Veteran’s Day

On this day, a moment of remembrance, not least about the day itself.


The eleventh hour of the eleventh  day of the eleventh month, when the guns ceased to fire and brought an end to the war that birthed the twentieth century. November 11th is still remembered as Armistice Day in some countries, places that still remember what the poppies are for.

In America, we changed the name to Veteran’s Day around the same time the War Department changed its name to the Defense Department. It was as though we were tacitly acknowledging that we would go on manufacturing veterans, men and women with the indelible horrors of war stamped on their minds, and too often on their bodies. Some of them do well. Others less so.

I personally observe this day the same way every year. I reread some poetry, most especially these, and I hope that those in our political leadership remember this one in particular:

A Dead Statesman

I could not dig, I dared not rob,

Therefore I lied to please the mob.

Now all my lies are proved untrue

And I must face the men I slew.

What tale will serve me now, among

Mine angry and defrauded young?

About Noah Brand

Noah Brand is a writer and editor, and quite possibly also a cartoon character from the 1930s. His life, when it is written, will read better than it lived. He is usually found in Portland, Oregon, directly underneath a very nice hat.


  1. In UK Commonwealth countries Veteran’s Day is called Remembrance Sunday.

    I saw the service from The Cenotaph in London today . And the parade past The Cenotaph by veterans from WW2 onwards. Here is a clip from last year, ‘2011 Remembrance Sunday Ceremony at the Cenotaph’

    The music at the start is ‘Beethoven Funeral March No 1’ by Johann Heinrich Walch. Its opening has a most horrendous gravity, and when coupled with the laying down of the wreaths – is deeply deeply moving

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