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Veteran's Day

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I just wanted to take a second to thank all you Vets out there. Your service insures our freedom. Places like EpicSki or free discourse would not be possible without your sacrafices and the full measure of devotion your fallen comrades have made. Thanks for your service.
post #2 of 24
Well said, SprgHlCrz.
post #3 of 24
Hear, hear!

Wear your poppies.
post #4 of 24
Thanks SprgHICrz.

Far to often we forget how high the price of freedom really is.

In this time when there are so many we hate us and our freedom, we need to really thank those whose protect us today. We should also reflect on that precious gift of freedom so many have died to give us. What does freedom mean to you?
post #5 of 24
Hear, hear, and a double dose of thanks to the men of the 10th Mountain division and their efforts after the end of their service to create the US ski industry. They helped win the most terrible, dangerous, and deadly war in human history and came home with the crazy idea that skiing was better than fighting.

Thanks again!!

post #6 of 24
November 8, 1942 - that's when the land war began. The Americans landed in Africa. In spite of not being war ready and in many ways inept, they eventually threw Rommel out of Africa and went on from there. I haven't heard much talk about it this November 8th - perhaps people have been waiting a few days until the 11th, when the offical recognition of veterans is scheduled.

Today at my fitiness club, I happened to engage in conversation with an elderly man, and I mentioned Veterans Day. He's a vet, and with some prodding from me, he told of his last bombing sortie over Germany - this was December 7, 1944. He was a ball turret gunner, under the belly of the B-17. The plane was hit, and lost its entire belly from the ball turret forward. The radio man was blasted from the plane, but he got his chute open, landed safely, and was captured - he wrote the story to this vet about two months after the war in Europe ended. The temperature at that altitude was about 30 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, and all means of heat had been knocked out by the blast. Somehow, the plane made it to Belgium where the British were in control, and landed in the snow, skidding through several hedgerows before it came to a stop. The vet was the only one actually hit by shrapnel, and he'd taken it in five places in his arms, legs, and chest. He was soaked with gasoline. After the plane came to a stop, the rear gunner threw the vet out of the plane into the snow so he wouldn't ignite if the plane caught fire. For whatever reason, the plane never caught fire.

The old vet was here today by sheer luck. So many others weren't so lucky.

Because of what they did, I am here, alive. Otherwise I would not be - here, or alive. I can not ever think of this fact with a dry eye or without profound gratitude. I listened until the vet said nothing more, and then I said, "Thank you for what you did."

For all vets reading this whom I have not had the honor to meet, thank you for what you did.

[ November 11, 2002, 04:59 PM: Message edited by: oboe ]
post #7 of 24
Ball turret gunner was the subject of a History Channel show entitled "Suicide Missions".
post #8 of 24
The Second World War started in 1939, a few years before what was stated above.
But the reason for the poppies, and for November 11th is twofold, but both date back to the First World War (1914-1918)
In Flanders, where some of the fiercest fighting took place, the soldiers (I was going to say "British" soldiers, but there were many from other nations fighting along side the British) fell and died among the poppy fields. The poppies became the flowers at their graves.
In 1918, when Germany was defeated, an armistice was signed at 11am on 11th November.
A few months later a letter was published in a UK newspaper suggesting that it would be a good idea to remember those who had given their lives that we might remain free. The king read the article, and felt this was an appropriate suggestion, and so, ever since, we in the UK have remembered those who have died fighting for our country in various wars.
Remembrance Sunday is the day that we hold the services of remembrance, including the laying of wreaths of poppies at cenotaphs and war memorials around the country.

…As an aside, it also holds significance to those in Northern Ireland, because at one of these services in the 1980s, republican terrorists decided to plant a bomb to murder those at the remembrance service. The person who authorised this act is now the Minister for Education in Northern Ireland…

During the Remembrance services, a verse of a poem by Lawrence Binyon is normally read out. The poem is entitled “For The Fallen”. The day is not a day of nationalistic flag waving or pride, but a day for remembering those who gave their lives, and those who survived to protect our freedom.

For the Fallen
With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill: Death August and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted:
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the starts that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end they remain.
post #9 of 24
Thank you for that post, Fox, and for the history.

By my statement above, I did not intend to say that the Second World War started on that date, but that was the date that the U.S. was first in the LAND war and essentially began the allied offensive that led to victory. Until then, I believe, U.S. involment had been at sea and in the air, but not on land. Although it was not the beginining of the war, as such, it is nevertheless an historic date, and I wish that it had received more attention in the press and from the public.

Curiously, by the way, the first opposition in that campaign was from the Vichy French . . . but that's another story.
post #10 of 24
Wasn't the first American land action of WWII the invasion of Guadalcanal in August 1942?

Interestingly, Roosevelt initially believed that Operation Torch (the Anglo-American invasion of North Africa) would rule out the invasion of Europe proposed for 1943, but he agreed to support Churchill - the Soviet Union had been putting pressure on the US and Britain to open a second front in Europe, to relieve the pressure on the Russian forces.
post #11 of 24
Below are a few minor corrections to the WWII timeline.

The Second World War was not limited to the European theater. The war started in the Pacific theater in 1931 when Japan invaded Manchuria and installed a puppet regime. The Japanese expanded the war to China in 1937. The United States was attacked on December 7, 1941.

The war’s exact beginning date in Europe and Africa is a bit hazier. Some believe the war began in 1939 when Germany invaded non-Sudetenland Czechoslovakia, and subsequently Poland. I find the following to be more accurate: Italy invaded Ethiopia in 1935. The League of Nations lifted a limp wrist of minor trade sanctions in response. Fortunately for the world, Italy was militarily incompetent and the invasion and the results (along with Italy’s later WWII military results in North Africa) limited Italy to a minor role in WWII. Germany, however, understood that the League of Nations (and the world) was unwilling to take significant action in response to any threat. In 1935, Germany began a rapid build-up of military forces in breach of the Treaty of Versailles. In 1936, Germany “invaded” or as historians like to say “remilitarized” the Rhineland. In 1938, Germany demanded the “return” of one half of Czechoslovakia called the Sudetenland (this was primarily a German speaking people). The Munich Agreement was signed in 1938 granting Germany’s demand but requiring no further territorial demands or aggression. This appeasement by “a thousand cuts” didn’t work, and Germany began the invasion of Europe, Africa, Northern Asia and the Middle East in 1939.

It is my opinion that WWII began in the Pacific in 1931 with Japan’s invasion of Manchuria and in Europe in 1935 with Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia. The resulting war, which resulted in the loss of between 65 million and 100 million lives and horrific economic costs would likely have been avoided if the world had taken a firm stand against Japan, Italy and Germany early in the conflict.

On a more modern note, I do not believe that the current UN/Iraq event is similar to the Cuban Missile Crisis or Germany in the late 1930’s; it is similar to Italy in the 1930’s. I have no confidence in appeasement as a strategy of avoiding war, only as a strategy of delaying and intensifying war.

post #12 of 24
Points all well taken, and thank you, Belfast Child and Maddog1959.

I'm impressed with your knowledge and interest. Unfortunately, in this neck of the woods, I think our high school students learn little of this.

How all of this applies today I dare not say.
post #13 of 24
I too would like to thank all vets.

My father fought in both the European theater and the Pacific theater as well as Korea.

We could go back on Japan to when the USA under commodore Perry, blockaded Japanese ports in 1853 ending the Japanese isolation and directly lead to their military buildup to prevent another occurance. They decided to pay us back on December 7, 1941.

I was in the Air Force stationed at Andrews AFB (AirForce one) under the Nixion administration.
post #14 of 24
.... For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that and "Tommy wait outside";

But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the troopers on the tide,

The troopship's on the tide my boys, the troopship's on the tide,

O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the troopers on the tide.

........ For it's Tommy this, an Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute"

But it's "Saviour of "is country" when the guns begin to shoot;

An' it's Tommy this, and Tommy that, an' anything you please;

An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool -- you bet that Tommy sees!

R. Kipling
post #15 of 24
WTFH - The Canadians were alongside the British at Flanders.

A Canadian poem came out of there as well, and like yours, is recited at the Rememberance Day services, here in Canada. I used to know it from memory, but tonight I had to look it up, although it came back to me as I read it. John McCrae was a doctor serving in Europe. The story is that he wrote it in the back of an ambulance, in 20 minutes. He never made it home, dying in a field hospital in 1918.


In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly,
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

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.

Take up our quarrel with the foe;
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
post #16 of 24
Yes, it wasn't just the Brits fighting, and we do remember the other nations. The ANZACS played a big part. That poem is one used here as well.
Back in school days we studied War Poetry as part of our English Literature classes. The poems will be here long after the people and pictures have faded from memory. The poems should help us remember what these young men went through for us.

post #17 of 24
Likewise we in Australia remember ALL those who did not return. On the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour we observe 2 minutes of silence in their memory.

Likewise the day is not a day of nationalistic flag waving or pride, but a day for remembering those who gave their lives, and those who survived to protect our freedom.

Likewise we recite the "Ode to the Fallen" on Remembrance Day

The First World War shaped our nation and sowed the seeds for our Federation.

The Second World War formed the basis of our multi cultural society.

The Vietnam War connected us to Asia and removed many racial prejudices with a huge influx of refugees that are now part of our society.

I am not sure where we are at in the present moment though. Sometimes it seem like we are going through a huge regression back to times of fear and discrimination.


[ November 13, 2002, 03:57 PM: Message edited by: man from oz ]
post #18 of 24
On a more modern note, I do not believe that the current UN/Iraq event is similar to the Cuban Missile Crisis or Germany in the late 1930’s; it is similar to Italy in the 1930’s. I have no confidence in appeasement as a strategy of avoiding war, only as a strategy of delaying and intensifying war
Do not let the powers at work in the world fool you into believing that a conventional warfare based invasion of Iraq will end terrorism in it present form.

The world is a very, very different place than it was in 1930s, yet a 1930s based solution is mooted as a solution to world peace.

It just is not that simple any more.

post #19 of 24
Originally posted by man from oz:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />On a more modern note, I do not believe that the current UN/Iraq event is similar to the Cuban Missile Crisis or Germany in the late 1930’s; it is similar to Italy in the 1930’s. I have no confidence in appeasement as a strategy of avoiding war, only as a strategy of delaying and intensifying war
Do not let the powers at work in the world fool you into believing that a conventional warfare based invasion of Iraq will end terrorism in it present form.

The world is a very, very different place than it was in 1930s, yet a 1930s based solution is mooted as a solution to world peace.

It just is not that simple any more.

</font>[/quote]I don't believe that an invasion of Iraq will solve world terrorism. Nor do I believe that it will cause the cataclysmic events prophesied by the peace at all costs crowd. Nor do I believe that the League of Nations cracking down on Japan in 1931 or Italy in 1935 would have deterred WWII but it might have, or it might have made Germany more tentative in its aggression and military buildup, giving Russia more time to rebuild its military from Stalin's savage purges. No one can know what could have happened, but it is unlikely that anything worse than the loss of 65 million to 100 million lives would have happened.

Forcing Iraq to bend to international will with respect to weapons will make other dictators and terrorist take note that times have changed and the cold war is over. These brutes can't take advantage of the cold warring powers to cover for their brutality. North Korea, Iran, and the rogue terrorists (and others - particularly the petty dictators) will take note that things have changed and they need to pay attention. This will happen no matter how Iraq is tamed, whether by war or sanctions and inspectors.

The only real failure would be appeasement of Iraq and the resultant emboldenment of the terror class. That would be a catastrophe.

The only viable solution to this problem is democracy, which I believe will take many decades to take root in the Middle East.

Oh, oz, it never was that simple. Just ask the tens of millions of dead how easy it was.

post #20 of 24
Awe come on guys it is that simple.

Bush/Blair make a back door deal with Putin to develop the Russian oil fields taking pressure off both mid east dependance for oil and allowing Russia to return to a pre-stalinist state. Russians keep the oil development contracts with post war Iraq and supply US/British companies with cheap oil. France is guaranteed repayment and oil. Putin builds a pipeline to Mermansk and ahhhh North Korea? Gee, they gotta go, one of the evil 4.
Iraq/Russia becomes the oil stabilizing country and the Saudis are forced to reduce oil production by 50%. Vulnerable, they will not supply the goods the the terroists any longer. Saudi Royals may not survive. Iran? Squeezed between Russia and an Iraq occupied democracy. Iran, ahhh next chechnea?

In short all the terrorist countries will be severely squeezed. The US will have oil, Bush will be re-elected without touching ANWAR oil reserves and the terroist money will dry up and the Roman Empire will survive.

Big question. Will tiawan survive or has it been negoiated out of existence?
post #21 of 24
The picture still has many parts missing. Does Mother Russia still want an ice free port? Oil had always been a fat but secondary issue.

Can't the poor vets have one simple bit o' thanks without playing a political f'en agenda/card.

Hell, if would have realized that the Aussies woulda been so darned resistant to reality, I'd never have "fought so hard" defending RAAF Townsville in 69.

Warm beer, ok ...... a matter of the culture and taste. Waxed/shiny toilet tissue, that I could not accept; nope just can't. :

[ November 13, 2002, 07:07 PM: Message edited by: yuki ]
post #22 of 24
sorry Yuki, my appologies for going off topic
post #23 of 24
Well, to really bring this back on topic, about the Vets (whatever country).
My father was in the First Marine Division in WWII and while I was growing up he never talked about the war. I mean almost never, and he never made a big deal about it. Now that he's quite old, he's started talking about it, and that makes me a little nervous, because I have this feeling that he's, well, reviewing his life.
Meanwhile, my father in law was in the Navy (European Theater) in WWII. I don't know if he talked about it much in the 50s and 60s, but I do know that for the last quarter century my mother in law has tried to get him to take a cruise, and the old boy has resisted forever. His line has been that the last time he was on a boat that big it was the goddamned USNavy and he'll be damned if he's getting back on one of those things anytime soon. Eventually, she got him on a cruise, and he still grumbles (even though I'm pretty sure he didn't wash any dishes on that voyage, much less get straffed).
Whatever, I think most of our veterans were civilians at heart, and that makes what they did all the more significant.
post #24 of 24
Used to work in a Vet Affairs hospital - 11th of November was a BIG day there.

Miss the dear old things
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