100th anniversary of Armistice Day

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Weather Bob
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100th anniversary of Armistice Day

Postby Weather Bob » Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:28 am

This weekend is the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI.

President Trump has flown to France, but has decided not to go pay his respects at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial, because it is raining. Instead, he will spend the afternoon watching TV in his hotel room.

If the weather improves, he may stop by a cemetery near Paris tomorrow.

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Re: 100th anniversary of Armistice Day

Postby Henry Vilas » Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:31 am

My dad's step-father was a dough boy in WWI. He survived a mustard gas attack, but it adversely affected him the rest of his life.

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Re: 100th anniversary of Armistice Day

Postby Bwis53 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:38 am

Considering Trump never served, he ought to stand in the rain. And to top it off:
Why Trump’s explosive claim that Macron wants a European military ‘to protect itself from the U.S.’ is so misleading
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/20 ... 7f8e78415d
It has been a solemn week in Europe, where world leaders will mark the end of World War I on Sunday, two days after Germany commemorated the anniversary of a Nazi pogrom against Jews. With anti-Semitism and nationalism both on the rise once again, the message European leaders want to send this weekend is that the horrors of both World Wars will hopefully never repeat, to some extent thanks to a strong transatlantic alliance that has helped to avoid military conflicts in Western Europe for more than half a century now.

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Re: 100th anniversary of Armistice Day

Postby Cadfael » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:49 am

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Re: 100th anniversary of Armistice Day

Postby BobbyB » Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:35 pm

Weather Bob wrote:This weekend is the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI.

President Trump has flown to France, but has decided not to go pay his respects at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial, because it is raining. Instead, he will spend the afternoon watching TV in his hotel room.

If the weather improves, he may stop by a cemetery near Paris tomorrow.


Let's be fair to Trump. We all know that snowflakes melt in the rain.

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Re: 100th anniversary of Armistice Day

Postby Weather Bob » Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:51 pm

That Harry Leslie Smith fellow seems to be quite a character. Jo Offord, the woman who told him to "be more respectful" seems to have subsequently deleted her own twitter account.

Along with watching TV for six hours in his Paris hotel room, President Trump apparently is recognizing this Armistice Day centennial by announcing that he'll give the Presidential Medal of Freedom to the wife of Sheldon Adelson, in thanks for the $87 million she and her husband donated to Republican candidates in this election cycle.

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Re: 100th anniversary of Armistice Day

Postby Weather Bob » Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:08 pm

Lots of old photos here. These guys are celebrating the armistice, 100 years ago tomorrow:

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I can't imagine the trauma that WWI must have inflicted on children whose families were caught up in it. This is a mother and child wearing gas masks in the French countryside:

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This guy would not be impressed by Mr Trump's aversion to rain:

Image

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Re: 100th anniversary of Armistice Day

Postby Shorty » Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:27 pm

I bet French tv shows are better than American. But hard to understand without subtitles.

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Re: 100th anniversary of Armistice Day

Postby Weather Bob » Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:24 pm

Twitter has some thoughts about Mr Trump's shameful behavior today:

Julia Ioffe: If a football player kneeling during the national anthem is an act of appalling disrespect to the men and women who serve, what is it when the Commander in Chief refuses to go to the cemetery to honor fallen soldiers because of a little rain?


Seth Masket:
BBC News: French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel unveil commemorative plaque at the spot where the Armistice ending World War One was signed 100 years ago

Current conditions: light rain, 53F. The President is sitting in his Paris hotel room tweeting and watching Fox.


Clara Jefferey: Hillary had fucking pneumonia and attended a 9/11 memorial anyway and fainted and Trump and his supporters went bonkers and said she was about to die.

Trump won't stand in the rain for a few minutes to honor the veterans of WWI.


It is extraordinarily shameful that this "man" (man-child) is representing our country at the commemoration of the 100th anniversary 11/11/1918.

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Re: 100th anniversary of Armistice Day

Postby snoqueen » Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:54 pm

When I was a little girl (say 1958 for convenient arithmetic - I would have been eleven) we would have a war memorial parade annually in our town, though I think all the various war memorial days weren't consolidated into one big Memorial Day until later. You had Armistice Day for WWI, then V-J Day for WWII victory in Japan, and another for Europe, and so forth. The Korean War never was won and so had no end day of its own, but its veterans were eventually honored on the consolidated Memorial Day too.

The WWII vets were maybe in their forties in 1958, still straight and strong as they marched down the street in rows. Many still fit in their military uniforms, since this was before America got fat. But in front of the WWII men (all men, no women from our town) were a few much older veterans, little and bent over but still part of the parade.

I remember asking my mom who were the old men, and she said (very respectfully -- I remember her voice) they were the ones from World War I. That war ended forty years before 1958, so those old guys might have been in their sixties. Maybe people age differently today -- I don't know. But they seemed really old to me.

In 2018, when we observe Memoral Day, the WWII men are all gone. The Vietnam War ended in maybe 1973, which is not 40 but 45 years ago. Our oldest big cohort of veterans is from that war. They're my age, and I'm almost 72. We're the old guys and soon will be gone too. I suppose the Gulf War veterans are the next in line.

I don't know what my point is here, beyond "so it goes." But it sure would be nice if Trump, who's my age and ought to know better, would stir from his torpor of self-absorption and appear at the cemetery in Europe as a gesture of respect. Maybe his wife, who is after all European, could have explained it to him, but apparently she didn't or else he didn't get it.

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Re: 100th anniversary of Armistice Day

Postby Weather Bob » Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:11 am

Never again.

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Re: 100th anniversary of Armistice Day

Postby Cadfael » Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:57 pm

snoqueen wrote:I don't know what my point is here, beyond "so it goes."

I don't know if it was your point, but you did a good job of reminding us that we've been at war for a long, long time now.

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Re: 100th anniversary of Armistice Day

Postby Igor » Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:14 pm

Never expected there to be a song about Armstice Day released in 2018...



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Re: 100th anniversary of Armistice Day

Postby Paleo2 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:15 pm

My paternal grandfather was too old for WWI, my maternal grandfather too young. (My maternal grandfather was in the Battle of Okinawa with the USMC in WWII).

My maternal grandfather and grandmother were both youngest kids, and their older brothers fought. Some of my great-uncles signed up even through they were underage. If you knew southern families and Indian families you would expect that.

One of my great-uncles was, according to family story, the youngest flight instructor in WWI. In the late 1930s he went to Canada to join the Royal Canadian Air Corps. After Pearl Harbor he was transferred to the US Army Air Corps. Family story has it he was the oldest flight instructor in WWII. The youngest flight instructor in WWII was a fellow named George Herbert Walker Bush.

The military flight traditional held in my great-uncle’s family. My second cousin used to fly Navy helicopters in Antarctica.

May we never forget our brave troops.

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Re: 100th anniversary of Armistice Day

Postby Cadfael » Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:14 pm

This is a 2017 Facebook essay from Garnet Rogers. It is my understanding that people exist who do not subscribe to Facebook so I am pasting it here.

Garnet Rogers wrote:Wishing I was home right now (as I always do when on the road.) Currently doing a short run in the US and hating that I'm missing Remembrance Day ceremonies in Canada.
There seems to a lot less attention paid to November 11th down here in the South. Mostly a lot of mattresses on sale at rock bottom prices.

This morning I woke up thinking about the old fellow I met many years ago at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. I was spending the day wandering about and trying to get close to things I had no business being near. (And yes, I did manage to get over the velvet rope barrier and sit behind the wheel of Goering's bullet riddled staff car. Whisky in the middle of the afternoon will whisper bad suggestions.)

I was standing on a platform next to a Spitfire with (as I recall ) D Day markings, looking into the cock pit, and realising that even as thin as I was back then I wouldn't be able to fit in.
Damn.
I was amazed at how bare bones and primitive it was. Just a stick and a throttle and a few dials, along with the "tit"...the super charger. There was still a heavy odour of fuel, and oil and glycol. How could anyone have had the nerve to climb into one of these things and fire it up and then face what was waiting above the clouds?
Presently, I heard laboured breathing behind me, and turned round to see a tiny old man pulling himself up the stairs.
He looked about the right vintage to have had intimate knowledge of the plane, and I made room for him.
He leaned in, and took a deep inhale of the interior, held it and then breathed out again.
"Does it still smell the same?" I asked.
"No, not quite. They usually smelled of shit and piss and vomit by the time you came down. You nearly always threw up, and pissed yourself on a sortie. "
He shrugged. "At least I did."
We stood there for a while, him looking haunted and staring into the tiny space, and running his hands over the webbing of the safety harness, and me for once managing to keep my mouth shut.
Mostly. But I couldn't help myself.
"Would you like to get in?" I asked.
He looked around and said," They don't allow that. There's signs everywhere."
"I can't see any guards. I can help you. I'll keep watch."
He hesitated for a minute and then I unlatched the small door and held his arm as he climbed stiffly in.
I got him settled, and then strapped the harness across his chest, and stepped back. He reached out and closed one hand over the stick and the other over the throttle.
I can't begin to describe the look on his face, but he had gone somewhere else.
Where, I have no idea.
I said, "I'll be back in a few minutes to help you get out."
He nodded absently, and I went back down the stairs.
I came back maybe 20 minutes later, and found he had rolled the cock pit canopy forward. It must have been stifling. He was still there, still staring into God knows where, but he noticed me and nodded through the perspex glass. He pushed the canopy back, said, "I'm ready now," and I unlatched the door and helped him out.
Once again I was uncharacteristically able to keep my pie hole shut, and just watch as he took a last look inside. He wiped the sweat off his brow, ran his hand over the edge of the cockpit, patted it, looked at me, nodded, and said, "Thanks," and then walked down the stairs.

He'll have passed now. Most of them have.
For myself, I can't think of a leader or politician whose word I trust enough to sign up to face what this man and thousands like him faced. And even if the cause warranted, I doubt I would have had the sand.
He did though, when the time came, and among all the myriad things I have to be grateful for in this life, I have had the honour of strapping a hero into his chair, perhaps for the final time, and metaphorically at least, sending him off to face whatever lay before him, and see him come home safe at the end of the day.


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