Friday, November 6, 2015

Thank a Vet!

Veterans Day, initially called Armistice Day, is November 11, a day to honor and thank
all Americans, living and dead, who have served in the United States Armed Forces. 
I'm proud to display our flag every day.

A little history . . . At 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1918, an armistice was agreed upon to 
stop hostilities between the Allied nations and Germany in WWI.
This date came to be regarded as the end of the "war to end all wars." 
President Eisenhower later changed the name from Armistice Day to Veterans Day 
to honor all those who had served in any war.

I do not pretend to be an expert on the many wars our nation has been involved in 
and my apologies in advance for any historical errors in this post. 
But, like so many in our country, Veterans Day is very personal to me. 
This is my dad, the handsome soldier. 

This day is personal to me because I went to high school with several young boys who died 
in Vietnam and I pray for the "boots on the ground" in today's battles so far from home. 
My grandfather served in the Army in WWI and saw action with the American Expeditionary
Forces, Verdun, Argonne, the March to the Rhine and the Army of Occupation.
 He doesn't look like the jolly grandfather I knew . . . so young in this official portrait.

My father served in WWII. 
Dad's the bad-ass one with a cigarette and without a helmet, upper right. 
Kind of a mix between Clark Gable and Tyrone Power. Or maybe George Clooney!

Ron's mother was a Rosie the Riveter during the war. 
Because she was so tiny she was able to climb into the tight spots of the planes she helped build. 

My father joined the Army in 1942 and served in the 811th Tank Destroyer "B" Company in WWII. He drove a tank in the Rhineland, Battle of the Bulge, Central Europe and Ardennes battles.

Like many veterans, he didn't like to talk about the war but I remember him telling me the story of how his tank was hit and he woke up hanging over the long gun on the front of the tank. I guess I get emotional about our military because I know how close we came to losing him that day. 

This photo has been damaged over time
but it's one of my favorites of my dashing dad and beautiful mother during the war years.

Dad wasn't directly involved in the liberation of Paris on 25 August 1944 but, like all who served, 
I'm sure his spirit was there the day Germany surrendered the French capital 
after four years of occupation. 
I can't even look at these pictures without tearing up. 

Can you imagine the glorious celebration it must have been with all the church bells ringing
across Paris and people crowding the streets to see their American liberators.

When I visited France, I noticed quite a few street signs reading "Rue de 25 August." 
Many of the people on my tour didn't know what that meant which I thought was a sad statement. 
Most of the small towns in France have a memorial in their center square 
honoring those who died serving their country like this one in Gordes.

In this country, Veterans Day is our opportunity to say thank you for protecting our freedoms. 
On Nov. 11, please take a moment to thank a Vet!


  1. Wonderful tribute, Pat. I am #9 of 9 kids, the first 3 born in '43, '44 and '45. My dad served in WWII and suffered loss of limb (leg) while on night watch in a foxhole. Like your father, he didn't talk of war, but certainly suffered PTSD (clinical depression) through the years following. I have a nephew currently serving as a Marine, and my mother's longtime companion (after my dad's death), who served in the Navy, will celebrate his 91st birthday this coming Monday. It is with honor that we remember all those who served and are serving. Thanks for sharing your story.
    Rita C at Panoply

    1. Hi Rita! Thank you for your personal comments. I appreciate your family's service.

  2. Great post and a beautiful tribute to our heroes!...Christine

  3. Excellent post and beautiful tribute. I just today finished reading, ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE. It's a excellent read, set in France during WWII.

  4. Loved this post! Wow, great stories, great photos and great tribute. Thank you so much for sharing it with Let's Talk Vintage today!

  5. Thanks Jillian. I'm glad you appreciated this post.

  6. Thanks so much for sharing this important reminder to thank those who have served our country and thanks for sharing it at the Vintage Inspiration Party!

    1. Thanks Angie. Glad you stopped by to visit and recognize our Vets.

  7. We must be about the same age. I was born right after the war too. This year more than ever before I am feeling so sad that the Vietnam vets weren't welcomed home like the soldiers today. Because the war was so unpopular no one said, "Thank you for your service." Our POW's were heroes regardless of what has been said in recent times. Everyone that served were heroes.

  8. Why did the young men of the 1930s and 1940s looks so mature? And it wasn't just the movie stars who did!

  9. Definitely need to take time to honor and appreciate all of those who served! As a mother of 5 young children when my hubby was called to Desert Storm, I know how it feels to have your loved one go away to war. Luckily, his unit ended up in Germany and came home after 5 months instead of the expected 2 years. Loved the photos that you shared! And the amazing story about the riveter gal. I remember boys that went to school with my 3 year older sister not coming home from Viet Nam. Such a tragedy that they were not treated with the respect they deserved! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

    1. Thanks Jann. Happy to hear your hubby made it home ok. Everyone has their stories, huh? Glad you enjoyed my post.

  10. This is an exceptional post Jillian! You have some wonderful personal photos. Your favorite photo of your parents together is wonderful! I know that a photo like this can be digitally corrected, but it is so dramatic and artful just as it it! I think of my own Father and Mother on Veterans Day too.

    1. Thanks Jacqueline! I'm so glad you appreciated my post on Veterans Day. I noticed you called me Jillian (from BellaRosa?). I love her too but I'm Pat. Always enjoy your beautiful photos in NM so your comments meant a lot to me.

    2. So sorry for the confusion, Pat! Thanks for straightening me out!

  11. Lovely post, Pat. We must remember the reasons we've had to fight for our freedom and the cost paid in human lives and suffering. You honored your [handsome] father today and helped the rest of us to celebrate Veteran's Day more meaningfully. Thanks so much for linking up with Vintage Charm.

  12. How wonderful a tribute post. Thanks for joining Home Sweet Home!

  13. I'm a little late finding it, but I love your blog post about your family vets. I liked it so much that I shared it on my Facebook page. Such illuminating photos of the time. God bless those who put their life on the line for our country.