Tag: Veterans Day 2019

Taking Memories to the Streets

 

This year marked the 100th anniversary of observing what became Veterans’ Day in America. It was also the 75th anniversary of a series of critical battles and campaigns that sealed the Third Reich’s fate. In June, the western Allies gathered to remember the Normandy invasion. On December 16, there was another major commemoration, although not with all national leaders, remembering the battle that finally broke the Germans, the Battle of the Bulge.

On December 16, 1944, Hitler hurled his last, best troops, those who had survived the Russian meat grinder and the battering, fighting retreat from Normandy since June 1944, back through a weak point in the Allied front. Taking advantage of bad weather, suppressing American air superiority, and employing superior knowledge of local terrain, armored columns thrust deep through the Allies’ lines. Yet, the Allies were not going to break catastrophically and the Wehrmacht lacked the operational and strategic supply support needed to fully exploit any tactical or operational success. Nevertheless, the tactical situation became so desperate that the white Army leaders who had lied through their teeth, after World War I, about black men’s ability to be their peers in the infantry now called forward volunteers out of the support troops, filling in gaping holes with platoons of African American soldiers assigned to formerly all-white companies. Four years later, President Truman rejected “expert” opinion and ordered the complete racial desegregation of the armed forces with Executive Order 9981.

Doodads and Army Duds [Updated with a fun puzzle!]

 

I had long thought the doodads festooning veteran organizational caps to be a bit silly and something of the past. This Veterans Day, I took another look and came to a different conclusion. Looking at veterans’ uniforms in a parade and watching the pudgy weasel almost popping out of his blue Army Service Uniform in Congress, I discovered two things.

The first realization was of a linkage between military and veteran customs. Look at any military member’s uniform and you will see a shorthand career biography. If you take the time to look up the various ribbons, badges, insignia, patches, crests and whatnot, you get a glimpse into where they served and some tokens of what they did.*

It should be no surprise that veterans would carry over the military habit of visible tokens on their uniform. On closer examination, those “funny” caps have been serving the same function as a uniform jacket. Since the cap is the whole of a veterans organization uniform, that is where various tokens of a veteran’s service are displayed. 

Don’t Know Much About History: Veterans Day Edition

 

This is page one of the “Intermediate Level U.S. History since 1900” workbook, used to prepare for the citizenship exam. What, if anything, do you think current 8th-12th graders and college students would put down in each block, before peeking or asking Siri or Alexa? If you let either of those spirits into your home, what do they say about these wars?

Citizenship Study Guide page

Member Post

 

I have to wonder if this is not the theme of President Trump’s foreign policy. It is the eve of hosting the controversial Recep Tayyip Erdrogan. The Turkish leader has been the source and thorn for some years to many, since taking leadership of Turkey, an American ally and voting member of NATO. Trump has […]

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Forgotten Service

 

This month, we are reflecting on service of all sorts. This weekend marks the auspicious dates of Veterans/Remembrance Day, Global Victims of Communism Day, the fall of the Berlin Wall (effectively ending the Cold War), and the Marine Corps birthday. Let us turn, then to reflect on largely forgotten service, by Buffalo Soldiers, the frozen chosen, Polar Bears, and “the man who would be khan.” Each of us can look around our own communities and circles to refresh memories of those who served with honor.

Buffalo Soldiers:

Earlier this month, the service of Henry Lafayette Dodge was called to our attention. I invite you now to consider the Buffalo Soldiers. While the term was first given to the 10th Cavalry, by the tribes facing them, the term stretched to apply to all four black regiments, with white officers, sent off to do the dirty, thankless jobs on the American frontier after the Civil War. These were the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments and the 24th and 25th Infantry Regiments. While the 7th Cavalry, “Garryowen,” as Custer’s regiment, gets the most recognition to this day, there were seven other white cavalry regiments and the two black cavalry regiments, all having their share of the grueling years of policing, garrisoning, and fighting in the American West.

President Trump to Attend New York City Veterans Day Parade

 

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs announced on Friday that President Trump would be the first president in United States history to attend the New York City Veterans Day parade on Monday. This will be the centennial of the annual commemorations on this date, starting as Armistice Day, then changing during World War II to Veterans Day in the US, and Remembrance Day in the British Commonwealth. New York City reportedly hosts the largest Veterans Day parade in the country.

It will be interesting to see if the left shows up to disrupt with their usual violent street theater. Do the mayor and governor have to show up and make nice? It would be nice to just look forward to great pictures and video of the parade participants and appreciative crowds focused on honoring our veterans.

And what about that press conference? The Q&A is informative, as the Secretary blows through the opening hostile questions and works on to substantive questions with great historical and organizational knowledge. Who knew that the Army started tracking suicide during the administration of Benjamin Harrison, concerned about our frontier army? Who knew that the suicide rates around World War I were highest among non-deployers?

Three Presidential Actions Not Much Noted

 

Thursday, November 7, 2019, brought three significant actions by President Trump: two Proclamations and one award ceremony. They all addressed service, freedom, and gratitude.

Presidential Message on the National Day for the Victims of Communism, 2019

On this National Day for the Victims of Communism, we remember the more than 100 million people who have died as a result of communist oppression. Today, we renew our commitment to helping secure for all people a future of peace and prosperity founded on the core tenets of democracy—liberty, justice, and a deep respect for the value of every human life.