Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day, New York

As I mentioned last week, I've been under some deadline pressure, but today, finally, I could sleep in and get to work a bit late.

When I was leaving my building - later than usual - I heard a policeman on a motorcycle zip up First Avenue, siren blaring. A man on the sidewalk, indignant, shouted to no one in particular, "Why can't he turn that motherfudging thing off?" (Only, he didn't say fudge.)

I'm sure he felt chagrined when it became evident that the policeman was leading a motorcade of vets, in honor of Veteran's Day.


Anonymous said...

Armistice Day (also known as Remembrance Day) is on November 11 and commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compi├Ęgne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front, which took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning — the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" 1918. While this official date to mark the end of the war reflects the cease fire on the Western Front, hostilities continued in other regions, especially across the former Russian Empire and in parts of the old Ottoman Empire.
The date was declared a national holiday in many allied nations, to commemorate those members of the armed forces who were killed during war. An exception is Italy, where the end of the war is commemorated on 4 November, the day of the Armistice of Villa Giusti. Called Armistice Day in many countries, it was known as National Day in Poland (also a public holiday) called Polish Independence Day. After World War II, the name of the holiday was changed to Veterans Day in the United States and to Remembrance Day in countries of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Armistice Day remains an official holiday in France. It is also an official holiday in Belgium, known also as the Day of Peace in the Flanders Fields.
In many parts of the world people take a two-minute moment of silence at 11:00 a.m. as a sign of respect for the roughly 20 million people who died in the war, as suggested by Edward George Honey in a letter to a British newspaper although Wellesley Tudor Pole established two ceremonial periods of remembrance based on events in 1917.[1][2]
In the UK, beginning in 1939, the two-minute silence was moved to the Sunday nearest to 11 November in order not to interfere with wartime production should 11 November fall on a weekday. Both Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday are commemorated formally in the UK.

Sally said...

Wow, my mother always talks about the huge party her father had on Armistice Day in 1918. Also the time of the influenza epidemic. She said people celebrate in the streets for days. She was only 8 but remembers this well. WW1 killed 16 million, the flu killed 50 million.