They Shall Not Grow Old

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: 
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

For the Fallen By Laurence Binyon

11th Hour 11th Day 11th Month: At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.  They shall not grow old. Remembering all who served freedom.

The Gift of Peace

History is full of wars of conquest. Sacrificing for the freedom of others and defending peace is a rarer gift. We’re thankful for our Veterans who gave us the gift of peace and freedom.

Remembrance. Armistice. Veterans Day. The English-speaking allies of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth, and the United States remember the sacrifice of WWI. And commemorate the service of all our veterans defending freedom on November 11th. With special resonance on the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month. The time and day of the Armistice ending the conflagration of the Great War. Now because of subsequent trials called World War I.

Poppies for Remembrance Day in the UK, Canada, and the United States. They shall not grow old. . . At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.
Canadian War Memorial from our Commonwealth allies. Allies in freedom.

Thanking the 3%

November 11th is now Veterans Day in America. We honor and thank all veterans who serve and served the cause of freedom. Today, with a smaller, all-volunteer military? The share of living Americans that served at some point in their lives is falling. Especially as the Greatest Generation veterans of WWII fade to memory. Most of us enjoy the products of the service and sacrifice of the few. We thank the three percent that took the oath of service. Only about half of one percent are currently serving. It’s a reminder of how much we ask the few to bear for the security of the many. The WWI poets’ words still echo lost youth, lost lives, and sacrifice. Just as true for the veterans of subsequent service and conflicts.

“They shall not grow old. . . At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them.”

Tradition of Service, They shall not grow old in our memories

Our own families have a record of service. Lori’s grandfather was WWII Army. Lori’s father and brother served in the Air Force.

11th hour 11th day 11th month. James Alvin Pitts, USAF. They shall not grow old.
Lori’s Dad (on the right) with fellow service members during the Korean War.

A niece is an Army Captain. Dan’s father was Army Air Corps and then Air Force Reserve.

US Army Air Corps Pilot Cadet Richard Leslie Winegarden (left) in training 1945 pictured with friends in service. They shall not grow old.
Pilot Cadet Winegarden in 1945 (on the left).

A great Uncle was a West Point graduate on General Black Jack Pershing’s staff in the American Expeditionary Force in Great War France. His sister, Dan’s maternal grandmother, was an Army Nurse in France. And married an English officer of the Gloucestershire Regiment who was wounded at the Somme. Dan’s grandfather.

Family and friends served. Not all returned. Dan can’t see a Navy Vigilante without remembering the loss of a family friend on a Vietnam War air mission. Other more recent friends served in Afghanistan and Iraq.

They shall not grow old in our gratitude.

RA-5C-Vigilante.jpg like that flown by Navy CDR Lauren Ray Everett and Lt Cdr Paul Amos Stokes. The craft crashed in the Tonkin Gulf off Vietnam and crew was lost on 17 October 1971. They shall not grow old.
A Vietnam War-era U.S. Navy RA-5C Vigilante making a carrier landing. Remembering CDR Lauren Ray Everett lost in the Tonkin Gulf flying off the USS Enterprise.

Armistice Day/Veteran’s Day: 11th Hour 11th Day 11th Month

The holiday traces its origins back to the end of World War I. On Nov. 11, 1918, an armistice between the U.S.-led Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11thmonth. Though the war wasn’t officially over until the Treaty of Versailles was signed seven months later, the Nov. 11 is recognized as the end of the “war to end all wars,” according to the Veterans Administration.

In November 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 as the first commemoration of what was then known as Armistice Day, saying “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…” — Veterans Day 2017: Why is Veterans Day on Nov. 11? Holiday history, military facts and more

They shall not grow old in our memories. The Last Absolution of the Munsters at Rue Du Bois overlaid with a quote by poet, A.E. Housman, "Life, to be sure, is nothing much to lose, but young men think it is. And we were young."
The Last General Absolution of the Munsters at Rue du Bois. The painting depicts soldiers of the Royal Munster Fusiliers regiment receiving “general absolution” from their chaplain on the eve of battle in May 1915. Most of them died within 24 hours.
"They shall not grow old. . . At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them." From, For the Fallen, a WWI-era poem of remembrance by Laurence Binyon.
Thank you to all of America’s Veterans. and all who served freedom.

2 Comments

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  1. I got a knot in my throat when I read this post. Thank you for honouring them – what a desperately sad loss of life 🙁
    Carla Corelli recently posted…How to overcome Pandemic Burnout – The Mental Health Crisis Created by Covid-19My Profile

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