Armistice Day

I know that for Americans, this is Veterans Day, a time to commemorate all the living veterans of military service.  For most of the rest of the world, however (and for me, too), it’s Armistice Day.  On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918, the guns fell silent on the Western Front, and World War I was over.  Since then, all around the globe, Armistice Day (also called Remembrance Day) has been a time to celebrate those who died fighting in wars, past and present.

Having seen my fair share of time “up at the sharp end”, you’ll understand that for me, Armistice Day is a sharp, painful reality, something that Veterans Day simply can’t approach in solemnity and majesty.  I’ve written about my fallen comrades (see, for example, here and here), and today I remember them, and pray for their souls.

My sincere and heartfelt thanks to all veterans of US military service.  As a veteran of a foreign military service, who fought the same enemies as you for most of the Cold War, I stand with you this Veterans Day.

To my friends who died in war, on this Remembrance Day . . . sleep well, buddies.  Keep the beer on ice for me.  I’ll be along in due course.



  1. By "11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month" I take that to be 1100 hours (a.k.a. 11:00 A.M.) and not 2300 hours (a.k.a. 11:00 P.M.)

    Also: The best way to show appreciation for all veterans and "thank them for their service" would be to reinstate all the V.A. benefits from years ago that the U.S. government saw fit (for whatever reasons) to completely phase out.
    Lip service and patronizingly sanctimonious gestures are all good and fine, but the real deal would be actually doing something beneficial and substantial for the vets. Actions that actually produce real results.
    I, myself, could stand around all day chanting "Thank you for your service!", but continuously reciting such mantras does little more than add a tad bit more to the noise pollution problems.

  2. Hey Peter;

    I tend to use the phrase "See you in Valhalla or on Fiddler Green". We veterans honor those that have already crossed over and we celebrate our camaraderie with each other because most civilians don't understand our kind and truth be told are a little afraid of us for our humor is uncouth and our speech can be a bit harsh. We live differently than they do for those that have fought for it ,life has a flavor the protected will never know.

  3. Veteran's Day celebrates both living and dead. What Commonwealth Countries call Remembrance day is Memorial Day for us, occurs in May and is derived from Decoration Day which is based on the War of Northern Aggression 1861-1865 (AKA Lincoln's War).

  4. Regardless of your uniform I cared for you. I treated you with respect as an injured warrior. Regardless of your politics I dressed your wounds and allowed no one else to injure you while you were in my care. I cared for heroes and sent some back out to die with the admonition that if the enemy got to me and mine,then he and his friends chances of seeing home again were significantly diminished.
    I am an RN.

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