Armistice Day. Remembrance Day. Poppy Day. Veterans Day.
It has a lot of names and it has evolved over the past 100 years, but today is still about military veterans and those who have served in the far-too-many armed conflicts over the centuries.
So today, I wear a Red Poppy. I wear it in honor of Lt. Col. Brinton Paine, my 7th-great grandfather who served in the Connecticut militia during the French & Indian War and in the American Army during the War for Independence. I wear it in honor of Oliver Teal, another 7th great-grandfather of mine, who served as a doctor in the British Army during the French & Indian War and the War for Independence.
I said the Pledge of Allegiance at work today in memory of Oliver Teal (the son of the one above), who for for colonial freedom at the age of 16, who spent the winter of 1777-78 at Valley Forge with Gen. George Washington and a few thousand undersupplied troops.
I said the Pledge in memory of Alva Powell, my 4th great-grandfather who served in the Union Army during the Civil War. He named his son (and my ancestor) Ulysses S. Grant Powell.
I said the Pledge in memory of a family full of brothers, my great-grandfather’s brothers, three of whom served in World War II.
I said the Pledge in honor of my grandfather, Paul Simmer, who served in the military in the 1950s.
Can you see the resemblance?
Yes, I’m conflicted about war, and upset by death and destruction. These things will always bother me. But it’s because of the people above that I can think about these things and not spend time on more worrisome dilemmas.
So, thank you. Thank you. Thank you.