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November 2005 Archives

November 12, 2005

Thoughts of a Veteran on Veteran's Day

I wasn't going to put up a Memorial Veteran's Day post this year, since I didn't feel I had anything special to say at the moment.

However: Arnold Harris -Veteran- did, over at Dean's World.

Please read (and salute) the thoughts of a Veteran:

Thanks. I love all of you too. (Even if I bark at some of you.)

You know, back in the early 1950s, when my particular time came, we really didn't think about gratitude or anything like that. To us it was just a simple case of duty as Americans. Uncle Sam said "I need you guys and I need you now, so get off your asses and show up for duty."

That's all it took. And that's all it was supposed to take. Those of us who served in the armed forces around the time of the Korean war had the up-close memories of the 14 or 15 million of our countrymen who had recently served in every corner of the globe during the most stupendous war in history. Nobody wanted to be among the persons who would betray the memories of what those people had done to free the world of the tyranny of the fascist dictators, when the time came to defend this country against the threats of their counterparts, the communist dictators.

Anyway, America and all it represents in the past, the present and the future, was worth the national service our generation carried out. You're damned right I would do it all over again.

The men and women serving America in Iraq, Afghanistan and, for that matter, all around the world, are having some rough bumps these days. But they'll pull through, and so will the USA. May this great commonwealth live on in liberty and strength.

Arnold Harris
Mount Horeb WI


Jerry Pournelle reminds me of an old WWI poem:

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.

Thank you, and God bless you, gentleman.

UPDATE: John of Argghhh!!! very kindly reminds me that today is Veteran's Day, not Memorial Day. As John put it, today honors those still living, while Memorial Day is when we salute those passed on.

About November 2005

This page contains all entries posted to The Gantry Launchpad in November 2005. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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