Editor’s note: Sorry the editor got this up late, but it doesn’t make it any less important.
Veterans Day and Thinking about Dad
by Mark Schwnedau
My father, Edward Herbert Schwendau, is now gone 11 years this 11th month. This number of years gone on this very special day reminded me of a story he always used to tell me I wanted to relate to folks today, Armistice Day. Dad was a veteran of just after World War 2 and his Dad, my grandfather, Edward F. Schwendau, was a veteran of World War 1.
The year I was born in 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation that changed the federal holiday’s name from Armistice Day to Veterans Day. It was this day on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918; fighting in WWI officially stopped after Germany signed an armistice agreement with the Allies earlier that day. The day has also been dubbed Poppy Day as veterans used to populate the sidewalks in front of stores and pass out free artificial Poppy flowers to put on your lapel to remind others of the day as you went about your business that day. The tradition of wearing a red Poppy flower shifted from Veterans Day to Memorial Day at some point in history.
All of this is not the Veterans Day story Dad would tell, however. Dad would tell the story about one time when he was a young boy traveling on a Chicago transit bus on Veterans Day of his youth. The bus came to a stop in the middle of the street at 11:00 in the morning. The bus driver got off the bus and stood next to the bus, and everybody else got off the bus and did the same, in silence. They all faced east towards Washington D.C. and Arlington Cemetery. Men would take off their hats, and many bowed their heads in thought and prayer.
Dad would say that the only people to stay on the bus were young women with young children as they did not want their babies getting cold. Everybody stood like that for 11 minutes in silence. All other traffic up and down the streets would do much the same. About the only vehicles that did not adhere to the tradition were police and fire first responders answering calls. As Dad would look up and down the street, people had come out of the stores and businesses doing much the same. He said he saw a guy in a barber’s cape standing out on the sidewalk with his barber facing east.
Today Veterans Day is more a day to honor our living veterans, while Memorial Day is about honoring those who served and gave their lives for us and our country. American people need to know this. It is important to understand this and honor those who have served, for if it were not for them, we would not have a country today.
I think the other reason I chose to write this today, 11 years after Dad has been gone, is I am struck by the respect that was shown back 100 years ago and the lack of respect shown today. One of my favorite songs as a young man was the 1967 Aretha Franklin song “R.E.S.P.E.C.T.,” as written by Otis Redding.
The secondary reason why I wrote today’s piece is today we have homeless veterans living on our streets as our political leadership in Washington, D.C., neglects them. These people print money to fund all kinds of lunacy, from sexual deviancy instruction in our public schools to green energy scams that only make it green for shareholders to programs tantamount to aiding and abetting illegal aliens. Probably two of the greatest money drains of taxpayer dollars in the last five years were both the COVID-19 pandemic and resultant “vaccines” and the aid to Ukraine for their war with Russia. Nobody is ever held accountable, and now those who were responsible for COVID-19 want amnesty from future prosecution. Absolutely disgusting!
A very deep thought hit me this morning, without law and order dispensed as justice for all, there is no respect. The two-tier justice system created by the Democrats and the Democrats themselves, by their words and actions, have diminished much of the respect the rest of the nation has for any of them as well as our alphabet soup of taxpayer-funded agencies. As former President Donald Trump would say, “Sad.”
Copyright © 2022 by Mark S. Schwendau
Mark S. Schwendau is a retired technology professor who has always had a sideline in news-editorial writing where his byline has been, “Bringing little known news to people who simply want to know the truth.” He classifies himself as a Christian conservative who God cast to be a realist. Mark is an award-winning educator who has published seven books and numerous peer-reviewed trade journal articles, some of which can be found on the Internet. His father was a fireman/paramedic, while his mother was a registered nurse. He holds multiple degrees in technology education, industrial management, OSHA Safety, and Driver’s Education. His personal website is www.IDrawIWrite.Tech.