It is Veterans Day

By Mick Holien

On the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour the United States and other countries celebrate Germany’s surrender and eventual signing of the Armistice that purportedly ended World War 1.

First termed “the war to end all wars” by H.G. Wells the document – The treaty of Versaillles – proved to be anything thing but the case.

Negotiated in a six-month period leading to June, 1919, the Treaty was signed in protest by some while the Allied Forces were represented by Russia, France, Italy and Great Britain in a railroad car at Compiegne, France just outside Paris.

The U.S. Senate refused to ratify and Germany refused to sign.

President Woodrow Wilson opposed the treaty’s rigidity, instead recommending a provision to the League of Nations mandating his conditions including an “end to all war.”

Wilson also mandated open rather than secret negotiations to determine division among the Allies of land seized by the Germans.

Ironic was the death of about 3,500 Allied soldiers who were killed after the treaty was signed even though it was verified some two days before and guaranteed at 5 a.m. it would occur some six hours later.

France and Australia celebrate Veterans Day, Canada has Remembrance Day and Great Britain recognizes veterans on Remembrance Sunday, the second Sunday of May.

A note to consider Veterans does not contain an apostrophe since it marks a day for all veterans not any particular one.

Although I have nothing to quantify the notion, probably since Sept. 11, 2001, this nation has recognized those in uniform, be they military, police, fire, or any EMS by thanking them for their service.

Initially it seemed the uniformed person was not sure how to respond but now I fear it has become just routine and is shared without depth or appreciation.

Being as veteran of the all-volunteer force prior to the draft – I enlisted in the Navy Aug 22, 1962 to a six-year term that saw my rate as a hospital corpsman bringing my transfer to a career as a Fleet Marine Force medic.

You see little did I know the U.S. Marine Corps, as a division of the Navy, do not have their own corpsman.

Thus I have the opportunity to claim both branches although most of my career was spent in Marine fatigues while answering proudly as “Doc.”

So when I encounter uniformed personnel I always try to recognize their rank as part of their greeting and service appreciation.

Give it a little thought when you have your appreciation. They appreciate it.

Hoo Raa.

Just sayin’

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