For Veterans’ Day (U.S.), Remembrance Day, or Armistice Day, whatever it may be called in your part of the world, I want to thank everyone who is serving, or has served, to protect all of us at home. Both my own family and the one I married into are full of veterans. One of my uncles was involved in D-Day. My father was in the Army Air Forces in WWII, my brother in the Navy in Vietnam, and one of his sons was in Iraq last year, and now is in flight surgeon training. My brother-in-law was in the Navy during Vietnam; one of his sons was in the Navy during Desert Storm, and one of my nephew’s daughters is in the Navy. I thank then, all veterans and currently serving military.
I cannot do any better than this post that Another Damned Medievalist posted on Blogenspiel last year, and so I urge you to go read the full poem by John McCrae. I will quote one stanza from it here:
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.
I am the youngest of four children, raised in the old-fashioned Irish-American way. I suspect my mother encouraged me to write from an early age to keep me out of her hair, although she may have regretted the decision when my teachers began to call about the controversial stories I was writing. Thus I began my career of butting heads with the good sisters at my Catholic elementary school, and ended it by leaving high school for college with no diploma. I wear my high-school dropout badge rebelliously and proudly.
In college, I became fascinated with the Middle Ages, which was described as a “starry night” by one of my professors. So began a trek through languages and legends that informs my narrative non-fiction and historical fiction, as well as my blogs.
I love feedback and enjoy discussing ideas. I have an accountability blog for the Round of Words in Eighty Days entitled Leavekeeping; I write a blog on literary history, intellectual history, and the history of words entitled Lapidary Prose. I'm on Twitter and Facebook; my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
View all posts by Elizabeth Anne Mitchell
3 thoughts on “Veterans’ Day”
Great stuff Elizabeth! I love that poem. If I can, please let me share one of my favorites with you. It is from Chief Tecumseh of the Shawnee Nation. I think his message is a very good message for Veterans Day.
So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart.
Trouble no one about their religion;
respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours.
Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life.
Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people.
Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.
Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend,
even a stranger, when in a lonely place.
Show respect to all people and grovel to none.
When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living.
If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself.
Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools
and robs the spirit of its vision.
When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled
with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep
and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way.
Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.
Thanks for sharing that poem, Zack. It’s appropriate for every day, I think, although certainly it hits the mark on Veterans’ Day.
This is such an important day to remember those who have fought for our way of life.