One Hundred years ago this Sunday, World War I came to its close.
Today, there are only memorials and monuments. No eyewitness remains. And what was once “Armistice Day,” has morphed into “Veterans Day.”
I am a Veteran and I certainly honor and respect my fellow Vets. It was an amazing experience and one that I value. In a military town it isn’t quite as unique, but most of my post-Military life it was always a special moment to meet eyes with a fellow Veteran. That slight nod and a smile. A shared experience, even when I was on a submarine and he was in a tank, or airplane or foxhole. I value Veterans Day for its moment of honoring Veterans. I don’t quite appreciate the arguments and debates over everything from who it precisely honors to how to actually spell it (“Veterans” is the correct spelling), nor am I personally a huge fan of the race to get free stuff. But that’s just me.
I do wish, however, that there was more of an emphasis in this Country on the Armistice Day/Remembrance Day aspect. There is a reason why the VFW offers you a poppy and asks for a small bit of change. There’s a reason why our friends and Allies in the United Kingdom and ANZAC wear poppies today and all this weekend. And that reason was an incredible sacrifice made by men who didn’t start the war, didn’t want to fight the war, and served with honor and distinction for four long years. And or the devil Dogs who came to help finish it. When we demand that we only honor the living Veterans on this day, we forget them.
And I refuse to do that.
Despite all the hoopla and pearl clutching over the indictment of some Russians for “meddling” in the 2016 elections, I remain unimpressed and unconvinced. These thirteen interlopers did not convince me to not vote for Hillary Clinton.
Hillary Clinton convinced me not to vote for Hillary Clinton. Read the rest of this entry
SEGMENT – VETERANS DAY (00:00)
As a Veteran, I love Veterans Day, but… I refer it’s original incarnation, Armistice Day. In my view, it’s possible to celebrate Veterans, but not forget the real reason that November 11th is remembered by every Allied nation in the World. It’s why the VFW hands out poppies. It’s why we pause at 11am. And for those of us who served at any point in our nations history, it’s a reminder of how fragile things really are; to appreciate them each and every day.
On the 11th of November, 1918, the Armistice, which had been signed at 5am, was set to go into effect at 11am. World War I, at least the fighting part of it, was six hours from its end. But for reasons only he knew, Marshal Foch of France, the Supreme Allied Commander, refused a German request to have the fighting stopped immediately. He stuck to the 11am hour as the time, and so over the next six hours, 11,000 more men were killed and wounded. All unnecessary, in an unnecessary war, fought for unnecessary reasons that have left us fighting many of the same conflicts a century later.
And while we celebrate Veterans day, most of the rest of the world holds Remembrance Day. A day when we remember the fallen and the hope for the future…
SEGMENT – DONNA BRAZILE’S IMPENDING DOOM (32:22)
A few years back, some phony ex-Congressman wrote a book about how Congress was corrupt and it made it so mad that he… he… well.. he wrote a book abut it. Because that’s what you do when you want to be mad about something of which you have been a part for a long time, reaping the benefits until one day, you find yourself on the “outs.” Then you write a book “exposing” the corruption and shenanigans so that you can get all new friends on the other side who will shower you with praise and benefits. I’ll give Donna Brazile this much, at least she put her own name on the book, unlike Congressman X.
On the other hand, there’s no way in heaven or hell that she didn’t know about this stuff until after the fact…
SEGMENT – WE “FORGOT…” (44:00)
The USAF announced this week that it “failed” to report the Texas church shooters Court martial conviction on domestic abuse and assault charges – for which he spent a year in the brig – to the national database that tracks such things and keeps weapons out of the hands of people who are bad. The question, of course, is “Why not?”
We may never know that answer. And while the Air Force may never be able to tell us who screwed up, I’m reasonably certain that whoever was the person who was supposed to do it, knows.
Meanwhile there is a new debate on just why these attacks happen. Is it as simple as mental illness? Is it a “spiritual crises?’ Or is it something else?
SEGMENT – PVT HENRY GUNTHER (54:35)
On the 11th of November, 1918, the Armistice, which had been signed at 5am, was set to go into effect at 11am. World War I, at least the fighting part of it, was literally one minute from its end. But for reasons only he knew, Marshal Foch of France, the Supreme Allied Commander, refused a German request to have the fighting stopped immediately. He stuck to the 11am hour as the time, and so over the next six hours, 11,000 more men were killed and wounded. All unnecessary, in an unnecessary war fught for unnecessary reasons that have left us fighting many of the same conflicts a century later.
Private Henry Gunther was a American of German descent (his Grandparents were German immigrants) who hadn’t really wanted to be in the war. He never volunteered, but when he was drafted in September of 1917, he went. He worked his way up to Sergeant, and then got busted back down to Private for being a bit loose with his words in a letter back home. Now, with just one minute left in the War, he decided that he had one last chance to prove to his Unit and his Country that he wasn’t a failure…