Remembrance Day: A Fine Tradition

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by W.F. Price on November 12, 2012

On Friday, I picked up my kids for the weekend, and on the way back from the border my daughter started talking about some project involving poppies in school, so I asked her what that was all about. Both my son and daughter then proceeded to tell me it was for Remembrance Day, and that the poppies were significant because they were the first flowers that grew on the battlefields and fresh graves of WWI. I knew about the connection between poppies and WWI, but I wasn’t aware that they were so much a part of the commonwealth tradition for honoring veterans. Here in the US, it is generally on Memorial Day rather than Veterans Day (which coincides with Remembrance Day) that we pay our respect to war dead.

I think it’s a great tradition, and I’m glad the children are learning about it. When it comes to old wars, American kids are typically treated to an ideological browbeating over WWII — in a strange way the fact that we won “the good war” is overshadowed by eternal racial and religious guilt we must feel for being affiliated in some manner or another with Nazis (e.g. you are white and Christian, therefore you are the same as a Nazi, and also a bad guy). Remembrance Day appears not to dwell on that sort of punitive and malicious “you, too, are guilty” aspect of American education, and instead focuses on the purer sentiment of sorrow for fallen soldiers.

So, although it’s a day late, I thought I’d offer a little tribute to the holiday. My great grandfather was involved in WWI, and spent a fair amount of time on the front line as a journalist, where he faced the same dangers as soldiers, including gas, which put him out of commission for a while (he survived and lived to 93, dying in the 1970s).

Here is the poem associated with the tradition:

In Flanders Fields

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.

-John McCrae

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

scatmaster November 12, 2012 at 12:00

Canada honours all veterans on that day not just World War 1

http://i.imgur.com/pYfgj.jpg

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Opus November 12, 2012 at 12:20

A letter from England

After Guy Fawkes Day (5th November) the last National Event before Xmas is Remembrance Day. For days before hand the sellers are out in the street selling the Red Poppies. I bought mine from a Chelsea Pensioner outside the concourse of a major London Railway station. All the news-readers wear them, as do the politicians, indeed not to wear one is almost seen as a sign of disrespect – our local police has arrested a local man for tweeting a picture of a burnt poppy.

Every town in England has its War Memorial; mine is no exception . Towards 11 am on Sunday a couple of thousand people made their way to this focal point where the local militias paraded and the Mayor made a speech, the bells were rung and hymns sung (o god our help in ages past). The attending ambulance was this time needed as one of the soldiers fainted. I could not help but notice that it was an entirely white event (SWPL). That afternoon the local orchestra gave a concert in our local concert hall of music entirely by Edward Elgar.

I have never heard anyone make such an outrageous slur on the Germans as the article refers to. It is the first rather than the second World Wars that are in our mind. Grandfather Opus served on one of His Majesties battle-cruisers non-stop through the duration returning in 1919 and my mother (who has been born just before the conflict indeed on 11th November itself) met her father for the first time. His sister who had been a VAD nurse seems to have spent the War in Egypt. His brother as a regular soldier survived the conflict too. Many didn’t: there are fifty five thousand Commonwealth dead from that conflict in Iraq (!) to begin with.

We don’t have a Veterans Day. Your children are becoming loyal Canadians methinks.

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W.F. Price November 12, 2012 at 12:34

Your children are becoming loyal Canadians methinks.

-Opus

Well, we’ll see about that. They’ll be here again for an American Thanksgiving next week. But I have to admit that I really don’t mind that they are not being subjected to American public school propaganda here in the la-la-land of Seattle. This way, they get to learn about America from me, without the “help” of the US public schools.

BTW, the police really arrested a guy for such a tweet? That’s pretty ridiculous…

El Bastardo November 12, 2012 at 12:35

Here in the US the VFW and Foreign Legions hand out Red Poppies on Memorial/Veterans days.

For the same reason; the dead who lay largely forgotten in Europe.

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Pcc November 12, 2012 at 12:37

I took a walk early today outside my office. I was passing the next door credit union as two high school girls came up to the enter. They pulled on the locked door and said. WTF. I mentioned that it was closed because of Veteran’s Day. They said (in unision) WTF is Veteran’s Day? My service and three purple hearts was for these princesses to be ignorant. I asked them why they were off from school. Oh, that is why. But what is Veteran’s Day? I just shook my head and walked away. It is hopeless. I already told my sons not to get married, now I am telling them to leave this corrupt country. I feel that the way this country uses it military, the manpower will become a problem which the elites in D.C. will address with a draft on non-elite male offsprings. We have MGTOW to counter the femini-nazi’s, now we need a retreat from the economy system to dry up the taxes funnelling all the madness in this country.

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Jaego November 12, 2012 at 12:56

Both World Wars were a mistake for the United States to enter. The veterans died in vain. But yes, let us honor their dedication and sacrafice. That they were betrayed doesn’t lessen that. The tendency is to forget when the confict is revealed to have been a mistake. In Ireland, the graves of the soldiers who died fighting for England in WW1 aren’t even cared for. Eveyone knows that it was a horrible decison for the Irish to have gone. But they thought that a show of loyalty would move English hearts towards letting Ireland go.

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Kyo November 12, 2012 at 12:58

This was the second Veterans’ Day / Remembrance Day / Armistice Day on which there were no living veterans of WWI left to tell us what the Great War was really like.

If you know any WWII vets, get to know them and listen to their stories. All too soon, they’ll be gone too.

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Sad Veteran November 12, 2012 at 13:17

If we don’t teach the kids in schools about history in a balanced, neutral way and make connections with events in history with what is happening today, we are going to turn out more ignorant young people like the previous writer describes. We can’t hang guilt trips on kids about what happened in the past, because they have no responsibility for what happened. We simply must teach kids to appreciate the sacrifices that were made in the past by men who died for their country without trying to justify these wars or condemn them. The educational system must be neutral and respect the students’ intelligence and leave it up to them to decide when they are old enough, to judge which wars were justified and which wars were not. Give the student the necessary information and let him connect the dots.

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oddsock November 12, 2012 at 13:50

I wear my poppy to remember all the young lions that died on both sides and not the donkeys that support or send them to war.

Why poppies ?

Why Are They Selling poppies, mother, selling poppies in town today?
The poppies, are flowers of love for the men who marched away.
But why have they chosen a poppy, mother.
Why not a beautiful rose?
Because, my child, men fought and died in the fields
Where poppies grow.
But why are the poppies so red, mother. Why are poppies so red?
Red is the colour of blood my child.
The blood that our soldiers shed.
The heart of the poppy is black mother.
Why does it have to be black?
Black, my child, is a symbol of grief for the men
who never came back.
But, why mother dear are you crying so?
Your tears are like winter rain.
My tears are fears for you, my child.
For the world is forgetting again.

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Charles Martel November 12, 2012 at 14:01

Some random thoughts.

I volunteered for the UK’s version of the airborne infantry. I’ve told my son there’s no way I’d let him join the US armed forces, engaged as they are in an endless series of illegal and immoral wars. If it somehow came to be that he was drafted I’d do everything in my power to keep him out of harm’s way.

My aunt’s husband’s brother was killed at El Alamein. It’s quite common now to hear UK WW2 veterans, looking around at the state of the UK, to say their comrades’ sacrifices were wasted.

The European Civil War of 1918 to 1945 was an unbelievable tragedy for white northern European culture.

Whatever you may think of Hitler and the Nazis it’s irrefutable that the Germans, in quality and quantity, were the finest soldiers the world has ever seen. When the Allies invaded Normandy in 1945 they were engaged by only 20% of the German armed forces, the other 80% being predominantly on the eastern front. The Germans fought virtually the entire first world simultaneously.

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W.F. Price November 12, 2012 at 14:36

Whatever you may think of Hitler and the Nazis it’s irrefutable that the Germans, in quality and quantity, were the finest soldiers the world has ever seen. When the Allies invaded Normandy in 1945 they were engaged by only 20% of the German armed forces, the other 80% being predominantly on the eastern front. The Germans fought virtually the entire first world simultaneously.

-Charles Martel

As much as I respect German courage in battle, the entire West has been suffering from the ideological fallout from that war for almost a lifetime. It has been used to hammer us for generations, it resulted in the nearly 50-year virtual imprisonment of entire nations, and even today it is used to justify displacing Westerners in the countries built by their forefathers. That is largely a result of Nazi hubris, so I can’t help but feel a great deal of resentment toward the people who initiated that conflict — the Nazi leadership in particular.

BTW, I wouldn’t have my son join the military, either. In fact, if there were a draft I’d even urge him to take Canadian citizenship (he’ll be eligible at 18 I assume) and renounce American. So sad that it’s come to this, but I’m not going to let this country destroy any more of my family than it already has, and I can’t imagine our government engaging in any war that serves our interests, but rather the opposite.

cooterbee November 12, 2012 at 14:59

We don’t have the poppy tradition here in America as strongly as the other countries because when the worst of the fighting in Flanders was happening, like the Battle of the Somme, America wasn’t in the war yet. It is a tradition we should adopt. Though the men who were slaughtered in Flanders were mostly British, Canadian and French they fought in the hopes of sparing us all the necessity of doing it ever again. Though the “War to End all Wars”didn’t exactly work out that way, these men gave it their all.

WWI was unique in both the level of carnage and transcendent humane spirit. Though the officers and governments were blood thirsty, the common men of both the Allied and Central Powers avoided conflict whenever they could get away with it. The two greatest anti war movies of all time “All Quiet on the Western Front” and “The Paths of Glory” were both set in WWI. It is the only war, that I can think of, where the soldiers on both sides thought of their opponents as fellow human beings in an unfortunate situation. It is entirely right that we commemorate that.

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oddsock November 12, 2012 at 15:07

Pankhurst – The White Feather Betrayal of History

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GsBg4aW0Ag&feature=g-all-lik

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Jacko November 12, 2012 at 15:22

What exactly did the veterans of the Anglosphere fight for? A free society in which young women behave like prostitutes and destroy families at will?

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Thos. November 12, 2012 at 16:21

For the cinema buffs amongst you, may I strongly suggest an interesting film called Oh, What A Lovely War. This film tells the story and chronology of WW1 using the songs of the period. The actors ‘sing’ the songs and there’s a vague sort of plot that follows a soldier named John Smith over the four years of the war.

Oh, and there’s an excellent WW1 book by the great Canadian writer Timothy Findlay called The Wars.

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Attila November 12, 2012 at 16:33

The system will collapse eventually—let it rip!

So many died- and for what? To have what we see around us now?

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Rmaxd November 12, 2012 at 19:09

When we dont remember the deaths of our ancestors, we also dont remember the struggle which they fought for

Which is PRECISELY WHY we no longer remember the deaths & remember the struggles & injustice they fought for

Remember millions of men died to give men the vote

In contrast how many women died to give women the vote?

In stark contrast, today they imprison men to give women the vote

In contrast how many men are imprisoned to continously giving women the vote & jobs today?

To give women the vote, how many jobs are displaced, how many minorities do we need to import, how many mens liberties are violated?

Giving women the vote, many men have to be imprisoned & taxed

To give men the vote, only men have to die

As voting women forces a society, into a state of intense unsustainable enterprise … competing for alphas & destroying a societies social structure …

Giving women the vote, is the most unsustainable & destructive act, a society forces onto their hapless population

As women exist in a perpetual state of dishonor, prostitution & welfare

Men exist in a perpetual state of for the good of society …

Men die to give men the vote

Women imprison men to give women the vote …

Men goto work to feed their children

Women divorce men, imprison men & demand welfare to feed their sleazy lifestyles … & then maybe their children

Women exploiting first world society in cloaks of plausible deniability any chance they get …

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Avenger November 12, 2012 at 19:37

@Oddsock- the poppy was adopted as the symbol based on the poem by a Canadian doctor who served in WWI.

In Flanders Fields

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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Avenger November 12, 2012 at 19:40

I thought everyone knew that short poem in the UK , US and Canada, Australia etc. Perhaps kids don’t recite it anymore.

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occasional visitor November 12, 2012 at 21:43

Both ‘great’ wars were banker backed con jobs. Can’t we admit to that even now? That we were duped by an elaborate mythology that plows on today? It makes me sick to see WW2 glorified especially as some just, noble affair that psychopath politicians can evoke to defend their senseless slaughters today.

They conned countless men into fighting & dying so they could rake in yet more money & territory & further align us all into their perfect commutarian utopia. There was no honor in it, they were pawns on a chessboard. I don’t disparage these men who gave EVERYTHING they had & did very much believe in these ideals, they were in some sense heroes but I also see how this ‘support the troops’ nonsense continues on & blinkers well meaning people into supporting armani clad reptiles who would gladly eat us all for breakfast.

I won’t pay lip service to non existent sacrifice for ‘freedom & democracy’, that would be spitting on these dead men even more

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oddsock November 13, 2012 at 00:30

Avenger

I note you are still a prize bell end.

Do you still say the USA Dollar is not a fiat currency because its backed by oil ? You numpty !

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Avenger November 13, 2012 at 01:58

Having the US $ as the world’s reserve currency and having to trade oil in US dollars does keep the relative value of the dollar stable. In order to buy oil, dollars must be stockpiled to pay for it.
The US also has large gold reserves(#2) in about the same amount as the EU(#1) to back its debts and to guarantee foreign loans. So in effect the US $ is backed by gold (and other things). There’s inflation in every country and a lot more than the US so US dollars are not going to become worthless due to inflation and they’ll maintain their relative value.
But why is all of this of much concern to you? Only the elite who run the world are bothered with this stuff not some guy with a couple of gold coins.You remind me of Libertarians who don’t have a pot to piss in and who are always talking about this as if using gold in everyday life as a means of exchange instead of paper is going to make them richer lol As long as people accept that paper and you can exchange it for a house or food etc. I wouldn’t bother your little head over it. You may want to actually try to accumulate some of that paper yourself:)

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Avenger November 13, 2012 at 02:03

And I wouldn’t worry about gov’t spending on things like Obamacare either because they won’t be spending the money. The workers will have the premiums to cover the plan taken out of their pay, like they do in Canada.

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Opus November 13, 2012 at 02:12

@W.F.

No, I am perfectly serious about the arrest for the picture of the burned poppy on Twitter. Something about ‘malicious communication’ so it may have been seen as ‘racist’. I have no other details but it is reported on Yahoo. Certainly it would not surprise me at all. Of course, there are those who regard the compulsion to wear a poppy as ‘Poppy Fascism’, indeed a decade or so ago I received some aggression from a friend – an ex-squaddie Falklands-Vet (whose bravery was only equalled by his general stupidity) – for even turning up at the Remembrance Day Parade without my poppy!

It is good to hear (and from a former British soldier too – Charles Martel) of his high regard for the German Army – the people who helped us out at Waterloo – or vice versa depending on which side of the English Channel you live and the people who previously destroyed two Roman legions in the Teutenburg Forest in AD 9. You learn a lot about a people from their National Soccer team – there is no more formidable national socceer team than the Germans. Even if they are 2-0 down in the eighty-ninth minute you would be ill-advised to bet against them.

Good to see oddsock back too.

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oddsock November 13, 2012 at 03:27

Cheers Opus

Although I am not from a military background as such. My Father was in a Scottish Infantry Regiment seeing active service in Malaysia. He served alongside and trained a Gurkha unit attached to his regiment.

He often spoke very highly of the German soldier as one of the best in the world, in fact, the only soldier he rated higher was the Gurkha.

Oddly enough, my father refused to sign for me to join the RAF at 16 also refused to allow my younger brother to join the Royal Navy at 16. He was quite proud of his service but never wanted his Sons to see what he had seen in Malaysia.

It was only in his last years he started to talk about and tell us of the real horrors he had seen. The most eye opening being the story of how his company had been sent forward to capture communist rebels living among villagers in the jungle. The plan was they were to quietly advance to the outskirts of the village and then the ANZAC Airforce would first lay markers with the first pass the second would clear a path for his company to rush into the village while they were all in shock and round up all the men and /communist rebels.

With a sharp intake of breath and shaking of his head he then added. the first pass went in and opened up with cannon and rocket the second with the same but with incendiary rounds. He explained at that time they had a Pipe Major leading them by slowly walking towards the target while telling them not to worry the Airforce would only lay down markers,,, until whole swaths of jungle vanished right before their eyes. He said, everyone including himself was on the ground except this feckin idiot of a Pipe Major. He added they were actually bouncing of the ground from the impact of the rocket and cannon explosions.

Again the shake of the head and staring into space. He explained, once the Airforce had finished and the fires died down they got the order to advance into the village. Son, he said, you have never seen anything like it in your life and I hope you never do, badly burned bits of body everywhere, in holes on the ground hanging from trees etc. As far as they could tell, mostly women children and elderly. It would appear there was no communist rebels they had long gone or was never there.

He had many other horror stories, He told me they even had some men from a tribe as trackers. They were still head hunters, covered in tattoos, their fee was simply the heads of the captured rebels.

Perhaps this is why he would never allow his Sons to join the military ?

Avenger

Shut up you tit.

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oddsock November 13, 2012 at 04:42

Here you go Opus. You may find this interesting ?

Gerald Celente speaks about war and pulls no punches. Fast forward to the 6.00 minute mark unless the plight of America interests you ?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Sdt5-WGYMs&list=UUvsye7V9psc-APX6wV1twLg&index=9&feature=plcp

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DschinDschin November 13, 2012 at 08:59

When WWI began, the great european nations where nothing but a group of burglas, who has ransacked the whole world.

Like a saloon full of shootists they feared each other, they hated each other. And then, somone moved, and all pulled aut their guns and began to fire.

DschinDschin

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Norm November 13, 2012 at 12:45

I will paraphrase Hillary(Hitlery) Clinton. She said “women are the victims of war”!?! She was refering to the wives of soldiers. I would say the soldiers are the ones to suffer. Especially when wifey files divorce papers while hubby is overseas and when he gets back he already is in arrears for “child support”. Typical carpet bagger talk from Clinton.

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Avenger November 13, 2012 at 15:50

@oldsock-so the Gurkhas trained him then?

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oddsock November 13, 2012 at 17:06

Avenger

@oldsock-so the Gurkhas trained him then?

Shhhh you are boring me already.

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