It's Veterans Day in the U-S, Remembrance Day in Canada.
Quotable: "It's Veterans Day. It’s NOT on the calendar for you to go out and get a new set of bed sheets, four new tires or sit on your ass because you have the day off from work or school. Tell your dad, grandfather, uncle, brother or neighbor that you appreciate their military service. Tell them you appreciate the sacrifice they made at 18, 19, or 20 years old so you could live in the greatest country in the world. And stop whining about how tough your life is. Find a WWII vet, buy him a cup of coffee, shut up and let HIM tell YOU about having it tough."
Factoid: 61 percent of Americans have a family member who has served in the military. (Source: Pew Research Center)
How Veteran's Day came about-Bradley's Believe it Or Not:
Many people don't know that Veteran's Day was founded because this is the day in 1918 that World War One ended. It's been 95 years since the guns stopped firing on the morning that ended World War I, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Germany, having exhausted manpower and supplies and faced with imminent invasion, signed an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car outside Compiègne, France. The following year, Armistice Day was declared a national day of mourning by then-President WOODROW WILSON.
In Europe, Nov 11 is still remembered as Armistice Day. Here in the United States, we changed the name to Veterans Day back in 1954.
The First World War left nine million soldiers dead and 21 million wounded, with Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary, France and Great Britain each losing nearly a million or more lives. In addition, at least five million civilians died from disease, starvation, or exposure. It was supposed to be the war to end all wars. If they only knew then.
The renaming of the day is symbolic given how differently the day is commemorated on each side of the Atlantic. Here, we celebrate survivors of all the nation's 20th and 21st century wars --all veterans of all wars and their families. In France and Britain, the mood is altogether more somber. There, it is the dead who have been the focus of the ceremonies.
Because we've never had to defend our own soil, and because that First World War saw losses of perhaps three million men in France, England and Germany, it's probably safe to say the psychological impact of that war has never left Europe and it might explain the pacifism or at least the aversion to war that exists on that continent --unlike here in the United States where we always seem so ready to go to war, often hastily and recklessly.
Caring for the troops now:
Want to send a care package to any soldier in Harm's Way, but have no idea of what to send, who to send it to, or how? Head over to www.anysoldier.com. Many of the care packages go to soldiers who haven't family back home to send them anything.
Sergeant BRIAN HORN, a soldier with the 173rd Airborne Brigade from LaPlata, MD, was in the Kirkuk area of Iraq when he started the idea of Any Soldier to help care for his unit. He agreed to distribute packages that came to him with "Attn: Any Soldier" in his address to soldiers who didn't get mail.
Factoid: The Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that last year around 13 percent of America's homeless population was veterans.
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