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Bronco

VETRANS!

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Thank you. thumbs_up.gif

 

old-glory.jpg

 

After reading sobo's post, I thought mine was lacking an important element.

Edited by Bronco

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Agreed! They were out there getting their asses shot off while my butt was safely ensconced back here in the States. I have nothing but good things to say about all US veterans. Thank you all.

 

Aside: I was leaving for work this morning when I noticed that last night's windstorm had torn down my flag bracket on the front porch. I told my wife that I'd fix it when I got home tonight.

 

She said, "Today's Veteran's Day."

 

That was all it took. I was 30 minutes late to work, but my flag is flying. My boss didn't care at all that I was late when I explained it to him. He was an FAO in Vietnam.

 

...sobo

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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, 1915

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I dedicate this song to my pal GEORGE BUSH on this veterans day.

 

 

MASTERS OF WAR

 

 

Come you masters of war

You that build all the guns

You that build the death planes

You that build the big bombs

You that hide behind walls

You that hide behind desks

I just want you to know

I can see through your masks

 

You that never done nothin'

But build to destroy

You play with my world

Like it's your little toy

You put a gun in my hand

And you hide from my eyes

And you turn and run farther

When the fast bullets fly

 

Like Judas of old

You lie and deceive

A world war can be won

You want me to believe

But I see through your eyes

And I see through your brain

Like I see through the water

That runs down my drain

 

You fasten the triggers

For the others to fire

Then you set back and watch

When the death count gets higher

You hide in your mansion

As young people's blood

Flows out of their bodies

And is buried in the mud

 

You've thrown the worst fear

That can ever be hurled

Fear to bring children

Into the world

For threatening my baby

Unborn and unnamed

You ain't worth the blood

That runs in your veins

 

How much do I know

To talk out of turn

You might say that I'm young

You might say I'm unlearned

But there's one thing I know

Though I'm younger than you

Even Jesus would never

Forgive what you do

 

Let me ask you one question

Is your money that good

Will it buy you forgiveness

Do you think that it could

I think you will find

When your death takes its toll

All the money you made

Will never buy back your soul

 

And I hope that you die

And your death'll come soon

I will follow your casket

In the pale afternoon

And I'll watch while you're lowered

Down to your deathbed

And I'll stand o'er your grave

'Til I'm sure that you're dead

 

-Dylan

 

 

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There was just a really good show on PBS with the stories of medal of honor recipients.

 

Thanks you.

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I always feel damn weird this time of year...don't know exactly how to put it...part of me feels lucky as hell that my generation got out of war for the most part, part of me feels that i can never hope to comprehend the sacrifices that veterans and their family made, and part of me looks at awe at what my dad and uncle did and others did...

 

talking to them, they seem like ordinary folks, but you know it isn't so...

 

My heart goes out to the folks in iraq and their families here...

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I'm 37 and my generation has been involved in wars in Panama, Grenada, Somalia, Bosnia and the Gulf. Before that was Vietnam and Korea.

 

My grandfather served in WWII and my father in Korea. I was in the Army from '84-'88. My brother was killed while serving in the Army in Korea.

 

bigdrink.gif

 

My thanks and admiration goes out to those who made the sacrifice to serve their country and to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in losing their lives while serving.

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Dru said:

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, 1915

 

We were up in Vancouver this weekend, and I was surprised by how many people were wearing poppies. Seems like they take remembrance more seriously up there. And when my wife mentioned it to the friend we were visiting, she started reciting "In Flanders Fields" too. Hell, I couldn't recite a word of it.

 

It's nice to see a little lack of cynicism for a change.

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Alpine_Tom said:

We were up in Vancouver this weekend, and I was surprised by how many people were wearing poppies. Seems like they take remembrance more seriously up there. And when my wife mentioned it to the friend we were visiting, she started reciting "In Flanders Fields" too. Hell, I couldn't recite a word of it.

 

It's nice to see a little lack of cynicism for a change.

 

I was thinking about this yesterday, trying to figure out why the different attitudes towards Remembrance in our two countries. It seems strange to me that a country that makes such a big deal about Duty and Service and that has such a proud military history seems to have largely abandoned the simple act of taking a day each year to pay tribute to their fallen. There's a fair bit of rhetorical lip-service, but then everyone heads to the Mall. Is there any kind of formal, public observance at all?

 

Here in Squamish, with a pretty small population, there was a huge turn-out at the local Remembrance service - standing-room only at the arena - and I know from past experience there would have been similar gatherings in every community in Canada. In channel surfing yesterday afternoon, the Canadian networks all were running documentaries on the Great War (saw a really good biography of John McCrae and the events that prompted him to write "In Flanders Fields", and why that particular poem out of so many struck a chord that resonates still almost a century later), WW2, Korea, various Peacekeeping operations, even the Boer War, except from 10 AM until noon, during which time they all broadcast live coverage of the Remembrance Day ceremonies in Ottawa, Vancouver and Victoria. By contrast, I saw very little such programming on American channels - just lots of ads for "Veterans Day Blow-Out Sales". It appears that in the U.S. November 11 has become just another celebration of consumerism - is that true?

 

As a store owner I've never been quite sure how to deal with Remembrance Day. On the one hand, I've always felt that it was something other than just a "holiday" - that there was something sacred about it, deserving of more respect and reverence than Labour Day or Thanksgiving or even Christmas (which, let's face it, has been pretty much shot to Hell as a religious Holy Day). But my father, who served as a navigator in Bomber Command, always grated at the idea of having the whole country completely shut down for the entire day every November 11. His feeling was that it was important for everyone to pause for a moment at 11 AM and remember all those who died, but to then get on with our lives. So I compromise between the two extremes, staying closed until after the memorial services are over, but opening for the afternoon. As for having a "Remembrance Day Blow-Out Sale" - forget it. Not only would I consider it to be in horribly bad taste but so would most, if not all of my customers. But in the U.S. it seems it's pretty broadly accepted practice.

 

I think it was in "Breakfast of Champions" that Kurt Vonnegut observed that the change in attitude seems to have happened when the name was changed. He wrote that "Remembrance Day was sacred; Veteran's Day is not." Was he right?

Edited by murraysovereign

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Some call War the Ultimate form of Diplomacy. My admiration to those who have gone, and to those who will. Thank You.

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Rememberance Day seems like more about remembering the dead whereas Veterans Day is about the living.... Rememberance Day is about how war kills people and Veterans Day is about being a hero... Rememberance Day is a cenotaph and Veterans Day is goarmy.com.

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Nov. 11 in US used to be Armistice Day, but was changed by Eisenhower in '54 to Veterans Day.

The idea of the day for specific people reflects American patriotism, rooted in ideas of personal sacrifice for the flag, wherea the vague-seeming Cdn "Remembrance" reflects an idea or concept. Kinda fitting.

 

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jordop said:

Nov. 11 in US used to be Armistice Day, but was changed by Eisenhower in '54 to Veterans Day.

The idea of the day for specific people reflects American patriotism, rooted in ideas of personal sacrifice for the flag, wherea the vague-seeming Cdn "Remembrance" reflects an idea or concept. Kinda fitting.

 

Not sure I follow ... remembering those who have died at war doesn't strike me as a particularly "vague" concept. In fact, it's pretty starkly defined - if you didn't get killed in the war, it's not about you. Those who survived take the time to remember those who didn't. It's all summed up quite nicely in the words of "The Act of Remembrance":

 

"They shall grow not old, as we who are left grow old;

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning,

We will remember them."

 

By contrast, "veteran" could apply to anyone who has ever worn a uniform regardless of whether they ever saw combat, or it could be expanded to include civilian employees of the military, or it could be expanded further to include anyone who has made any kind of contribution to the war effort like the merchant marine, or munitions factory workers, or "Rosie the Rivetter." Maybe that's why Veteran's Day doesn't command quite the same degree of respect as Remembrance Day - nobody's quite sure who or what it's supposed to be about. By including all "veterans" the intent of the original Armistice Day, as expressed in the Act of Remembrance, has been lost.

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My gut reaction is that the US (citizens, media and gov't) has spent the last 4 decades or so developing a deep distrust of the military, military service, and political use of the military, and so to turn around and pay respect to those who wore the uniform, whether they fought and died, fought, or just worked in a PX, is rampantly un-cool.

 

Canadians, by contrast, have a lot less to feel guilty/cynical/resentful about.

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Murray, by "vague" I meant comparatively general, non-specific.

 

Alpine_Tom said:

My gut reaction is that the US (citizens, media and gov't) has spent the last 4 decades or so developing a deep distrust of the military, military service, and political use of the military, and so to turn around and pay respect to those who wore the uniform, whether they fought and died, fought, or just worked in a PX, is rampantly un-cool.

 

Canadians, by contrast, have a lot less to feel guilty/cynical/resentful about.

 

Canadians, and the Americans you point to, probably have a distrust of the current "war" machine, yes, but it is unfortunate that this distrust can lead in some to an ignorance of the two wars that were worth fighting. A stupid cartoon in the equally stupid newspaper, The Province, tried to invoke the sentiment that we should honour those who refused to fight in wars, and this indiscriminate distrust of all war overlooks what good can come from the right war.

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Alpine_Tom said:

My gut reaction is that the US (citizens, media and gov't) has spent the last 4 decades or so developing a deep distrust of the military, military service, and political use of the military, and so to turn around and pay respect to those who wore the uniform, whether they fought and died, fought, or just worked in a PX, is rampantly un-cool.

 

Canadians, by contrast, have a lot less to feel guilty/cynical/resentful about.

 

I agree, there's no question much of the difference can be traced back to your country's experience in Viet Nam, the deep divisions it produced at home, and the mistrust of the Pentagon that resulted. Add in Watergate for good measure, and you're inevitably going to see some cynicism come out of it.

 

By contrast, when Canadians look back over our military history, there's far less ambiguity. There have been some bad experiences to be sure (Singapore or Dieppe, for instance, or Ypres, where Canadians were among the first to experience the effects of Mustard Gas) but certainly nothing that we're ashamed of. And much to be proud of - Vimy Ridge, the Battle of Britain, Ortona, Juno Beach... So perhaps it is just "easier" for us.

 

But I still think part of it is due to the fact that Remembrance Day is about remembering the dead, whereas Veteran's Day is about everyone who ever served in whatever capacity. It's hard to hold a grudge against the dead, hard to blame them for the stupid political decisions that got them killed. But when the veteran you're supposed to be honouring may have been a part of My Lai, or may have been part of the senior command that made things like My Lai possible, well, it's a bit harder to really put your heart into it. Maybe if you changed the name from Veterans Day back to Remembrance Day, and put the focus back on those who died rather than all those who ever wore the uniform, the occasion may regain some of the respect it seems to have lost.

 

But enough: I don't want to flog this to death. It's just that when two peoples are so similar in so many respects - virtually indistinguishable much of the time, in fact - it's interesting to look at the subtle differences and try to figure out where they originated and why they persist.

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While I have the rampant mistrust for all things warlike that AT refers to, I'd have to say that I also have a great respect and appreciation for those who have served in America's military. Maybe I need a history lesson, but "Rememberence Day" and "Veteran's Day" are not so fundamentally different in my mind -- I think about the wars we have fought, and in particular about the service of those who survived and died in those wars, as well as the non-war overseas assignments completed by our military personnel, and I am at once respectful and appreciative. As one who has never served and almost certainly never will, I don't have to support every specific war effort in order to value the service that has been provided by those who do.

 

I'm not saying that "Veteran's Day" and "Remembrance Day" dont' have a different overall tone and message -- I'm saying that, for me - when I really think about it - the celebration and remembrance of those who died, and the dread of war, is not all that far removed from a respect and appreciation for those who lived or are living through a current one.

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My hat off to the living and dead of the various militaries. They may be gone, but not forgotten. While I appreciate and honor their sacrifices, I sure do hope those leaders that send the troops off to their deaths know the hell of war.

bush_bravely_leads.jpg

Cue Ozzy's warpigs song...

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Alpine_Tom said:

My gut reaction is that the US (citizens, media and gov't) has spent the last 4 decades or so developing a deep distrust of the military, military service, and political use of the military, and so to turn around and pay respect to those who wore the uniform, whether they fought and died, fought, or just worked in a PX, is rampantly un-cool.

 

Canadians, by contrast, have a lot less to feel guilty/cynical/resentful about.

 

There was a recent article in Harpers magazine that cited a survey which indicated that about 75% of Americans trust the military. The percentage drops some for those under 30 but overall Americans show a greater trust for the military then they do the President. Go figure.

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In the runup to this war, it seems to me that we heard more realistic and honest assessments of the situation from the Joint Chief's of Staff than we did from the White House. I guess I'm one of those people in the Harper's survey.

 

I don't understand where AT is coming from when he says it has become "uncool" to pay respect to the military. I'd say that it has become uncool, if anything, to pay disrespect to the military.

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Here's another take on Rememberance Day. Sure to raise some hackles, but I quite liked it for its alternative, more inclusive, perspective on the issue.

 

------

LEST WE FORGET: This Remembrance Day, let us oppose the wars that are now being waged, rather than simply buying a poppy to show how mournful we are.

 

by Paul Burrows

November 11, 2003

www.rabble.ca

 

This Remembrance Day, let us remember Canadians who fought and died during the two World Wars and the Korean War. Let us also remember those of other nations (Germans, Russians, Japanese, Koreans and many others) who fought and died as our allies, or our enemies.

 

Let us also remember that those who fought and died on both sides were primarily working people, whether volunteers or conscripts. They were not members of the privileged elites, whose class and corporate interests (rather than their country’s alleged national interests) sparked the wars in the first place.

 

Let us also remember those who fought against injustice without the support of the Canadian government. Let us honour the brave individuals (and entire brigades like Mackenzie-Papineau) who went to Spain in the 1930s to defend the republic and revolution from fascism. Let us not forget that these veterans of the Spanish War fought and died despite our government’s threat to imprison them upon their return.

 

Let us also remember those who refused to fight for unjust causes and were called cowards. Let us for once acknowledge their bravery for standing alone with their principles, in the face of ridicule, persecution, imprisonment, harassment, threats, or violence from their own friends or family, from their own community, or from the institutions of the Canadian state.

 

Let us also remember the combatants and civilian victims of a whole host of other wars past and present wars in which Canada may or may not have sent soldiers, but Canadian arms manufacturers made (and continue to make) huge profits through the sale of weapons.

 

Let us remember those who continue to fight and die resisting brutal dictatorships regardless of whether Canadian politicians and our free press consider these dictators to be enemies or allies. Let us speak out against the exploitative and repressive measures of these dictators, even while our government helps to prop them up with money and military hardware. Let us honour the dissidents who struggle to change these societies by any means necessary. And let us honour, support and join those in our own societies who work in solidarity with oppressed people the world over.

 

And most of all, let us remember that one day a year is not enough. The meaning of Remembrance Day is greatly diminished, even trivial, if it is confined to wearing a plastic poppy every November. It is meaningless if it is patriotic, as if our empathy and allegiance should stop at a border that was itself constructed by conquest and war.

 

Remembrance Day is also meaningless if it remains disconnected from today’s struggles for peace and a better future, both at home and abroad. The struggle to end war is literally the same as the ongoing struggle to democratize our own country, to shift resources from military to social spending, and to wrest control of our communities and workplaces from corporations and private power. In Canada, we must first acknowledge and pay reparations for historical and ongoing crimes against First Nations peoples, and we must first acknowledge and completely reverse our unsavoury, immoral and profiteering role in foreign affairs, before we can proudly (or accurately) claim to be a force for peace, freedom, democracy or justice in the world.

 

This Remembrance Day, open your eyes and hearts to the ongoing, daily, systemic class war against the poor in this country. Open your heart to the fact that poverty is a form of violence (suffered daily by thousands of Canadians), and we live under an economic system that requires unemployment and poverty, in order to keep wages low and private profits high.

 

Remember also the ongoing genocide committed against the Lubicon Cree in Alberta and the Anishnaabe of Grassy Narrows (sadly, not aberrations), as well as the daily racism and injustice faced by First Nations peoples across the land. Remember, and stand in solidarity with those who resist exploitation, torture, injustice, as well as foreign aggression or intervention in Iraq, Afghanistan, East Timor, Haiti, Palestine, Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, Sierra Leone, Zaire, Somalia, Burma, the former Soviet Union, Tibet, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and on and on and on. Remember all these struggles, at home and abroad, and work to change the structures of power in your own community and country which give rise to war and injustice in the first place.

 

This Remembrance Day, mourn your dead, and commemorate your fallen heroes. But most of all, work for positive social change. Question the pronouncements and rhetoric of your so-called leaders.; Become an activist for peace. Speak out against the racist attacks upon and racial profiling of people of colour in the wake of September 11. Join the fight against the wholesale and racist deportation of Palestinians and other Arabs that is occurring as we speak merely the latest in a long line of shameful bigotry and collective punishment in Canadian history, going back to the so-called reservation system (which inspired Apartheid), through the expulsion of the Acadians, to the internment of the Japanese, and the closing of our borders to Jews fleeing Nazi terror.

 

This Remembrance Day let us for once affirm that No One is Illegal! This Remembrance Day, let us resist the criminalization of dissent, and the attack on civil liberties in the name of a very false security. This Remembrance Day, let us oppose the wars that are now being waged, rather than simply buying a poppy to show how mournful we are, while we fall in line behind the expanding American Empire.

 

Oppose Canada’s ongoing intervention in Afghanistan, and any Canadian participation in the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq. Fight to end these and every other unjust war! Anything else is hypocrisy. Anything else is not only immoral, but also sows the seeds of future terrorism. Anything else is lip service.

 

Paul Burrows is a freelance writer in Montreal.

 

 

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Paul Burrows said:

Let us remember those who continue to fight and die resisting brutal dictatorships regardless of whether Canadian politicians and our free press consider these dictators to be enemies or allies. Let us speak out against the exploitative and repressive measures of these dictators, even while our government helps to prop them up with money and military hardware. Let us honour the dissidents who struggle to change these societies by any means necessary. And let us honour, support and join those in our own societies who work in solidarity with oppressed people the world over.

Then a little later,

Paul Burrows said:

Oppose Canada’s ongoing intervention in Afghanistan, and any Canadian participation in the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq. Fight to end these and every other unjust war! Anything else is hypocrisy. Anything else is not only immoral, but also sows the seeds of future terrorism. Anything else is lip service.

 

...which seems like contradicting statements since nobody really disputes the fact that Saddam was a "brutal dictator".

 

Or was it all a conspiracy by the "right winged media" and he's really just misunderstood. rolleyes.gif

 

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Yup, it does seem a little contraidictory. I hadn't seen that before - thanks for pointing it out.

 

However, to me anyway, it seems to me the war/occupation of Iraq has always been about a lot more than just ridding the world of a brutal dictator (in fact, until WMDs couldn't be found, everything but removing Saddam was used as a rationale for the war). It is still a contraidictory point of Burrows', but I see a lot more to his argument than hairsplitting over the rationale and motivations for the war in Iraq. Take it as you want...

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