Cedars of Lebanon State Park
My first cousin invited me to spend last weekend at a middle TN state park on the pretext that hubby was attending a conference. "We can take long leisurely walks in the woods while he's in meetings," she said. "We can talk and play games," she said. "We can just sit out on the porch and enjoy the peace and quiet and listen to the birds," she said. She lied!
There was plenty of talk alright and there were lots of games but that peace and quiet thingy? Non-existent. There was no hubby either. Instead there were assorted cousins and a couple of aunts from Memphis, Huntsville, AL and Columbus, GA and even a few from right around these parts. They seemed to be crawling out of the woodwork and I couldn't help but think of the circus with all those clowns piling out of a tiny car. Surprise!
Although I had nothing to do with it, my birthday wasn't scheduled until today, but my aunts and cousins made sure I had enough memories from last weekend's antics to carry me through 11/11/11 - a day of historic significance but another event I had nothing to do with.
Cedars of Lebanon State Park
Today is not only my birthday, it also belongs to Kurt Vonnegut, Alfred Fried, Carlos Fuentes, George Patton and Magda Goebels, wife of the notorious Nazi. The Mayflower Compact was signed on November 11, 1620, Nat Turner was executed on that day in 1831, and Washington became the 42nd state in 1889.
Nov. 11 is also Armistice Day, or that's what it was called when President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed it a day to commemorate the end of World War I. . .
. . . known at the time as “The Great War” - officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”Originally, it was a day set aside for "parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m." It wasn't declared a legal holiday until 1938 and in 1954 the name was changed to Veteran's Day in honor of all veterans in all wars. Guess that "war to end all wars" didn't work out so well.
Once a year, the left and right try to outdo one another in showing support for the men and women who risk their lives just so we at home have the right to fight and hate each other. During the rest of the year, however, our veterans largely go unappreciated and forgotten except in empty speeches. But hasn't this always been the case? Aren't the people who are always the most eager to send our men and women off to war the ones who put up the biggest obstacles to providing for them once they return?