Luxembourg field scouting mission
December 30, 1944
Bedsheets used as camouflage in snow

These photos are witness to Albert Henry's (my cousin's father in law) account of how brutally cold it was during The Battle of the Bulge. The troops were ill equipped to endure the worst winter in the history of that region. His son says even after his return home, his father could not tolerate the cold.

I was born when the Korean Conflict (it looked like a war to me) was in full force. Daddy was already married with a child on the way so he was not drafted.

My Uncle Jack was drafted and served in Korea. In my mind I had pictured Korea as a tropical region. I was sadly mistaken for he too remembers and speaks of the harsh winter.

Other posts about my Uncle Jack's service can been seen HERE

SC398703 - A 4.2 inch mortar crew of Heavy Mortar Company,
179th Regiment, 45th U.S. Infantry Division, fires on Communist
positions, West of Chorwon, Korea. 5 May 1952. Korea
Signal Corps Photo #10-296-1/FEC-52-13339 (Kassal)

Mama's Brother In Uniform
Taken at Lake Ludwig
Isn't my mother's brother handsome in his Marine uniform?. He met his wife while stationed at Camp Pendleton. 

My daddy's baby sister recently lost her handsome veteran. I'm not sure I ever thanked him for his service.

Thank you to all of our veterans for serving our country and protecting our freedom.


  1. Excellent post. My father was a WWII soldier. War is never easy, but the soldiers from earlier wars fought in some brutal conditions without the benefit of modern warfare equipment. We owe all our soldiers a debt of gratitude.

  2. This was a wonderful post and tribute to those who have fought in three of our wars...and I see additional posts "above" that I want to take the time to read and comment on. It is now almost 1 am, and I will end here, though, for tonight and get back to you....But, I am always impressed when someone takes the time to research and go into depth about something that is important and I want to thank you for that.

    I also want to thank you for your comment on my own Veteran's Day post. All my best--