Armistice, Remembrance, Veterans Day...
"Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." - Winston Churchill
November 11 is Veterans Day here is the United States. It's a federal holiday, and I have no (live) presentations scheduled. However, I am planning to be an audience member on this day, and I am certain I will be reminded of the day's importance at least a few times.
It's quite fitting. Though I live in the U.S., I'm also a Canadian, where we know November 11 as Remembrance Day. And in France, it's called Armistice Day.
Three names...but in principle, November 11 is dedicated to remembering the people who fought during times of war. It's not so much a call to patriotism, but a call to remember and honor all people who have served in the armed forces. It's a day for the entire world to remember
Nonetheless, here in the U.S., I'm sure I'll see lots of visuals of the American flag and graves. If I was in Canada, I'd probably see lots of red poppies along with the flying maple leaf. Those are traditional visuals...
And I'm sure many speakers will even ask for a moment of silence. Entirely appropriate.
After all, it's quite important to remember. Even if you have never fought in a war, you undoubtedly know people who have. November 11 is a day to honor their sacrifice.
So even though you may not be presenting (like me), it can be quite a brave thing to simply listen....and remember.
(My own salute to Veterans Day is a short story in pdf format. The visual I use is the apple. I call this piece "An Apple for Remembrance Day
." I wrote this story to honor the life of veterans from the rural communities of Michigan.)