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Friday, November 14, 2008

Veteran's Day Friday Five

Posted by Sophia "Earlier this week the U.S. celebrated Veterans' Day, known in many other countries as Remembrance Day. At this time last year I was commuting to a postdoc in Canada, and I was moved by the many red poppies that showed up there on people's lapels in honor of the observance. Unlike a flag lapel pin, which to me has political connotations and implies approval of our current war, the poppies simply honor the sacrifice and dedication of those who have followed their consciences by serving--sometimes dying--in the military.

This week's Friday Five invites reflection on the theme of remembrance, which is also present in the feasts of All Saints, celebrated in many liturgical churches on November 1, and All Souls--known in Latin@ cultures as the Day of the Dead--celebrated in some the following day."

1. Did your church have any special celebrations for All Saints/All Soul's Day?
My church of the moment does, I think, as it's a "holy day of obligation", but I don't feel obliged anymore. Not sure about my next church, whatever that will be?

2. How about Veterans' Day?
Not sure
I don't think so

3. Did you and your family have a holiday for Veterans' Day/Remembrance Day? If so, how did you take advantage of the break?
My father probably got drunk as he often did to commemorate the war or any other holiday. I remember flags in the cemetery.

4. Is there a veteran in your life, living or dead, whose dedication you remember and celebrate? Or perhaps a loved one presently serving in the armed forces?
My father who was a disabled Veteran of WWII and probably had PTSD, though there wasn't a word for it then.

5. Do you have any personal rituals which help you remember and connect with loved ones who have passed on?
I have worked with veterans with dual diagnosis, substance abuse and mental illness for parts of my career. Can you call that a personal ritual? BTW, the VA does not call SA a disability, they call this willful disobedience and discharge the the vet for it with less than an honorable discharge. This means that the vet cannot use the VA for treatment for their substance abuse which they probably started to treat their PTSD!


Sally said...

# 5 is both sad and frustrating, may God bless you in your work

RevDrKate said...

It is frustrating isn't it?

Purple said...

Thank you for the work you do. It is so crucial and critical. The effects of war are so long-lasting...and I am guessing it does not matter if it is either of the World Wars all the way to our current wars.

Jan said...

It is a stark reminder of war, even as I fondly recall the Marines, that PTSD and terrible injuries and death are the consequences. Thank you for the reality check.

Sophia said...

How tragic about the way emotionally wounded veterans are treated....Blessings to you and others who are there for them.

Auntie Knickers said...

Yes, we do need to do a lot more for our veterans -- I don't mean for me, but for those who have seen combat and have physical and emotional wounds. Thanks for your work.

mompriest said...

I did not know military response to SA....that's a double wammy and a very narrow sighted response to a complex issue

Barbara B. said...

Grrrrr re: #5!

And I feel bad about your #3. (((PC)))