Veterans Day / Armistice Day [11/11/22]


Women in truck / Sailors, Soldiers, Women in YWCA
Going to Work / John Cullen Murphy / 1944 / source: / Soldiers, Sailors, And Women Guests / Walter Tittle, 1917/ Credit:

Ways To Remember

This is the 104th anniversary of the end of the War To End All Wars, and, well, the less said about that name, the better.

But we still remember, at least most of us. Trump notoriously wanted to forget, lying that a mild mist was so terrible that a visit to the Aisne-Marne Cemetery was too dangerous for him to endure. And of course he mocked John McCain’s time as a POW and called the US war dead in France “suckers” and “losers” while his supporters cheered him anyway.

The NY Times today has nothing about Veterans Day, just as they decided to eliminate all mentions of September 11 on the anniversary this year. AG Sulzberger’s paper has other priorities now.

But not everyone is on the same page as Trump and the NY Times. Parades continue all across the country, and wreaths are being laid at memorials all over.

African American soldiers
African American soldiers, Company G, 9th US Volunteer Infantry, 1899 / Source:

Let’s talk about a favorite book, movie, painting, or something else that remembers veterans.

Studs Terkel’s The Good War is a book I really enjoyed. If you haven’t read it, he collected a lot of interviews with Americans who contributed to the fight against fascism in World War II, and it’s a fantastic collection of voices.

Do you have a collection of personal mementos you hope to pass on — letters, photos, videos? Does your classic rock radio station broadcast the standard playlist of songs like Born in the USA, or does your classical music station play Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem? Do you read In Flanders Fields?

Do you have a favorite movie or series that focuses on everyday people who served, like Band of Brothers or Glory? Or maybe are you a fan of Bill Mauldin’s cartoons of the GIs Willie and Joe?

I took a walk today in some crummy weather by the local World War II memorial and an American Legion Hall decorated for the holiday.

World War II memorial
This Memorial is Erected in Honor of Those Young Men From This Community Who Made the Supreme Sacrifice During World War II
American Legion Hall

Let’s remember some veterans, or ways of remembering them. And as always, thanks for stopping by.



  1. My grandfather enlisted in the army during WWI. He got into a fight with a superior officer and was going to be court martialed when it was discovered that he was only 15 years old. So they sent him home and he re-enlisted when he turned 18.
    My father fought in WWII with the 45th Division. He was wounded at Anzio Beach and was awarded a Purple Heart. He was discharged before they liberated Dachau and was extremely relieved that he didn’t have to see that.

    • Do you know if either had any interest in reading about their wars, watching movies, or anything like that? It’s only fairly recently that people have come to realize that a lot of avoidance among vets of those eras was a sign of coping with a lot of stress they weren’t supposed to show.

      • I never knew my grandfather so I couldn’t say about him. My father was a history buff but studiously avoided anything to do with WWII. He rarely mentioned it and his few reminisces were generally unpleasant. He was only 19 years old at Anzio and it was a horrific experience.

  2. As I’ve mentioned, my father did 23 years in the navy. We have his memorabilia, including black and white photos of bombs exploding in the water off of the destroyer he was on. I have a cap from and Memorial wall name rubbing of my beloved cousin who died too young in Vietnam.

    • 23 years is such a major commitment.

      And the Wall remains such a great work of art. It’s odd that it was so controversial at the time for its simplicity. There are memorials all over from before the Vietnam Memorial which are just variations on a wall with names of the fallen, such as the local one above. Maya Lin was just reworking that older tradition in a very respectful way.

      • I always thought it had to do with the scale and how completely in your face the loss of life is. Like my little municipality has a single monument to residents who have died in wars, starting with WW1. But there’s only about 10k people in my municipality now, so when you look at the scale it’s a memorial of the loss of about 50 lives over the course of like 5 wars and 100 years.

  3. As someone who worked first retail and then a call center, I have negative feelings about Veteran’s Day. Inevitably people would lose their shit because we weren’t giving their father a free sandwich or a discount on whatever shit they wanted to buy at Target.

    And it was never the actual vet being a dickbag about it, typically it was their adult child throwing the fit.

    • One year at the call center job, a regional franchisee decided to promote vets get a free you pick 2 combo and fucking USA Today misprinted it on their website as a nationwide promotion for veterans. You bet your ass we got a fuckton of pissed off people about that one, despite the fact that the vast majority of cafe managers just gave the free meal to vets.

  4. I have a few people in my life who rose to the call of arms (for whatever reasons.)

    My eldest uncle served with an Imperial Japanese Army AA unit in Tokyo and he witnessed the 1945 firebombing. The same uncle would end up enlisting as an artillery officer for the ROK Army during the Korean War and was assigned originally to the 6th Infantry Division ROK who went to the Yalu with MacArthur and never returned (he left for compassionate reasons (birth of a cousin) just before the Chinese attacked and wiped them out.)

    A cousin fought with the Capitol Division of the ROK in Vietnam and died in an ambush.  Not sure how, just that an aunt still cries over her son’s death.

    Another (half) uncle served with an armored unit in Vietnam and rose up the ranks to command an armored division during the 1980s.

    My late friend’s father was one of the last remaining surviving crew of the Prinz Eugen and possibly one of the last men alive to ever see the Hood and Bismark fight.  His experiences in the war traumatized him.  He never told his son about his experiences till after a mental breakdown due to a opioid addiction about the time his gun captain took a 23mm cannon shell to the chest and he had to take his position amid gore and blood or that he shot down 2 Russian bombers. Of course he never talked about it considering he served on a Nazi Warship.

    An internet friend I know served with the 7th Fleet during the Gulf of Tonkin Incident.  He learned first hand about the lies and the fact that one of the US Navy destroyers nearly shot the other US Navy destroyer.  Later on, he joined the anti-war movement.

  5. Today is also Kurt Vonnegut’s birthday. This is a line from Breakfast of Champions .

    Armistice Day has become Veterans’ Day. Armistice Day was sacred. Veterans’ Day is not.

    Seemed appropriate.

  6. band of brothers is on my forever replay list….its just really good

    my dad was a recipient of thatchers short sharp shock..which ended up with him serving during the troubles

    dude never really got over that one

    was a damn good shot tho……you know….once he got around to it after splaining this rifle is pretty light compared to the bren gun he had to climb the dover cliffs with

    • One of the crazy things to think about Band of Brothers is that it only covers about 11 months. There were lots of people who were in for over five years, and that was short as far as a lot of wars go.


      • well it tells the american side of the story…….and that kinda makes it a fun watch

        dont get me wrong on that….theres plenty death and horror and all that shit

        but its not like the european war stories

        it was fucking nasty here

        • On my one brief trip to Amsterdam my wife and I went to the Frank house. It’s pretty much impossible to think about how Anne and the rest of the family went into the hidden section in 1942 and had just no idea how long they were going to be there after that. One week? Ten years? Or were the Nazis going to start smashing every house one by one looking for Jews? And they were just one story.

          • we have a disturbing amount of stolpersteine here

            its a brutal reminder to not forget your past

            those little bronze plaques are left everywhere a jewish family used to live before ww2

            theres a lot of them in my town

  7. Millennials rejoice!

    Today is also the day that Ash Ketchum finally became the #1 Pokémon trainer in the world.

    I can’t believe I’ve been consuming Pokémon media for 25 years (mostly through gaming but I used to watch the show).

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