|Field of Poppies, Tower of London|
By Ian Pegg (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
|Tower of London 2014|
By Scarretero (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]
via Wikimedia Commons
This past week, I have seen several images which pointed my thoughts toward the observance of Veterans Day. The first were pictures I saw of the poppy memorial at the Tower of London. The monument, which is titled "Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red", contains 888,246 ceramic red poppies that have been placed in the moat area of the Tower of London. Each poppy commemorates the death of a soldier of the British Commonwealth during World War I.(1) The monument in its simplicity makes a powerful statement.
A very different image was the snapshot of a military cemetery which I found in a family photo album. The handwritten note on the back indicates it was taken on Okinawa in 1945. My father served with the US Army and was stationed on Okinawa in the final year of World War II. This photo was something he brought back from his time spent on Okinawa. Try as I might, I have not been able to enlarge it enough to clearly read the symbols and inscription on the crosses. All that is clear is that it is the burial place of apparently hundreds of soldiers killed in World War II.
photo from personal collection
Today Veterans Day is celebrated in a number of ways. For many it is a federal holiday, for others it means parades or patriotic programs in schools. But for all of us it should be a day to recognize, honor, and commemorate our country's military. As the US Department of Veterans Affairs reminds us on their web site ...
The ... observance of Veterans Day ... not only preserves the historical significance of the date [Armistice Day], but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.On this day I especially want to remember these veterans about whom I have written during the past year.
- Raleigh Spinks Camp, Civil War, Confederate States of America
- Thomas Lumpkin Camp, Civil War, Confederate States of America
- Josiah Gresham Camp, Civil War, Confederate States of America
- James Houston, Revolutionary War, Colonial America
- Adolph Myren, World War I
- Thomas P Nelson, Civil Confederate States of America
- Ernest Vaughn Perkinson, World War I
- James S Roach, Civil War, Confederate States of America
(1) "888,246 Poppies Pour Like Blood From the Tower of London to Remember the Fallen Soldiers of WWI", http://www.earthporm.com, Nov 2014.