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Veteran's Day Salute (Nov 11)

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
You may hate war. You must not hate our warriors. Here's my Veteran's Day pictorial tribute to skiing soldiers.

Joint winter operations, US and Japan ski troops: http://community.webshots.com/photo/...96270168FGsTti
Hopefully, they fight better than they ski: http://community.webshots.com/photo/...43271621tVSNUK
Back in the '60s and 70's I used to see many reserve and national guard troops train on the slopes of Blue Knob ski area in Pennsylvania. For many troops those winter weekend drills were their first time on skis.
Interesting winter shot from US troops participating in UN peacekeeping action in Lebanon: http://community.webshots.com/photo/...5714aStCSAxUDP
Break time for Marines during cold weather ops in Norway: http://community.webshots.com/photo/...74854848ScQgSK
Marines practicing ski maneuvers at Mammoth Mtn, CA, note swarm of recreational skiers on same trail: http://community.webshots.com/photo/...60815787CchmFe
This one says it all, Happy Veteran's Day to all the skiing Vets out there: http://community.webshots.com/photo/...62796784MppWoA

The US military, particularly the Army's 10th Mountain Div, had a very strong influence on the history of skiing in America. Founded during WWII and specializing in mountain and winter warfare, many of the 10th's initial group of enlistees were ski pioneers and woodsmen. They went on to start or manage 60+ ski areas (such as Vail, Aspen, Crystal Mtn, Sugarbush, Whiteface), write ski magazines, organize the National Ski Patrol, and achieve many other skiing milestones. The 10th Mountain Division has seen action recently in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The 10th Mountain Division today: http://community.webshots.com/photo/...69867145vIJaGk

Here are a few links relating to the history of America's skiing soldiers:
post #2 of 8
Thanks for putting that together.

The Navy wouldn't even let me water ski.
post #3 of 8
And thanks to the US Army, I got to spend 3 winters skiing in Europe. Woud have been 4 if not for that A-hole Saddam Hussein invading Kuwait....
post #4 of 8
Do you have the Minute's Silence for it? The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month is our Remembrance Day. It's based around WW1, but has tended to be for all people in all wars. So today at 11am, everyone stops. One of my colleagues used the PA system for the building to read the Ode.
post #5 of 8
Thank you! I've been researching the 10th, but I have not yet found these sites. Also, check out Peter Shelton's book, Climb to Conquer.
post #6 of 8
Thanks Ant,
It was at the 11th Hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 that all shooting was to stop in the "War to end all Wars".
In the US it has been expanded from it's original name of "Armistice Day" to be called Veteran's Day. A day to remember and thank ALL Vets from whatever period of conflict. Today (the 10th) I had the privilege of speaking to a bunch of 6th, 7th, & 8th graders about what the "Cold War" was. Actually some pretty savvy kids. They asked some very interesting questions and were abel to figure out the answers with just a few guiding questions back.
To all Vets,
Thank You!
Welcome Home.
post #7 of 8
The Ode:

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.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Recent obit for a remarkable British WWI Vet.

Alfred Anderson, 109; Last Survivor of World War I's 'Christmas Truce' in 1914
From Associated Press

November 22, 2005

Alfred Anderson, believed to be the last surviving soldier to have heard the guns fall silent along the Western Front during the spontaneous "Christmas Truce" of World War I, died Monday. He was 109.

His parish priest, the Rev. Neil Gardner, said Anderson died in his sleep early Monday at a nursing home in Newtyle, Scotland. His death leaves fewer than 10 veterans of World War I alive in Britain.

More than 80 years after the war, Anderson recalled the "eerie sound of silence" as the shooting stopped and soldiers clambered from trenches to greet one another on Dec. 25, 1914.

Born June 25, 1896, Anderson was an 18-year-old soldier in the Black Watch regiment when British and German troops cautiously emerged from the trenches that day. The enemies swapped cigarettes and tunic buttons, sang carols and even played soccer amid the mud, barbed wire and shell-holes of no man's land.

The informal truce spread along much of the 500-mile Western Front, in some cases lasting for days — alarming army commanders who feared fraternization would sap the troops' will to fight. The next year brought the start of vast battles of attrition that claimed 10 million lives, and the Christmas truce was never repeated.

"I remember the silence, the eerie sound of silence," Anderson told Britain's Observer newspaper last year.

"All I'd heard for two months in the trenches was the hissing, cracking and whining of bullets in flight, machine-gun fire and distant German voices," said Anderson, who was billeted in a French farmhouse behind the front lines.

"But there was a dead silence that morning, right across the land as far as you could see. We shouted 'Merry Christmas,' even though nobody felt merry. The silence ended early in the afternoon and the killing started again. It was a short peace in a terrible war."

During the war, Anderson served briefly as valet to Capt. Fergus Bowes-Lyon, brother of the Queen Mother Elizabeth. Bowes-Lyon was killed at the Battle of Loos in 1915.

Prince Charles said he was "deeply saddened" by Anderson's death and recalled meeting him several times.

"We should not forget him, and the others of his generation who have given so much for their country," the heir to the British throne said.

Anderson fought in France until 1916, when he was wounded by shrapnel from an explosion that killed several of his colleagues.

After his discharge, he married Susan Iddison, an English nanny. They moved to Scotland, where Anderson took over his father's building business in Newtyle. They were married for more than 50 years before Susan Anderson died of complications from a stroke in 1979. She was 83.

Gardner said Anderson "was quite philosophical about his wartime experiences." Anderson himself said he tried to put them out of his mind.

"I think about all my friends who never made it home," he said once. "But it's too sad to think too much about it. Far too sad."

In 1998, he was awarded France's Legion of Honor for his war service

Anderson is survived by four children, 10 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
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