But why today? Today marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One. At the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the guns fell silent.
A Truce was declared and that would lead to the end of the Great War. The war to end all wars. There were 20 million deaths and 21 million wounded. There 1.8 billion people on the planet in 1918. Between 1914 and 1918, 4.5% had been killed or horribly wounded. To put that in perspective, the United States has an unemployment rate of 4.5 percent. Look around you. Think of everyone you know that doesn’t have a job as dead.
For this reason, the politicians and most of the population called the Great War, “The war to end all wars”. It was that horrible.
THE RED POPPY
The remembrance poppy was inspired by the World War I poem “In Flanders Fields”. Its opening lines refer to the many poppies that were the first flowers to grow in the churned-up earth of soldiers’ graves in Flanders, a region of Belgium.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
But it wasn’t was it? World War One was followed by World war Two. That’s what we call them. The veterans of World War Two just called it, “The War”.
369th Infantry Regiment
The 369th Infantry Regiment was first black American infantry regiment to fight in World War I, the 369th spent more time in the trenches and under fire — 191 days — than any other U.S. unit. A National Guard regiment, the 369th recruited out of New York City in large numbers, and German soldiers who witnessed their battlefield prowess quickly dubbed them the Harlem Hellfighters.
This country has been at war now for a record 17 years. The current casualty rate is lower that training casualties of the 1980’s. But for the young man, and now young woman today, a fire fight in Kandahar or Iraq is exactly the same for them as it was for their great-great grandfathers when they “went over the top” and charged artillery and massed machine guns fighting for maybe a mile of ground.
So wish everyone a Happy Veterans Day. Where the red poppies. Shake a vet’s hand and thank them for their service. But do so knowing that you will never……never know what it was to go through what they did.
And we did it for you.
HERE’S TWO MOVIES TO WATCH BEFORE YOUTUBE TAKES THEM DOWN