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Old 11-11-2008, 10:38 AM
 
11,886 posts, read 32,924,797 times
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To all of our veterans in the US, Canada and our other allies, I want to give a heart-felt THANK YOU for all you've done for us.

And let us not forget why we celebrate Veterans Day on November 11. Originally called Armistice Day, World War 1 was officially ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. For years, all Americans were encouraged to stop what they were doing and observe a moment of silence on November 11 at 11am. I wish we still did that.

The casualties of WW1 were horrific. While the U.S. lost "only" 116,708 soldiers during WW1, look at what our allies lost:
  • Britain had 885,138 military deaths and 109,000 civilian deaths.
  • Canada had 64,944 military deaths.
  • France had 1,397,800 military deaths and 300,000 civilian deaths.
  • Greece had 26,000 military deaths and 150,000 civilian deaths.
  • Romania had 250,000 military deaths and 430,000 civilian deaths.
  • Russia had 1,811,000 military deaths and 1,500,000 civilian deaths.
  • Serbia had 275,000 military deaths and 450,000 civilian deaths.

And the countries we were fighting:
  • Austria-Hungary had 1,100,000 military deaths and 467,000 civilian deaths.
  • Bulgaria had 87,500 military deaths and 100,000 civilian deaths.
  • Germany had 2,036,897 military deaths and 426,000 civilian deaths.
  • Ottoman Empire had 800,000 military deaths and 4,200,000 civilian deaths.

In all, World War 1 saw the deaths of 10 million soldiers and 9 million civilians. 19 million people!!

Since most Americans and Canadians who lost lives did so in my beloved Northern France, you'll forgive me for getting a little misty-eyed when I see the poem "In Flanders Fields" written by a Canadian soldier in 1915 after the 2nd battle at Ypres:

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.


I spent two years living in the Flandres and Artois regions of France. There are WW1 military cemeteries EVERYWHERE, some as small as a classroom, on just about every ridge and outside just about every town. I've seen the red poppies blanketing cemetery grounds, and I've helped the local French people who voluntarily maintain the cemeteries with loving gratitude.

So, hats off to our veterans!





















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Old 11-11-2008, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Northridge/Porter Ranch, Calif.
22,383 posts, read 27,584,655 times
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A big THANK YOU to the Vets!
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