Veterans’ Day

On November 11th, sleep in, go shopping, see a movie.  But please do take a moment to remember what this day is really all about.

At our house, we will be lighting a candle for my special army buddies, Colonel Earl Edward McBride, Jr., Harold Nye, and Donald Hogue.  I am so fortunate to have met them, and so grateful to them for their friendship, for the stories they shared, and for their service to our country.  They went to war as untested young men, and came home heroes, bearing scars inside and out that would change them forever.

I will be writing to my friend Jack Oliver, a very kind and wise WWII vet who went to boot camp with my Uncle Lewis in 1944.  I will thank him for his service to our country in a horrible war that saved the world.  Jack helped me understand not only what it meant to serve in the war, but also to understand the wrenching pain of coming home, when so many young men did not.

 And tomorrow, as we light our candles yet again, we will be thinking of my father, Harry Baltuck,  and Remembering Uncle Lewis.


All words and images copyright 2012 Naomi Baltuck.


    1. Dear Sue,

      On this day, we are celebrating all veterans, but when we light a candle for Grandpa Harry and Uncle Lewis, it puts a face on our heroes, and makes us mindful that every one of them was a real person, who loved and was loved. It makes us mindful of what they were defending, and what they and their loved ones had at stake.

      Thank you, Sue, for your generous comments! It is always so good to hear from you.

  1. Veterans Day, Remembrance Day in Canada, other countries have theirs as well. Sadly to those who benefit the most from this, it is just another day to conduct business as usual.

    1. I’m afraid every holiday is becoming just another extra shopping day. For this day, especially, it seems a shame. Thank you for stopping by and bringing your insight into this conversation.

  2. And here in the UK it is known as ‘Poppy Day’… “In Flanders Fields the poppies grow, amongst the grave stones, row by row.” Sorry if I have misquoted, but you get my drift….

  3. Thanks for the reminder. I will be thinking of all veterans, but especially my Uncle Royce, whose helicopter was shot down in Vietnam just two weeks before his tour was up. Bless them all.

  4. I’m going to stop what I’m doing and write a note to my friend Steve. He is an Army Chaplain, and he misisters to families when their loved ones return home after giving up their lives to keep the rest of us safe. I can’t imagine living with so much sadness and loss everyday.

    1. Oh, Jennifer, that would be one of the hardest jobs in the army. Sort of like working a doctor who specializes in oncology, where such a big part of the job is delivering bad news.

  5. Thank you for this thoughtful post, Naomi. I tried to comment earlier with the ipad and ran into “issues.” Happens it was a happy operator error because the comment was WAY too long…became my post today. 😉 Nikki

    1. Thank you! I appreciate your visit, and your taking the time to comment. I also want to congratulation you on your well deserved 2012 blog of the Year Award, and thank you for nominating me for the same!

  6. Wherever it may be, I think every war veteran deserves remembrance. 🙂

    What a touching tribute to your family and the ones who’ve lost their lives for the country.

    1. Dear Grace,
      Thank you for your kind words. What you say is true. On a recent trip to Turkey my son and I visited Gallipoli, where there was a terrible loss of life on both the British and the Turkish sides. Now there are cemeteries there that honor them all as victims of a terrible war.

    1. Thank you, Jill. What they experienced is unfathomable for those of us who have never experienced the horrors of the battlefield. If our leaders had, perhaps they would not be so quick to send our youth into the fray.

  7. I never forget Naomi having been brought up by my grandparents – Remembrance Day is as you wrote of your father (I followed the links) a day to remember the ones who did come home too – never quite the same.

    1. Thank you for sharing your very kind thoughts, Laura. The high cost of war is like the ripples in a pond that go on and on through the generations. I hope to learn more of your story one day–is there a link I might follow?

  8. My dad instilled a gratitude in us. He kept alive old stories. I have a touching letter from a young relative who wrote from Vimy Ridge in WWI a week before he was killed that I am thinking to give to the Canadian War museum here.

  9. It is fitting that we show our respect and never forget what hardships soldiers suffered before and still do today to make our lives safe. My hope is one day peace will reside everyone on this earth.
    I love your idea of lighting candles. ❤ ❤ ❤

    1. Hi Tess,
      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on this subject. It is disgraceful that we send our kids off to fight and die, and when they return home, broken, we don’t take proper care of them. I share your wish for peace.

      1. Indeed. Our government is not better at it either. The soldiers did their duty, put their lives on the line and when they return, needing help, they are ignored and short-changed in every way possible. Disgusting.

  10. My thoughts and prayers to our heroes, to our veterans, to your family who fought and served our country so all of us can enjoy the fruits of freedom and equality. A beautiful, inspiring tribute. Full of love and gratitude. Thank you for sharing and for helping all of us to always remember. Best of blessings to you and your family.

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