Veterans Day Nov. 11, 2009

Honor RollIMG_0229

Today is a national holiday to honor those who are veterans of any war that the U.S. has engaged in. It is also celebrated as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other parts of the world, falling on November 11, the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. (Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice.) (Source: Wikipedia) Wikipedia also notes that the spelling has been spelled Veteran’s Day and Veterans’ Day, but that the United States government has declared that the attributive (no apostrophe) rather than the possessive case is the official spelling. (This was new to me.)

The picture above was one I took when we were traveling a couple of weeks ago. The plaques were surrounded by something called Burning Bushes—not their real name. At the nursery I was told that these plants are from Asia and take over the native plants, so they are called invasive. Their popularity stems fromt he fact that they turn red only in the Fall. Beautiful, but not ecologically sound.

Burning BushIMG_0228

One of the Burning Bush plants surrounding the Veterans Honor Roll

While I find war a horrific way to resolve problems, I find the death of so many soldiers, in all countries also horrific. But I also feel we need to honor those who have survived and returned home to start their lives again.

Below is a poem for a veteran who has died. It came from It’s quite lovely, especially the line about the gentle autumn rain, so fitting today because it has been raining off and on in Philadelphia.
Take a few moments today to pay homage to all the veterans of all the wars.

Eulogy for a Veteran

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the mornings hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight,
I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die.


To all veterans, past and present, this is your day!

One thought on “Veterans Day Nov. 11, 2009

  1. Beautiful poem! If only it were not so for so many. We spent time in class talking about Veterans Day. Beautiful bush – sorry it’s a problem.


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