Thursday, November 11, 2010

Armistice day part two

Armistice day, November 11,

Remembrance Day (also known as Poppy Day, Armistice Day or Veterans Day) is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries to remember the sacrifices of members of the armed forces and civilians in times of war, specifically since the First World War. This day, or alternative dates, are also recognised as special days for war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth countries.
Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November to recall the official end of World War I on that date in 1918, as the major hostilities of World War I were formally ended "at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month" of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice. (Note that "at the 11th hour", refers to the passing of the 11th hour, or 11:00 am.)
The day was specifically dedicated by King George V, on 7 November 1919, to the observance of members of the armed forces who were killed during World War I. This was possibly done upon the suggestion of Edward George Honey to Wellesley Tudor Pole, who established two ceremonial periods of remembrance based on events in 1917.[1]
The red poppy has become a familiar emblem of Remembrance Day due to the poem In Flanders Fields. These poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I, their brilliant red colour an appropriate symbol for the blood spilt in the war.

I am posting this in memory of my grandparents who lived in Belgium.
Henry Van Melle , was an orchestra conductor in the army. He ended up in a German camp leaving my grandmother alone with 6 children. My father was 7 when the war started and quickly learned how to steal food for himself and his little brother. Ernest Droesbeke, my mom's father worked in a sugar plant as manager, he managed to trade sugar for whatever they needed until they had to evacuate. My Mom was 4 when the war started. 
Our King at that time was Albert 1 , he and the Queen were with the troops fighting at the Yzer , they did not flee
to safe Swizerland , they were with the troops.

I took a tour not so many years ago in  fields in France still riddled with mines, signs every where telling you not to go on the grasses. The trenches showed us how close the 2 armies were to each other. One could feel death.
in Ypres Belgium a large monument with the names of the British soldiers who fell in the battles there.
Every day of the year (except during WW2) you can hear taps at that monument at 8 PM.
We sat in a cafe around the square having some goodies when we noticed busses arriving. I asked the waiter why. He answered with a smile. "These busses are from England, they come every day with young and old, all races and genders, they bring the poppy wreaths and honor soldiers they never knew. " That scene gave us chills , then we walked with the silent Brits and saw the poppies blooming in profusion around the monument. 
The cafe's were ready with the Belgian beer and loved to see the crowd come in after they had done their duty. What dedication!!!!! Armistice was about WW1 how very unfortunate that now we in the USA also add WW2, Korea, Vietnam,and how many more still in active positions. How many more lives must we loose? 
With every scene I see on TV in Afghanistan, in Iraq , and others I can only think of the children, I am 78 and I can't forget WW2, I shake when a fire truck goes by with a siren blaring, I save things , I hoard food afraid to run out, a plane comes over too low and I have been known to throw myself on top of children to protect them.  The war memories do not leave you, how many children are affected now?????How many soldiers on both sides left orphans and weeping mothers.
Oh am I on my soap box? No apologies. Lets remember the ones we lost so we may have freedom.
Lets just think for a doggone minute what the word "freedom" really means.  


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