There was no mail today. I had forgotten that today was Veteran’s Day and I guess all the government offices were closed. In Europe this day is known as Remembrance Day, at least in all the English speaking parts, I don’t know what they call it in Germany or France or anywhere else. It used to be called Armistice Day; that was the day that the First World War ended in 1918. The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. It was the end of the war that would end all wars.
When I was growing up, it was the veterans of WWI that were honored foremost amongst all veterans. I guess these old soldiers were in their late 70’s or 80’s then and I thought they were all ancient.
Then I started to wonder about 10 years ago why I never heard any reference to the WWI veterans anymore and now I think I have figured it out. Sometimes I'm not that quick. They are all dead except for a handful. All the Germans, all the French are dead and no has yet to wheel out anyone from the US, Russia or Turkey (the Ottoman Empire) to represent so I don’t know about them. In fact the only person that I have heard of who saw combat and is still living is Henry Allingham from Great Britain and he’s 112 years old.
90 years ago today. 90 years ago and they thought that mankind had finally learned to live in peace together and that nations would no longer need to take up arms against one another. Differences would be discussed and dealt with diplomatically with the League of Nations. Boy, were they wrong.
I wonder what people will be thinking of 90 years from now. Will people be honoring members of the armed forces from Afghanistan and or Iraq? Will any of those vets still be alive to tell their stories, show us their artificial limbs, say why they still can't sleep at night sometimes? Will any of us be around to hear them? Will any of us be able to explain to them why?