It was called Armistice Day when I was young. It commemorated the end of what was then called The Great War. It is now Veterans Day to remember both the living and the dead who served our country.
In my family it had more significance, my father and my brother in law’s birthday. My father was in a trench in France on November 11, 1918, after having been wounded twice during the war.
My brother in law was also a veteran but was the executive producer of the Walter Cronkite Evening News. Sandy was at every space shuttle launch and every presidential election for years. We all wonder what he would think if he were here today to watch the election returns and the disputes growing out of the vote count. He had a wonderful sense of history and was a fierce defender of the free press.
Here in Clove Valley we celebrate the veterans of yesterday and today. I am a veteran also. I remember I was in Idaho about 15 years ago and when I went up to the ticket counter at the Spokane airport, a woman said to me “Thank you for your service.” I wasn’t sure what she meant when I realized my ID had the USMC veteran emblem on it. I was slightly embarrassed and it was the first time I heard anyone say it.
You hear it everywhere now, which I think is fine. Maybe the thing to remember today is how much we don’t realize or appreciate peace. In Vietnam we lost 50,000 lives. In the Battle of the Somme in the First World War 50,000 died in a day.
There are some things to think about today.