It’s Armistice Day

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American History, Armistice Day, Iraq War, Obama Administration

It’s Armistice Day. Click here for a Wilfred Owen retrospective. See also last year’s post.

The soldier in the photograph above is my grandfather, Cpl. Robert John Thomas, on the day he returned from France in 1919. The lady with him is my grandmother, Dora Sabina Senter Thomas, and the baby is my father, Robert Thomas, born while Grandpa was on the Western Front. (My father never got a middle name because Grandpa didn’t like his middle name and didn’t want Grandma using it. And since Grandpa wasn’t available for consultation when Dad was named, the middle name got left out.)

It will be a few weeks yet before we know the plan for withdrawal from Iraq. In the meantime, props to The American Conservative for its retrospective on Bush’s War and the best headline I’ve seen today: “He Fought the Wars and the Wars Won.”

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. joanr16  •  Nov 11, 2008 @10:06 am

    Here’s to my great-uncle, who was a telegrapher for the U.S. Army in France, in World War I. His parents were only 1 or 2 generations removed from the old country, Germany. He took along a Kodak box camera and came back with amazing photos of refugees fleeing down a country road, with their children by the hand and their bundles on their backs.

    And here’s to my dad, a company clerk who could type 90 wpm (boy did I not inherit that gene!) with Mark Clark’s 5th Army in Italy, in World War II. Dad was a small-town Iowa boy whose favorite TV character, in the last years of his life, was Radar O’Reilly.

    Both Dad and Uncle Reuben were extremely glad to come home again, that much I know. Uncle Reuben died in 1974, Dad in 1976. I thank them for all they gave me, not least their military service.

  2. Sachem  •  Nov 11, 2008 @12:54 pm

    As the son and grandson of US Army officers of distinctly more conservative politics, let me add the words of Paul Tsongas (from 1981) to highlight the significance of this time and this day:

    “If liberal Democrats once again are chosen to exercise power, we should resolve to be relevant to the great issues. We should honor our past but not me mesmerized by it. In a time when the shortcut and the short term seem to be the guiding priorities in business and government, we should remember that our task is to mold the future.”

  3. Swami  •  Nov 11, 2008 @2:07 pm

    A special thanks to all veterans, and a fond rememberance to all those Veterans who have past.

    A fantasy thought that’s always comforted me as a veteran is knowing that if I would have been born in the place and time to stand at the Lexington-Concord bridge…I would have been there…I don’t have other priorities greater than standing shoulder to shoulder with my countrymen..

    Oh, I’m flying Old Glory today..and she’s happy!

  4. Swami  •  Nov 11, 2008 @2:55 pm

    I have two honorable discharges..you think I should lend one to Jonah Goldberg so he can enjoy this veterans day?

  5. justme  •  Nov 11, 2008 @4:10 pm

    Thanks to all of those who have served our country..while pantie waste’s like bush and jonah goldberg pretend they are men from the safety of their easy chairs.

    Thanks to Maha for sharing the photo of your Grandparents and your Father…very very nice!

    I also loved the article linked above…it rang so true except for one thing.The author was very hard on bush(and rightly so) but he made excuses for us, the American people and our behavior.I don’t give a shit if we had 12 – 911′s there is NO excuse for the frenzy bandwagon that we were so quick to jump on.NONE.Like
    sheep lead to slaughter. Have we no shame? Now I know none of us HERE had the reactions I speak of but we own the reaction just the same…

    I, for one , am ashamed of what I let happen. I didn’t buy the monster under the bed that was being sold, but my hands are no more clean than those who did.

    I believe we all have a big ole can of hate within each of us. Most of us rise above it and manage to keep a lid on it. Bush found a way for us to excuse tapping into to all that canned up hate and we were all just too eager to indulge.Without even a thought of what spewing forth all that hate would really mean.Tapping into that hate had a cost for real people ..Our troops , who never should have been used in such a way..and for the innocent people who had done nothing worse than being born in Iraq.

    The guy who wrote that article lets us off the hook WAY TOO EASY IMHO.I feel like we owe our troops better than this.And we owe it to ourselves to face the truth about ourselves or else we will be able to be lured into the same situation with ease again.
    We kinda have an unspoken deal with our troops that we will not send them into harms way unless we HAVE to.We won’t send them off to die just because some moron tapped into our core hate.

    “bushco” is most certainly an evil machine but the American people who allowed this are not without sin.We let down our troops and the world to feed the hate that lies within us all.We were played like puppets but we allowed it and that hardly makes us innocent.

    I hope that soon , with bush leaving(not soon enough..and george if someone is reading this to you it IS OK for you to take off from work early(today) and go home until Jan 20th) people will stop and take a look at the way this nation as a whole acted for the past 8 years and realize how foolish we have been.Lest we never act like this again!

  6. Sachem  •  Nov 11, 2008 @4:28 pm

    To shame that justme is feeling, I offer this anecdote from the time when Khrushchev dared to speak the truth about Stalin’s era

    At one point in his speech, a voice cried out: “And where were you, Comrade Khrushchev, when all these crimes were being committed?” Khrushchev paused, look over the hall, and in a thunderous voice demanded, “Who said that?” The hall was silent. Khrushchev then called out, “Whoever said that stand, standup!” Again, no one moved. Then Khrushchev looked in the general direction the voice had come from, and said, “Comrade, where you are now is where I was then.”

  7. D.R. Marvel  •  Nov 11, 2008 @7:25 pm

    Great photo, Maha…Somewhere there’s a similar one of me & the Hillbilly & Li’l Roscoe, taken almost 50 years later…

    I wasn’t wearing “wrap leggings”, however…Those things were a [pain-in-the-ass…(according to everyone I ever knew who had to wear them – they were still worn “in the field” at the start of WWII)

  8. maha  •  Nov 11, 2008 @7:37 pm

    D.R. — I think the photo probably was taken somewhere in the general vicinity of Fredericktown. It hasn’t changed much since, except for the satellite dishes.



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