Wednesday, November 11, 2009

For Those Who Served

Today is Veteran's Day, a day to honor ALL American veterans, both living and dead. Sadly, though, since the majority of American citizens has never served in uniform, it's easy to overlook the importance of the day.

Government employees had the day off, banks and financial institutions were closed for the day, but none of the other businesses or school districts around here were. As a matter of fact, it's easy to overlook Veterans Day unless you're in the mood to shop. It seemed like every store had special sales to "honor" the day.

I have to admit I forgot the importance of the day as I was getting ready to leave the house this morning. On the way to work, though, I saw the most awesome sight that helped me to remember what Veterans Day was all about. At the entrance to a subdivision, a row of small American flags had been placed in the common ground. Someone took the time out of their day to plant those symbols of our country for everyone else to see. Seeing those flags made me thankful for all the veterans that have sacrificed for our country.

One of the things the 4-and 5-year-olds in my preschool class do every morning is say the Pledge of Allegiance. Many of them don't know all the words, and I don't know how much of it they actually understand, but I stood a little straighter today when I said it.


  1. I admit, I'm always pretty appalled when I see adverts on the US channels with big, bold, zany times for Veteran's Day. Weee-ow. I just don't think that's in the best taste. It surprises me that anyone gets the day off - in Canada they revoked the holiday when it became clear that people weren't celebrating Remembrance Day...instead doing cross-border shopping - lured by those ads!

    Do children learn about Veteran's Day in school? Maybe your kids are a bit young, but I remember participating in Remembrance Day poster contests [and later poetry] when I was about five years old.

  2. So Veteran's Day sales are an American invention?

    I read several blogs written by Canadians and British authors, and I was impressed by the respectful tone they took.

  3. I can't say the Pledge of Allegiance or sing The Star-Spangled Banner without choking up! I'm such a sap.

  4. Our schools were all closed here. Terry and I took off for San Francisco to meet with the leasing agent where we want to live. At 11 a.m. on the 11th day of the 11th month, we walked into the building that will be our second home in a short time.

  5. I think Veteran's Day sales must be uniquely American. In Europe and Canada Rememberance Day [or Veteran's Day some places] is really filled with quiet reverance and respect for history and fallen soldiers. I think if anyone tried to put on ads/sales there would be a total outrage. It's only been in recent years that there has been more of a focus on younger soldiers/newer conflicts - usually it's all about WWI and WWII.

    If you're interested in learning more, one of my former journalism instructors, Ted Barris, has written numerous books on Canadian involvement in various wars and he has a well-written blog here: