In the States we celebrate Veterans’ Day, a kind of catch-all to remember those who have served in the military, especially those who have been in conflict. I can get behind this idea. I have deep respect for the military. In trying to write Peter Flynn, I wanted to get the details of the lifestyle as correct as possible (while projecting it several hundred years into the future, of course).
I don’t have a problem with Veterans’ Day itself. I have a problem with the selected date. In Europe, this day is known as Armistice Day. It is a day to celebrate and remember World War I. While World War II had a higher overall cost, World War I was more savage. It saw the end of 19th century tactics and strategy in the face of overwhelming technological progression. Tanks, machine guns, airplanes, chemical warfare, high-yield bombs, land mines, and more came to the forefront of warfare.
The cost was terrible, especially in France, where the Western Front’s nasty trench warfare stretched hundreds of miles with both sides trading ground that measured in yards more than in miles.
I think it’s important to remember the costs and sacrifices of this horrible war, especially as its aftermath led directly into World War II. We should always remember and honor our veterans, but we should do so throughout the year. On a day like this, it’s important to remember the end of a horrible conflict, and to do as much as possible to prevent another from sweeping the globe.