The Watering Hole: November 11 – Veterans Day

I do not know if anyone here remembers Armistice Day. Every November 11th, at the entire elementary school that I attended, the entire staff and student body would trudge down to the auditorium where at the 11th minute of the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month we would be given an injection of patriotism and told about our God-given duty to buy savings stamps for Federal Savings Bonds. I filled about a half-dozen books and lost each and every one during our move to Dallas from Baltimore in 1953.

As you might have well guessed, the saving stamp collection drives did not miss a beat but the stamp books that I accumulated in Dallas as well as the bonds converted from the stamp books were lost when the family moved to New Jersey. All-in-all I believe that I alone am the fount for about 20% of the national debt.

Getting back to the subject, on October 8th, 1954, President Eisenhower signed HR 7786 which changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day and declared it a Federal holiday.

Today, we have a different twist – In many school districts, Veterans day is not even observed neither as a holiday nor in ceremony. Religious holidays have filled the calendar to the extent that Veterans Day has become just another school or work day (Yes, Christmas and Good Friday are religious holidays). My granddaughter is going to school today and my daughter-in-law is going to work as well. My son has the day off and plans to celebrate by continuing on a law school assignment.

It seems that our nation is continuing to lose its patriotic values in the Tea-Party universe. The only whimpers that I hear are the desire to cancel provisions in the law that boost taxes for the super rich per the current tax bill (Signed by G. W. Bush.) and those that will end entitlement programs that have framed retirement decisions as well as assisting the most needy in our society for decades. – All in the names of Jesus Christ.

This is our open thread. Please feel free to offer your own comments on this or any other topic.

26 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: November 11 – Veterans Day

  1. Thank-you to all our veterans. I have long wondered why bank employees get today off, yet so many actual veterans work. It would be great if all veterans had today off, while the rest of us picked up the slack.
    I wonder what happened to my savings bond stamp books.

  2. Walt and Outstanding – I remember the savings bond stamp books. There were red stamps and green stamps and the stamps could be purchased on, I think, a weekly basis at school. Now, instead of supporting our veterans and our country, school boards want to teach creationism. I would love to see the return of Civics to the school curriculum.

    Happy Veterans’ Day to those who served.

  3. Here’s a little of what’s going on in my town concerning Veteran’s Day:

    NASA Veterans Honored at Marshall Space Flight Center

    NASA honored the agency’s military veterans during a ceremony Tuesday morning.

    World War II veteran Dr. Michael Susko recalled his early days at NASA when Russia launched Sputnik and pushed Huntsville into the space race.

    I went to school with Dr. Susko’s children.

    7 Veterans Inducted Into the Hall of Heroes

    Servicemen and women all across the country will be honored for Veteran’s day Thursday.

    Wednesday night the holiday kicked off in the Tennessee Valley with the annual Hall of Heroes Dinner at the Von Braun Center.

    Veterans Day Parade Today In Downtown Huntsville

    Hundreds of people will gather in downtown Huntsville today to honor veterans in north Alabama. The annual Veterans Day parade is at 11am.

    Two Veterans Awarded With High School Diplomas

    Some special guests at Cullman High School’s Veteran’s day program.

    It was graduation day for two veterans. Lou Burton and Larry Folds received their diplomas Wednesday.

    My dad showed up for classes at his high school in Hazel Green after his WW2 service in the fall of 1945. The principal, rather than re-enrolling him, awarded him his diploma right then, telling him he had already earned it through his service. He was 25 at the time, and married to my mom already.

    I checked the school calendar, and the kids are out of school today here in Huntsville. Of course NASA and Redstone Arsenal are closed today, so you can actually get out this morning in pretty light traffic, if you’ve somewhere to be early today.

  4. No thanks, Zxbe, I’m not on a holiday cruise today.

    The trouble began when the 113,000-ton Splendor lost power Monday morning after an engine room fire. No one was injured, but the ship was entirely disabled, left adrift about 200 miles off Mexico for two days until the Coast Guard and tugboats arrived Wednesday. Navy helicopters brought more than 65,000 pounds of croissants, Pop-Tarts and Spam to the hungry passengers.

  5. Given that my military service option popped up the moment my fifth college deferment expired in Spring of ’65, the whole concept was untenable by definition. Vietnam. No way. I got lucky, didn’t have to run to Canada and hide, took a job in the research department of a company that was financed strictly by the Feds. I worked with mucous membrane irritant dissemination devices, also on a “tunnel denial” project, one that hoped to cause, say, 5000 VC in a tunnel setup to all shit at the same time. Never knew how that one turned out. But my deferment lasted long enough for the draft board to lose interest in me.

    To this day I’m glad I made the choice I did. Vietnam was nothing other than a political travesty, a neat way to finance the M.I.C. — that detestable industrial conglomeration which profited immensely from war; that same detestable industrial conglomeration for which I worked, the one that allowed me my draft deferment. Sometimes the choices one must make are both simple and difficult at the same time.

    That was forty-five freakin’ years ago, and still we as a nation haven’t learned our lesson. Veteran’s Day: I weep for the fallen, respect forever the service of all who went — even as I continue to detest the undercurrent part of America that insists we continue the process. Profit, you know.

    Recall the words of American industrialist Charles E. Wilson (1886-1972) president of General Electric (1940-42, 1945-50), head of the Office of Defense Mobilization in 1951, US secretary of defense (1953-57), in an internal memo, 1944:

    โ€œThe revulsion against war . . . will be an almost insuperable obstacle for us to overcome. For that reason, I am convinced that we must begin now to set the machinery in motion for a permanent wartime economy.โ€

  6. I was in that first year of young men who were not drafted for Vietnam. I had a nice, low draft number, and had to rely on Congress and Tricky Dicky to not change their mind and expand the war in Vietnam once more.

    War, now, is more a means to control the U.S. population than to stop an invasion. It is fought for profits (always has been) for the ruling class, sending poor minions to violent and horrible deaths.

    We glorify the soldier and villify the pacifist.

    For me, Veteran’s Day is not a day of national pride, but one of saddness.

    Maybe someday, we’ll outgrow the need for armies, for wars, for killing people for profit.

    And, yes, I do respect our veterans. I just wish we didn’t have to turn young men and women into veterans in the first place.

  7. In the second Doctor Who episode with Christopher Eccleston, Rose and the Doctor attend a reception of dignitaries to watch the end of Earth. One delegation to the ceremony was a group of black robed creatures from Financial Family Seven, called “The Appearance of the Repeated Meme”.

    It figures. Five billion years from now there will still be Republicans! ๐Ÿ˜€

  8. Good morning all.

    Frugal, that Wilson quote sums up where we are today. They did their job well, didn’t they? And now we end up in that place Eisenhower warned us about.

    I respect all our veterans, and like BnF, I just wish they didn’t have to be in harm’s way to begin with. Too many come home forever changed in body, mind and soul–and too many don’t come home at all.

    The other night we had a young police officer killed while trying to catch a guy running from a hit-and-run. The officer served two tours in Iraq, and ended up killed in his hometown by a hardened, violent con who should never have been out of jail in the first place. Here’s to you, Ryan. You made the world a better place, and this community will miss you.

  9. Veteran’s Day opening headline for NPR:

    The cruise ship has finally made it to port. The 4,500 passengers have survived for several days now without air-conditioning, hot food, hot water and the casino has been shut……

    ….the stark contrast to the reason why today is the day called Veterans Day (or Armistice Day where I come from).

    Northshore Schools are out today…. my crowd of hooligans will be plying their trade chez moi today.

  10. Schools are closed in our area – it took me a few minutes to realize why there was so little traffic in our village, then saw the flags lining the street.

    Thanks to all, here and everywhere, who have served.

  11. As a indication of how seriously the British take Armistice Day, Prime Minister David Cameron has

    refused to remove his poppy on his Chinese visit.

    It took a minute for me to remember why, but the sight of the British bringing poppies to China (i.e. the Opium Wars of the 19th Century) really gets up China’s nose (heh).

    So the only time the British have stood up to the Chinese in my lifetime…. to remember Armistice Day.

  12. TtT, I’m with there – the President is retreating instead of forging ahead.
    He needs to be on course for the general population and not kissing the damn feet of the repiggies.

    Yeah, what the Turtle said “Grow a pair, Mr. President, or f*** off back to Chicago.”

  13. Thanks to all you veterans.

    TtT, I heard there are reports that the Huffington Post article may have been “over written”. I hope so.

  14. My Ma had two brothers – both killed in WWII. They were the last in lineage to have the family name.
    Mom and each of her sisters named at least one of their male off-spring Peter or Paul with the maiden name as middle.
    That stayed with our generation – but giving Mom’s maiden name to two nieces. (it’s an Irish surname and each of my nieces loves having it – as opposed to an ‘ordinary’ name.
    (for privacy I’ll just say it’s a variant spelling of McErlaine).

    It’s too bad the ‘war to end all war (WWI)’ really wasn’t.

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