Today was Veterans Day – a time to honor our men and women who fought for this country.
In the words of the famous poet Maya Angelou: “how important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!”
I started to choose a stock photo to accompany today’s post, but my childhood friend, artist Maggie Rust, changed her Facebook profile picture to feature her latest acrylic painting “Lest We Forget – 2015”, so that is where this pretty poppies photo originates.
The early morning hours today were thick like pea soup and I could hear the foghorn some two miles away sounding its ominous call for anyone out on the Wyandotte waterways.
But, finally, when it was time to leave, the fog had lifted, but it was still a tad murky out and when I passed Ford Park, the trees looked spindly and seemed to fade away in ghost-like images.
The rain yesterday took its toll on the leaves which had previously been skittering around the streets and lawns and now they were glommed onto the sidewalk, all wet and slippery. I really had to pay attention while walking so I didn’t wipe out.
It seemed that the more delicate annuals, especially those still in porch pots, took a direct hit between the rain and the frost because they were looking withered and bedraggled today. That is, all but the Flowering Kale in one homeowner’s front garden – it is still as bright and vibrant as it was in mid-Summer. I wended my way down through Wyandotte, to the railroad tracks and back – that being part one of my trek.
The last leg of my journey ended with a trip to Memorial Park to visit the memorial for the City’s war dead from World War II and the Korean and Vietnam Wars. In recent years they have been refurbishing the three old bronze plaques on the memorial, and I noted they’ve added a new name to the Korean War dead plaque. The name looks out of place with its stark-white lettering as the other names on the list have long since gone from a pleasant-looking patina to a darkened brass.
It is still difficult for me to remember that Veterans Day here in America is used to celebrate the lives of living veterans and their service to our country, in contrast to Memorial Day which honors those who perished in various wars to date. In Canada where I grew up, a day to honor our war dead occurred on November 11th, but was called Remembrance Day. It was a day to remember any deceased war hero and everyone wore their soft, flocked poppy proudly. As a young child, I can remember my mom pinning my poppy on my school outfit and carefully laying a handkerchief over it, so it would not come loose from my clothes and drop into the street as I walked to school. Everyone was sporting poppies in the weeks leading up to Veterans Day. I recall, as schoolchildren we would observe a few minutes of silence in the morning and we’d bow our heads in prayer for those lives lost in war.
But sadly, there was no one at the memorial today – there never is, except during the Memorial Day parade and post-parade services when a trio of wreaths are propped up at the foot of the large stone memorial – one wreath for each war.
Though I’ve never lost any family or friends due to war, my heart goes out to those who have suffered the tragedy that war often brings.