Friday, November 11, 2011

Armistice Day

In previous years, I didn't even know when Veteran's Day was. I knew it was in November and I knew I'd get the day off. And even though I'd had the various history lessons on how Veteran's Day, originally Armistice Day, was the day the commemorated the end of The Great War, WWI. On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918, WWI ended. But this is the first year that the magnitude of the end of the war hit me. You see, this year I finished reading the Anne of Green Gables series. The eighth book, Rilla of Ingleside is almost entirely about WWI.

For seven books I had bonded with all the characters. I actually had a difficult time reading the eighth book. So much so that I could only take one chapter a day in most cases. It wasn't just that the characters suffer. There are many humorous bits too. But you can feel L.M. Montgomery's sorrow throughout the book. The war was known to have taken a great toll on her. In Rilla of Ingleside, Montgomery's style perfectly captures the apprehension that the women who were left behind had as they hung on every news story, every battle, and every letter sent to them. There is also a great deal of cheerfulness from those who sacrificed everything because they knew they were doing it for the greater good. The general selflessness in the book hit me hard.
So this year, hearing all the advertisements for Veteran's Day sales has left a bitter taste in my mouth. It seems like today should be a quiet day where we reflect on the great loss of life. Not how fast we can spend our money. Even though I'll be working for a bit today, I still plan on spending most of my time reflecting on the true meaning of Veteran's Day and sacrifices that have been made. 


Anonymous said...

That's a great post.

Carol said...

Well said. I have felt the same way, also on Memorial Day

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