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?