Today is a Very Special Day
A day to salute our veterans and why 11/11 is significant around the world.
Painting by my mom, Dorothy Algiers, of The Poppies of Flanders
(The story on this, later in the newsletter!)
Today, I’m coming to you with a special Saturday Sidebar honoring veterans. Normally, the Saturday Sidebar goes out to paid subscribers, and while everyone can read part of the newsletter, the majority of it is available only “for paying customers 😉.”
But today’s newsletter is for everyone, so please share this with a veteran or someone currently serving in the armed forces.
First, to all the veterans… thank you for your service!
In the US, Veterans Day is a day we honor our military veterans who have served in past and present U.S. wars. 🇺🇲❤️
Around the world, November 11 is known as Remembrance Day, a day that was established by King George V in 1919, having evolved out of Armistice Day and the end of the conflict of WWI in 1918. In the US, we now refer to this day as Veterans Day.
November 11 & the poppy - what’s the connection?
Here in the US, it’s not uncommon to see people wearing a poppy on the lapel of their shirts as a way to acknowledge Veterans Day. But where did this tradition originate? Many around the world wear a poppy as a symbol of the red poppies that were found on the battlefields of northern France and Belgium during WWI. The poppy became associated with the fallen soldiers of these fields because of the poem In Flanders Field written by field physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae after the death of one of his friends in a WWI battle.
I first learned of Flanders Fields and its famous poppies when my mom’s painting was in an art show at the Milwaukee Catholic Home, where my parents lived from 2017 until 2020, the year each of my parents passed. I’d never heard about her reports on WWI until then. (The lesson here… ask your loved ones about their past!)
A message from 1934:
If you’ve followed my past newsletters and posts, you might know that my dad, the late Dr. James Algiers, was a WWII Veteran who served in the US Navy on the Island of Attu.
My dad spent the later years of his life writing emails to his childhood friend Louie, recalling the war, as well as other historical events and stories from his childhood and adult years.
In the spirit of Veterans Day, I’m sharing one of his reflections on war. In “Awaiting That Generation,” my dad recalls a speech he heard in 1934 when a man came in to speak to his class about WWI and the significance of Armistice Day. The man spoke of the atrocities of war and ended his talk with a dramatic plea to the students to be a better generation than that of their parents in hopes of preventing future wars. Read this moving piece here.
My dad, at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center in July of 1944.
With that, I’ll close today’s newsletter again with sincere gratitude and thanks to all veterans - living and deceased.
For more information on Veterans Day, I’ve listed some podcasts, movies, and books below… as well as some fabulous Veterans Day deals this weekend.
🇺🇲VETERANS DAY SPECIALS🇺🇲
Podcasts honoring Veterans Day - 7 podcasts paying tribute to our vets. I’m especially intrigued by this one, called She Wears the Boots - A Podcast for Women Veterans.