Remembering

miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie)doineedtoaddanamehere(8a)

I meant to post this yesterday but didn’t get the chance. I had been at the Remembrance Day (Veterans’ Day (edited)) assembly at my kids’ elementary school.

It was incredibly moving with bagpipes, a slideshow of service members’ snapshots, and of course many poems and songs shared by the students. A teacher recounted the story of how her parents met in the Netherlands and the special friendship that still exists between the Netherlands and Canada. (Worth researching if you haven’t learned it yet.) I was moved to tears several times and I was very impressed by the overall comportment of the kids who sang O Canada twice with gusto (French and English), sat quietly for an hour, performed their duties with solemnity and care, resisted their natural desire to applaud presenters, and valiantly kept their fingers out of their ears during the bagpipe lament (most of them!), and filed back to class reverently.

I racked my brain trying to remember similar ones from my childhood in MN. I can’t, and I don’t know if that is my admittedly poor memory or if they just never happened. Does anyone else have any memories like the ones I am missing, that I hope my children will retain?

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HamiltonGardener

I do. Remembrance Day growing up was observed with an assembly in the gym, or if the cenotaph was close enough to the school, the kids filed down to be involved in the ceremonies with everyone else.


Bagpipes were always involved, generally to break the observance of silence at 11:00.

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blfenton

You may not have observed Remembrance Day in the same way, but what about Memorial Day in May. Is that day acknowledged in the same way in which we acknowledge Remembrance Day? Just asking.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie)doineedtoaddanamehere(8a)

Shoot blfenton, I meant Veterans’ Day, Nov 11 in the US. I’ll try to edit the OP.

See, admittedly bad memory.

No, I don’t remember any school wide ceremonies on Memorial Day either.

I remember that my dad’s parents “bought” a poppy each year, and that my mom’s parents did not nor did my parents.

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batyabeth

every year my parents wore poppies, and I think we did too. Dad was a WWII vet. The Vietnam war was such a hot topic in our house (dad for, us and mom against) that we tried to keep our mouths shut that day against the war 'cause dad was edgy. But in school? I think some teachers tried, but it was so fraught with trouble about Vietnam that I don't really remember.

Here however it's a very big day, as nearly everyone has someone to mourn. Schools have day long programs, moments of silence are national, and it's a very big taboo to mess with it.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie)doineedtoaddanamehere(8a)

batyabeth may I ask where “here” is? I’m interested in knowing different rituals in different places. I understand if you don’t want to announce your location, though :)

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bpath Oh Sophie(5b)

My DFIL fought under the Canadian command for the liberation of the Netherlands. After the war he couldn’t go back to his home country, so with the British citizenship granted him he and his bride emigrated to Canada. Every 5 years he attended a reunion in the area of the Netherlands that he was in. His pictures touched me: processionals, wreath-layings, luncheons and dinners. Local residents hosted them in their homes. For the processionals, the streets were lined with people, many young parents with their children on their shoulders, with signs saying “Thank you”. They wrote on the sidewalks and shop windows, too. It brings tears to my eyes as I type this. They were teaching their children, a few generations removed. Now that most of those surviving soldiers, all in their 90s, can no longer attend, I wonder what the observances there are like.

Seeing DFIL’s pictures and hearing the stories changed how I consider November 11. I grew up and live in the US. We always just saw it as a day off from school. In my kids’ school, classes are in session and the American Legion holds observances in the high school auditorium for students and the community. Students participate. It’s a beautiful thing.

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roxsol

miss lindsey, Remembrance Day was always a big day at school for us.

We always had a ceremony in the gym where there was either bagpipes or a bugler, we all spent weeks before learning “In Flander’s Field” which we would recite at the ceremony, kids that were Brownies or Girl Guides or Cubs or Scouts or Cadets were asked to wear their uniforms that day and we had veterans as special guests.

Sometime, during the week, we would visit the cenotaph downtown and lay a wreath.

It seemed to always be in the minus twenties with blowing snow that day.

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elvis

Veterans Day, Flag Day, and Memorial Day were all big deals at my schools and in my family and neighborhood.

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batyabeth

miss lindsey I currently live in Haifa, Israel. But Chicago is my hometown, and I still call it home, no matter how long I've been here.

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daisychain01

My DD just wrote an article for her local news about the Canadian/Netherlands connection. I wasn't aware of it until she filled me in. I make a big deal of the day with the students I teach and, this year in particular, they are incredibly interested. I remember making poppies as a kid, but not much else.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie)doineedtoaddanamehere(8a)

bpath, the teacher who presented showed photos that her parents took when they visited Holland for the 75th anniversary of the liberation. The streets were absolutely packed with people waving Canadian flags and reaching out to grasp the hands of the folks in the parade. These were young Dutch people, many looked to be under 40 and many children.

Every year Holland sends 20,000 tulip bulbs to Canada in gratitude and remembrance. This year they sent 1.1 million bulbs, one for each Canadian soldier, pilot, nurse, etc who fought to free them. Our school received 75 of the bulbs and planted them this fall.

So the friendship is definitely still fresh in the “minds” of both countries and the next generation is being taught to revere the people who sacrificed so much. It brings tears to my eyes too.

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elvis

Poppy Day is celebrated in countries around the world. The American Legion brought National Poppy Day ® to the United States by asking Congress to designate the Friday before Memorial Day, as National Poppy Day. On May 24, wear a red poppy to honor the fallen and support the living who have worn our nation's uniform.

www.legion.org

In Flanders Fields

By John McCrae


In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.


We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie,

In Flanders fields.


Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

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Love stone homes

In Canada it is a federal holiday day. Schools are closed In some provinces in some areas Stores open after 12 noon.

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bpath Oh Sophie(5b)

I think it’s a federal holiday in the US. I think most schools are closed, but I rather like that our school is in session, and the students go to the commendations as part of the school day. Otherwise they’d stay home and sleep.

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althea_gw

There was never a ceremony at my school. My parents used to call it Armistice Day. I don't know when it was changed to Veterans Day in the U.S.

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JodiK

I do recall my parents "buying" the little red poppies, and there was always one hanging from the rear view mirror of our car when I was a kid.

As an adult... and with no disrespect intended... I just can't participate in anything military that happened beyond WWII. I abhor the idea of war, and the profits made from so much death and sorrow. I just can't swallow the line fed about how our youth dies and are maimed to protect our freedoms and way of life. I'm sorry... I just can't. That bigger picture is way too ugly.

If that makes me a bad person in someone else's eyes... so be it.

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Carro

So it be.

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don_socal

I am a Vet and a frequent flyer at the VA hospital, go visit or just sit and people watch. You will see what has happened to so many of us fighting the rich mans wars. It is unnecessary and a waste of good lives.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

School was closed on Veterans' Day, and I don't remember any school ceremonies honoring that day.

Some charity sold fake red poppies, and, as a child, I was told the poppies were traditional. (We were used to the golden California poppies, so the red variety seemed exotic.)

Anniversaries of D-Day are what I remember, and mentions of both VE and VJ Days.

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cyn427 (z. 7, N. VA)(zone 7, Northern VA)

When I was young, we called it Armistice Day. There was a wonderful op-ed in the Washington Post today. It does get political at the end, but still worth a look, I think.


David von Drehle

In the summer of 1914, in the space of mere days, Europe went from a tense peace to a catastrophic war that ultimately left millions dead, millions more gruesomely wounded, and a generation disillusioned and demoralized — “all Gods dead . . . all faiths in man shaken,” as one voice of that generation, F. Scott Fitzgerald, put it. “The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere / The ceremony of innocence is drowned,”W.B. Yeats chimed in grimly. “We are the hollow men,” T.S. Eliot observed.


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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie)doineedtoaddanamehere(8a)

JodiK I do understand your opinion. I too am deeply uncomfortable with the glamorization of war and the military. Then I think about the reality of being reduced to eating tulip bulbs for survival, and what I would feel for the people who freed me and my kids from that hell, and I can do nothing else but cry in humble awe of the people who would make that sacrifice for strangers on the other side of the world.

War is hell, and every effort should be made to stay out of it, but some things are so evil that they simply must be annihilated.

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HamiltonGardener

My grandfather was in WWII and went through France then into Holland.

It’s important to remember that the poppies are not in support of war or to glorify war.

Wearing a poppy is in remembrance of those who died, to reflect on those young men and women and the human cost of war. That is drilled into your head from childhood in schools.


Never, EVER , are Remembrance Day ceremonies about anything other than remembering those who died. At least in Canada. Maybe it’s different in the USA.


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bpath Oh Sophie(5b)

Hamilton, in the US, our May Memorial Day is specifically for soldiers who died. Its origins go back to the years following the Civil War, when a tradition grew to decorate the graves of the fallen soldiers with flowers once a year. It was originally called Decoration Day. November 11 in the US used be called Armistice Day specifically for the end of the Great War, and now is called Veterans Day, to remember and honor all veterans.

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woodnymph2_gw

My late husband was a veteran before he was a journalist and historian. I feel I must fight to keep his patriotic values alive, which is one of the reasons I am so anti-Trump. This POTUS is trashing all the good ideals my late husband sacrificed for. And I have other military in my family, including National Guard.

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JodiK

Miss lindsey, if all wars were fought for the reasons governments try to sell us, I'd feel differently.

I'd also feel differently if we actually took decent care of those persons who placed themselves in harm's way, participating in battle. But we don't. Too many veterans suffer. Many are homeless, or alcoholics, or drug users... unable to deal with either physical or psychological remnants of their time within the armed forces. The suicide rate is horrendous.

I also despise the way war and the armed forces are glorified through advertisements, through video games, etc. War is not cool... it's heinous! So what if you are eligible for a home loan (with caveats), or college funding (more caveats)... it's not worth joining something we shouldn't even need!

~~~

Is anyone here aware that Costa Rica doesn't have a military? They seem to do alright without war. They've shuffled their funding toward clean energy and other initiatives to help their nation and our planet.

~~~

Within the bigger picture... in the reality of history, not the one that's been whitewashed... the USA has used military force to run roughshod over various areas of the world, taking what it wants by force.

We befriend revolutionaries one day, arm them... and the next day we call them terrorists and arm the opposing side.

Contracted manufacturers of weaponry and other military items make a killing... while our sons and daughters get killed.

~~~

It's just really hard to get behind something that isn't all good to its core... and doesn't bother to clean up after itself.

I have too many friends who are veterans, suffering in a multitude of ways. They aren't ever likely to be the same.

I'm sorry... I just don't view a lot of what our military does today as being necessary. It's not like they run a strictly humanitarian outfit, or something.



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roxsol

Costa Rica hasn’t had a military since the late 40’s. They’ve put all that money into education.

I just watched the documentary “ A Bold Peace” last week about the history of Costa Rica getting rid of their military.

One fellow, who was interviewed, laughed and said that they are such a small country, he couldn’t see the point of spending money on something that wasn’t going to do them any good as it would be a very ineffective military. Pretty much, any other country that wanted to invade them could.

I do have to say, from my experience, Costa Ricans are very well educated and seem to live a pretty good life.

eta I look at Remembrance Day as simply that....remembering those who died.

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