On a Retrospective to Veteran’s Day 2009

Yesterday was Veteran’s Day and since my work location was closed, I had the opportunity to watch more cable news. Sure the day is filled with parades, speeches, and moments of silence, but it is a day that should cause each of us to reflect.

I thought about Vietnam. Although I didn’t serve, I lived the times. Years later when the Vietnam Memorial design was proposed, I recall the outcry against it. Then again, I also recall visiting it and the special feeling I got walking down the ramp into the memorial. Wow – I guess the design was right after all.

I thought about my dad who served in WW II at age 18. He’s always kept in touch with his Army buddies, yet their numbers decrease each day. I heard a report today saying that there are over 2 million WW II veterans still alive today – yet I also read an estimated of 1200 of them die each day.

I thought about last year taking Dad to a reunion of a post-WW II group. Interestingly this group was made of a few who also served in WW II, but also some who where just getting started, thus eventually ending their military careers following Vietnam. The link to those two wars was right there in the room with me among them. I wrote about the reunion weekend last Veterans Day (here’s the link).

I watched President Obama’s speech at Arlington National Cemetery. It was a good speech that was full reflection – then again presidential speeches on this day are good for that, no matter who delivers it.

I also saw a report about Honor Flight – an organization that is funding trips so WW II veterans can visit the WW II Memorial in Washington. Very impressive, but I’m sorry that I was unable to find the online video version. In its place, please visit the Honor Flight site for more information about this noble cause, and here’s an ABC News video from 2007 about the person who started it.

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8 thoughts on “On a Retrospective to Veteran’s Day 2009

  1. Readers may also be interested in the writings home from the front of US Sgt. Sam Avery during the Great War (World War I). Fascinating eyewitness history from the hot sands along the Rio Grande to the cold mud along the Meuse.

    This blog is an adventure long in the making for me in honor of my own family hero. Letters are posted on the same day they were written from the trenches 91 years ago. Today I found myself staring at my watch counting down the minutes to 1100 hrs.

    Long before the Greatest Generation there was the Most Gallant Generation. Stop by and come march along…

    http://worldwar1letters.wordpress.com

  2. The numbers on the WW2 vets is accurate as to losses per day. I don’t think we have 2 mil left, as when my father died in 2004, (but I may be wrong). Still, we barely had time to go to the WWII museum in DC, take the photos, and get back to show them to Dad before he died in December.

    Honor these men, regardless of numbers at this point. Watch Band of Brothers and Saving Private Ryan. View the new History Channel series with new (color) film found a few years ago. Read Ghost Soldiers and other such remembrances.

    Better still, like in my family, keep the memory alive by word of mouth. Teach Your Children. Keep Holocaust-deniers and neo-facscists from having any credibility. Knowledge isn’t worth much if it isn’t passed on.

    • Jose,
      I got the 2 million from a news report on Veterans Day … of course that’s assuming they are correct.

      Good point about the WW II memorial … thus the importance of the project of getting these men there now.

      Thanks for your thoughtful insight!

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