Sunday, November 09, 2008

Honoring our war veterans

As a boy growing up in the Bronx during the 1930s, the annual Armistice Day parade on the Grand Concourse, the borough's broad, tree-lined boulevard, was for me one of the most exciting events of the year.

Armistice Day celebrated the ending of World War I. The holiday was officially renamed Veterans Day in 1954 to also honor those of us who served in World War II or the Korean War.

I will always remember the legions of aged World War I veterans, grouped by American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars posts, marching down the Concourse with flags and military banners flapping in the wind. Army bands and formations of soldiers and sailors on active duty in the armed forces marched briskly with them. The colorful patriotic scene was a welcome break to the dismal atmosphere of the Depression.

A special place of honor was reserved in the parade for a handful of survivors of the Spanish-American War and Civil War, most of them walking with canes or being pushed in wheel chairs.

I assume that the Veterans Day parades are still conducted each year on the Concourse, now dominated by Vietnam veterans. But I envision geriatric World War II veterans like myself--all now in our 80s and 90s--replacing those Civil War and Spanish-American War veterans in that special place of honor for heroic relics of past wars.

Labels: , ,


Blogger Sylvia K said...

Heroic, yes, relic??? No, I don't think so. We do honor all those who have served and regardless of age, each of you richly deserve that honor.

Sunday, November 09, 2008 10:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog is terrific!

Here is a link to the blog from the Archives of the Sandusky Library, if you would like to take a look:

Monday, November 10, 2008 9:59:00 AM  
Blogger Darlene said...

I remember Veteran Day Parades and can almost hear the bands play as I read your blog. Another trip down memory lane. Thank you, Mort.

Monday, November 10, 2008 10:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was born during the time my four uncles were serving in WWII. They were teenagers when they were called and were all greatly affected by this experience. My Dad didn't pass the physical exam or he would have been there, too.

All who have served in defense of our country deserve our respect and great honor.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I'm glad to discover your blog and will return to read more.

Monday, November 10, 2008 12:51:00 PM  
Blogger Lydia said...

I loved reading your remembrances, especially the description of the Spanish-American War and Civil War veterans you saw. This makes you living history, not a relic!

(My post has a photo of Armistice Day in New Rochelle, and I'm hoping that someone can identify where the photo was taken.)

Monday, November 10, 2008 3:36:00 PM  
Blogger Mari Meehan said...

It is a bittersweet experience knowing of all the activities that go on in the surrounding communities to honor our veterans yet as I walk my dog through the neighborhood I see but one flag. Ours.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008 3:59:00 PM  
Blogger Chancy said...

Hi Mort
Jazzy new look for your blog. Not real sure I like the orange however. :)


Wednesday, November 12, 2008 3:33:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Blog Flux Suggest - Find and Search Blogs
Web Traffic Statistics Coupon