Monday, November 11, 2013

Thoughts on Veterans Day 2013

Veterans Day Images

(I know they're silly, but I absolutely love the retro-style, patriotic pin-ups. See this post for other examples.)

In the U.S., we call November 11th "Veterans Day," and in Canada it's known as "Remembrance Day." For a lovely Remembrance Day post that incorporated Canadian poet John McCrae's immortal World War I poem "In Flanders Field," please visit Mumfection. I'd like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all U.S., Canadian and allied veterans for their service to our way of life.

My husband, Tit Elingtin, is a Navy veteran, and so is my Uncle Lee. So was my grandfather, who was wounded at Pearl Harbor when he was a mere 17 years old. Actually, both of my grandfathers served in the Navy in WWII. My mom's dad once told me his military job was to "sit at a desk and smoke cigarettes," but I'm certain there's much more to the story than that. I believe my mom's dad served in the European theater.

I was thinking about my mom's late father, Marion (known within the family as Blackie because of his black hair and relatively dark complexion; he was of Russian and Polish descent), when Tit and I went to a family wedding on Saturday. My grandfather's older brother Joseph, who's been deceased for many years, has a grandson named Adam, and Adam married a woman named Andrea. Now that Andrea has my grandfather's last name, her married name is the same as my mom's maiden name, since my mom is also named Andrea. (Different middle names, though.)

Andrea and Adam had a photobooth at the their wedding. I added the hearts on PicMonkey.
Appropriately enough, Veterans Day is also the birthday of Kurt Vonnegut Jr. The author was born in Indianapolis in 1922. Sadly, he is no longer with us. Vonnegut was an army veteran who survived the firebombing of Dresden, Germany, by British troops. He turned this horrifying experience into the brilliant novel Slaughterhouse-Five. It remains one of the best war novels ever.

Of course, I also highly recommend reading James Jones' war trilogy. From Here to Eternity tells you what it's like when a war is imminent, The Thin Red Line tells you what it's like to be in the middle of a war, and Whistle tells you about the after-effects. I can't recommend it highly enough.

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