Stand by the roads, look and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; walk in that way and find rest for your souls

Veterans Day -- 97 Years -- 2015

The President's 2004 Proclamation, issued November 9th:
"Americans live in freedom because of [their] courage . . . ."

His Remarks on the 11th: "Our nation will always be proud of their service."
Our "shining hope in a world of darkness ... They gave us every day that we live in freedom."

GETTYSBURG, Adams County, PA: A crowd gathered in Gettysburg, Thursday November 11, 2010, to honor veterans and remember Korean police action, the so-called "forgotten war." Members of VFW Post 15 unveiled a Korean War memorial next to their meeting hall. Retired Lt. Colonel C. Lyle Rishell, a World War II and Korean War veteran, dedicated the memorial during the ceremony. Meanwhile, the President laid a wreath in Yongsan (at a base still housing nearly 30,000 U.S. troops) honoring all allied Veterans of this conflict, which began 60 years ago. Some 37,000 American soldiers laid down their lives in that war. Prisoners of war numbered in excess of 7,200 and more than 92,000 were wounded. On a surprise visit to Ramstein Air Base in Germany, the First Lady saw hundreds of troops and served Veterans Day meals. She visited wounded soldiers at a hospital, which today is a first stop for the wounded from Iraq or Afganistan.

Ainsi parle l'Éternel: Placez-vous sur les chemins, regardez, Et demandez quels sont les anciens sentiers, Quelle est la bonne voie; marchez-y, Et vous trouverez le repos de vos âmes!

November 11th marks the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice in the forest of Compiègne by the Allies and the German forces in 1918. The United States entered World War I on April 6, 1917, at a time which had seen a long period of entrenchment and stalemate. After the defeat of the Russians in the east, the German Imperial Army turned full force toward the west with little impact. The tide began to turn rapidly with the beginning of the British offensive in August 1918. A coordinated American effort culminated in the breach of the German lines near Metz in the forest of the Argonne. The German government sought an armistice in October, but the US President refused to deal with anyone but representatives of a democratic government. Imperial rule collapsed in early November, after Turkey and Austria surrendered. Germany declared itself a new republic on the ninth of November. The new regime soon sought peace. The apposing forces sat together at 5am on the eleventh, before dawn, in a railway coach on a siding near Compiègne. The French Field Marshal Foch and the members of the German Armistice Commission signed the Armistice bringing an end to the four years of war, as the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month approached. When the guns of August fell silent at eleven, some reported that birds could be heard in the morning air. For the next 21 years all was quiet on the western front, and then a new generation was off to war.  «Connaissais-tu les choses qui appartiennent à ta paix? -- Il est plus aisé d'être sage pour les autres que pour soi-même.» Perhaps one of the best sites devoted to the heritage of the Great War is found at: http://www.greatwar.nl/.
 
On the day the Great War ended, word reached Georgia in the morning. Governor Dorsey declared a State holiday, closing all State offices. Mayor Candler (Atlanta) gave City employees the afternoon off. City schools held patriotic ceremonies before releasing students. Area businesses closed. Crowds filled the streets of downtown Atlanta all day long, with impromptu parades. Similar celebrations ocured throughout the State as Georgians marked the end of "the War to end all wars."

Atlanta held a grand parade on November 12th to commemorate Germany's surrender to the Allies. Three hundred veterans who had fought in Europe headed the procession, followed by soldiers from Camp Gordon and other military facilities (10,000 marched) and thousands more -- relatives and friends of the veterans, the police, fire-fighters and the rest of the civilian population. Other Georgia cities also held victory parades for the end of Great War.

The combatants renewed the Armistice, which originally lasted 1 month, until they agreed to the controversial "peace" (the Treaty of Versailles signed in the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles), formally ending the Great War. Read about the American involvement, the Armistice, the Treaty and more -- Il se nourrit d'abord de références historiques : tout Américain, même s'il n'a qu'une vague idée des problèmes européens, connaît, par l'enseignement de l'histoire, l'aide apportée par la France du XVIIIe siècle aux 13 colonies dans leur lutte pour l'indépendance.
 
November 11th, Armistice Day, first was observed by Presidential Proclamation as a legal holiday in the United States in 1919. On the 11th of November 1920, an Unknown Soldier of the World War was laid to rest within a tomb under the Arc de Triomphe (from http://www.fififlowers.com/2009/09/atop-of-arc-de-triomphe.html). In 1921 on the 11th day of November, President Harding dedicated the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington. In 1938 Congress enacted a bill, which dedicated each November 11th to world peace, and Irving Berlin's "God Bless America" was performed for the first time, by Kate Smith. With the advent of World War II, however, the day began to lose meaning. Moreover, because at the Second World War's end many more veterans deserved consideration, veterans' groups wished to make November 11 a day to honor all those who fought in American wars. The Armistice is memorialized in France {la date de la grande fête de l'Armistice en France}, England (where the Red Poppy of Flanders Fields serves as the symbol of Remembrance Day for the English, as well as for a lot of brave Scotsmen, Welshmen and Irishmen that died in both conflicts) and Canada, encompassing an observation for all the dead.

Veterans Day observance was held in Emporia, Kansas on November 11, 1953. On May 24, 1954, Congress passed a bill to change the name (Armistice Day) to Veterans Day. This bill was signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on June 1, 1954, and later he prepared the first Proclamation under the new law. The day was officially set aside to pay tribute "to honor (all U.S.) Veterans on the 11th day of Nov. of each year . . . ."
 
In 1971 President Nixon changed the federal public holiday to the second Monday in November. Immediately after the Vietnam War, however, there seemed to be fewer lavish military parades and ceremonies. Later, as veterans of that conflict became part of the remembrance process, the day regained its significance to all Americans; and, the holiday is once again observed on the 11th, whenever the day falls.

In 1997, the State dedicated a monument honoring Georgia's World War I Veterans. You can find it today in front of the Floyd Veterans Memorial Building, across street from the State Capitol. The memorial's design, which mirrors that of the Federal World War II memorial, lists the names of the 1,937 Georgians who died during that conflict. The monument wall displays a map, showing how the war unfolded, plus quotes of President Woodrow Wilson and General John J. Pershing, as well as poems associated with the Great War. The Vietnam Memorial was dedicated a few years earlier on this date in 1988.
 
that first dedication Local ceremonies and vigils are held throughout the United States. Americans still traditionally observe a moment of silence at 11am remembering those who have fought, were injured, have become sick or have died in service of their Country. For example on this day, Veterans gather at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC; and, a wreath is placed on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arlington National Cemetery. Remembrances, today, are also beginning to focus on those who fought in the Gulf War.
 
Though originally called "The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier," I am informed that this memorial was renamed "Tomb of the Unknowns" with the addition of unknown persons from all services after WW II. I am further informed that:

“The 24 hour guard, wreath placing ceremonies, state funerals, and other military ceremonial functions in Washington, D.C. are conducted by the 1st Battalion (Reinforced), 3rd Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard). This unit conducts these activities on top of being fully mission capable as a combat unit. The Third is called The Old Guard because it is the only U.S. unit in any service that has been in continuous existence since the Revolution.
 
The 3rd Infantry was stationed for many years at Fort Snelling, Minnesota. (This fort, located on the bluffs commanding the strategic confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers, was founded by Lt. Zebulon Pike in 1821 on his way to Colorado to have a peak named after him! ) The now-inactive fort is in the heart of the Twin Cities, adjacent to the airport.
 
The 3rd served in France in WWI and after the war was assigned to Chillicothe, Ohio. However, the people of Minnesota protested - they wanted "their" 3rd back (probably because of the marital ties developed over many years.)
 
After WWI, my dad was assigned to the 3rd, and thus was able to participate in the "longest overland march ever made by a U.S. Army unit." In three months, they marched from Chillicothe to Fort Snelling! My dad, no dummy, was a stable sergeant and was able to ride a mule or a wagon most of the way. I have a picture of him driving a mule drawn wagon down Michigan Boulevard in Chicago to prove it. He met my mom in St. Paul and I was born at the U.S. Army Hospital, Fort Snelling.
 
Years after his retirement after 30 years of service, dad was in Washington for Organization Day of the 3rd Infantry. One of the great thrills of his life was being selected - as the oldest former enlisted man of the 3rd that was present - to represent the Regiment and place a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknowns.
 
One of the things that I remember with pride from my own 34 year career in the U.S. Army Reserve was when I was Deputy Commander, 205th Infantry Brigade (Separate) (Light) at Fort Snelling. One of the three infantry battalions assigned to my brigade was the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, sister unit to the honor troops in Washington. I was thrilled to be made an honorary member of the 3rd Infantry Veteran's Association. This was partly because of my command position, but partly because many of the older members remembered being privates and having my dad as their First Sergeant - a position he held in the 3rd for 17 years.”

-- Richard T. Firtko
Colonel, AUS, (Retired)

“I got a special thrill remembering that my dad was an artillery cannoneer in the 86th Infantry Division (activated from the Illinois National Guard) and was in France when the Armistice was signed. His unit had been alerted and was one week from going into the trenches. My dad was a regular who had enlisted in 1911. In 1916, he was a cavalry trooper in the 6th Cavalry Regiment. This unit was the main element of the punitive expedition led into Mexico by Brigadier General "Black Jack" Pershing, who later commanded the American Expeditionary Forces in France. (Major Dwight Eisenhower was on Pershing's staff).
 
“When the war started, my dad was working the post exchange (PX) at Fort Snelling. He immediately applied for active duty, but the general lack of military readiness extended to procedures for bringing back recent retirees. A few months later, when they came looking for him, he was working at the New Brighton arms plant here. He was chief test gunner for evaluating military small arms ammunition production. The powers that be decided he was more valuable there at 51 years old than as a too old infantryman capable only of the paper side of the army. ” -- from 1998.

1919

L'armistice:

signé à Rethondes, entre l'Allemagne et les Alliés met fin à la première guerre mondiale. Dans un wagon-restaurant aménagé en salle de réunion, près de la gare de Rethondes dans l'Oise, est signé l'armistice mettant fin à 1 561 jours de guerre. Commencée durant l'été 1914, la première guerre mondiale est l'aboutissement d'une lente dégradation des relations entre les nations. Deux blocs antagonistes se sont liés par des alliances ce qui entrainera 35 pays dans les hostilités. Le 28 juin 1914, l'archiduc d'Autriche François-Ferdinant est assassiné à Sarajevo en Bosnie-Herzégovine. Un mois plus tard, le 28 juillet, l'Autriche-Hongrie déclare la guerre à la Serbie soutenue par la Russie. Le 1er août c'est au tour de l'Allemagne, alliée à l'Autriche de déclarer la guerre à la Russie, puis à la France deux jours plus tard. Les États-Unis entrent dans la bataille en 1917, suite à des attaques de sous-marins allemands contre des navires marchands ou civils de pays neutres. Cette même année éclate la révolution Bolcheviks en Russie. Lors de la Grande Guerre, 65 millions de soldats s'affrontèrent. 8,5 millions moururent et 20,5 millions furent blessés. Côté civils, on estime que 10 à 13 millions d'entre eux périrent du fait de la guerre, de façon directe ou indirecte (voi http://perso.wanadoo.fr/of/jours11.htm).

By the way, for those who keep track of these things, on November 11, 1620 a group of pilgrims signed an important paper; and, Gen. W.T. Sherman held the first Georgia tailgate barbecue after, unfortunately, igniting the city of Rome (1864). For more about these exploits GO HERE.

Stand by the roads, look and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; walk in that way and find rest for your souls

Never forget the Price of Freedom !!!

Memorial Day -- Flag Day

Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies

Saint Martin (vers 317-397) -- November 11 (Apôtre des Gaules)

Sixteen years ago on the evening of November 11, 1989 the first concrete slab was removed from "The Wall" to the cheering of thousands: http://members.tripod.com/~Nevermore/wall.html

“Si toi aussi, au moins en ce jour qui t'est donné, tu connaissais les choses qui appartiennent à ta paix! Mais maintenant elles sont cachées à tes yeux [Luc 19:42].”
means Air Bridge

40. Jahrestag der Beendigung der Blockade von Berlin: Luftbrückendenkmal Berlin, stilisierter "Rosinenbomber" mit den Flaggen der Westallierten

Vor 50 Jahren war es eine Luftbrücke, die den Berlinern das Leben rettete ....

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/today/nov11.html -- Your government's view today

écrivez moi !  -- I appreciate your thoughts

Thanksgiving

{rev: 10/18/15 @noon EST}

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