Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veteran's Day

Cemetery and Ossuary at Verdun, France
(picture borrowed from Wikipedia)
Though most in our nation are more concerned with playing with their iphones and ipads they should take a few moments to remember why they have tomorrow off.  It's not just  a holiday that's been moved to a Monday so they can have a 3 day weekend.
At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month World War I ended and it was hoped that because it had been so horrible that it would be the war to end all wars.  Unfortunately that was not to be.
I can remember visiting Verdun in France in the 1970's, viewing the trenches that were still there surrounded by barbwire and still looking like soldiers had just left them.  It was a cold February day and there was fog about giving an eery feeling to it all.   We visited  the graveyards and saw  the ossuary that contained the bones of those who couldn't even be identified.
The battle of Verdun lasted from the 21st of February 1916 till the 18th of December.  More than 714,321 French and German soldiers were killed.  The ossuary contains the bones of 130,000 French and German soldiers who couldn't be identified.  You look through small windows and see the mounds of bones inside.
It was a harrowing experience, made a bit of a passifist of me, for a while that is.
For as horrible as war is I do believe there are things worth fighting for and dieing for.  Your family, your freedom , your country.
My husband is a veteran and today, and every day I say, thank you for the job you do, for making our way of life possible.

3 comments:

  1. We all need to remember the sacrifices that were made in the past and are still being made today.
    I had no idea that there was an ossuary at Verdun filled with the bones of unidentified French and German soldiers - it must be a dreadful sight to see.

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  2. Thanks to Mac, to my dad, to all who have been willing to serve their country in this way.

    The Imperial War Museum had a fascinating exhibit about WWI trench life - back in 2008 I think - including a very realistic walk-through mock trench.

    That was a very nasty war. (But they all are.)

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  3. Thank him for me!
    I was a little girl watching Vietnam on t.v. and had no clue really about what it all was.

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