Occasional blogging, mostly of the long-form variety.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

11/11 Armistice Day 2010

(Click on the comic strip for a larger view.)

In 1959, Pogo creator Walt Kelly wrote:

The eleventh day of the eleventh month has always seemed to me to be special. Even if the reason for it fell apart as the years went on, it was a symbol of something close to the high part of the heart. Perhaps a life that stretches through two or three wars takes its first war rather seriously, but I still think we should have kept the name "Armistice Day." Its implications were a little more profound, a little more hopeful.

You said it, brother.

Thanks to all who have served or are serving, on this Veterans' Day, or Remembrance Day, or Armistice Day.

This post is mostly a repeat I run every year, since I find it hard to top Kelly.

Last year, I wrote a series of six related posts for Armistice Day (and as part of an ongoing series on war). The starred posts are the most important, but the list is:

"Élan in The Guns of August"

"Demonizing of the Enemy"

"The War Poetry of Wilfred Owen"

***"Giddy Minds and Foreign Quarrels"

"The Little Mother"

***"War and the Denial of Loss"

The most significant previous entries in the series are:

"How to Hear a True War Story"

"Day of Shame"

"The Poetry of War"

"Armistice Day 2008" (featuring the war poetry of Siegfried Sassoon).

I'll update this post below the photo with links to other folks' pieces for 11/11 as I find them. If you've written one, feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me. Thanks.

Here are some other posts for 11/11.

The Galloping Beaver, "11/11/10."

Newshoggers, "Poems for Remembrance Day."

The Reaction, Remembrance Day 2010"

Balloon Juice has several. Tom Levenson has provided "On the Eve of Veterans/Armistice Day," followed by "11h-11d-11m. Remember" and "One More Veterans/Armistice/Remembrance Day Post (the last, I promise): Concert Time." The threads on the last two are full of poetry, music and book selections and suggestions. Anne Laurie also posted about "Paws for Purple Hearts," a wonderful program we've covered here before that pairs service dogs with vets struggling with PTSD.

Cheyanne's Campsite, "The Fear Of War Breeds War."

I happened to catch Brian Turner on the radio today - he's a vet who's written some powerful war poetry.

Driftglass, "Happy Veterans Day" and the related "Losing His Religion."

While not for 11/11, Evil Slutopia's post "Are Female Soldiers in Iraq Dying of Dehydration and Fear?" is certainly pertinent.

Mister Tristan, "Armistice Day... Every Family Has a Story."

Obsidian Wings, "the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month..."

Minstrel Boy at Cogitamus, "11th Hour, 11th Day, 11th Month."



watchdog said...

1. I am a soldier
2. I am deployed in Iraq
3. I am a history buff
4. I have been interested in WWI for a while now.
Your posts are always worthy and I believe I put a link to last years Veterans Day post in my "Great War" folder.
Thank you.

Batocchio said...

Watchdog, thanks for stopping by again, and I hope you stay safe. And thank you.

Anonymous said...

Last year's post was wonderful, Batocchio. I still think about it. I'll go and read the others now.

And, as you said, good luck to you, Watchdog, and to all your comrades over there.


Scottie said...

Hey Bat!

Great post. Hope you are fine. If you see Suze, say hullo to her for me. Take care mate.

Batocchio said...

aimai, thanks, all the links are re-runs, but it's hard to go wrong with some of the poetry featured.

Scottie, nice to see you and I hope all is well! I passed on your note to Suze, who I assume has your e-mail.

Anonymous said...

I'm spending the day re-reading The Great War And Modern Memory. Which, for some reason, I always mis-remember as "The Great War *in* Modern Memory." Two very different things. It is a fantastic book and although I can't say I'm enjoying it, because its so ghastly, I am relearning a lot.


Batocchio said...

aimai, I've got a good illustrated edition of The Great War and Modern Memory - nice except for travel reading. I also need to finish reading my copy of With the Old Breed. Alas, there are so many good books to read, too little time...

watchdog said...

To my regret I have yet to read my copy of "The great war and modern Memory."
For a really good book on the war itself, I recomend "A world undone" for those interested in the war's battles.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog, Thanks for the recommendation. I will try to put it on my list. I refinished The Great War and Modern Memory and picked up an early copy of the Oxford Book of English Verse to try to read the same poetry that he sees underlying the poetry of Sassoon, Brooke, Blunden and Owens. It was pretty cool to go back and forth between the older texts and their reframing by the war writers.

Its definitely not a book about battles or about how the war was fought, but rather a book about how our expectations frame our experiences, and then how our experiences speak back to our poetry and art and our lives. Its a truism that we are "always fighting the last battle" and its often literally true--as in the early stages of each war the officers and technology of the previous war come into play. But Fussell argues beautifully how true this is of our vision of what we are doing--of the war, of death, of sacrifice. He also argues in great detail that the naievte and innocence of the first world war can't really be repeated--certainly ought not to be repeated. But it is also the case that those who forget the past are condmened to repeat it--certainly the emotional run up to the first world war contained many of the same tropes, images, jingoism, romance, and violence against dissent that our own run up to the Iraq war contained.