November, the 11th month, the 11th day, the 11th hour. Armistice Day, they called it. The war to end all wars. So stated President Hoover. Our veterans came home to the beginnings of a Depression. Promised a $315 bonus they never received until President Truman came into office.
Two of my uncles served. One came back A-OK, the other never again was able to taste his food, after being gassed.
Now, after World War II and several wars to save capitalism, we celebrate Armistice Day as Veterans Day. We gather at the hallow grounds with row upon row of marble slabs and crosses under the green, green grass of their home. We place flowers and small flags, the families shed their tears, say some prayer, then it’s off to pizza and beers and a football game. Don’t we owe them a little more respect?
Yes, I’m a veteran. I have never yet figured out what Korea’s carnage was all about, or Vietnam’s. We walked away from both with a loss of thousands. But Sony didn’t do bad, nor Nike, with $200 shoes, hawked by millionaire sports figures but assembled by young slave laborers with no education. I don’t think those that gave their all had that in mind.
I was not spat upon, in fact I was treated very well. I received my bonus, 52-20 it was called, and Minnesota had a tax on cigarettes, giving me a $300 lump sum. We are now in a debacle started by a draft dodger.
We are finally coming around to the fact we need to recognize our veterans and their problems. We owe it to those above ground and below ground. So let’s really make those that profit from wars realize it is not a day to have car sales, tire sales, buy three and get one free, or any so-called sales.
How about they just close up shop for that one day and sit back and contemplate what we owe them, take a vet to dinner, see that he has a job that pays well and his children get a good education? He or she deserves the best health care and a lot of peace and quiet.
Is it too much to ask those that profit to shut down for this one day? Armistice Day or Veterans Day, whatever one wants to call it.
I’m of the opinion a flower and small flag don’t quite do it.
Galen Larson writes from Montezuma County, Colo.