The poppies of the Tower

London is transfixed by a stunning war memorial commemorating Armistice Day, when World War I ended on November 11, 1918, honored in the United States as Veteran’s Day.  All around the iconic Tower of London are  888,246 ceramic poppies, one for each soldier of the Commonwealth who was killed in that war.   A beautiful sea of flowers that looks simultaneously like a horrible sea of blood makes a noble tribute for all veterans.

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A day of two Martins

Today is the feast day of St. Martin of Tours, which is appropriate since he–an ex-Roman soldier who became a heretic-fighting bishop– is the patron saint of soldiers and this is Veterans Day.  Nice how that worked out, since St. Martin’s day has been observed for centuries before Armistice Day, commemorating the end of World War I which officially concluded on the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918; that is, on November 11.  That event, still celebrated as such in many countries, was broadened into the American Veterans Day.

Martin Luther’s birthday was yesterday, but today is his Baptism day.  A common practice back then was to name a child after the saint whose day it was when the baby was born or baptized.  So that’s why baby Luther was named Martin.

Today is a day to honor soldiers, including soldiers of the Cross.

HT:  Jackie

Veterans Day

This is Veterans Day, so let us honor those who have served in the military vocations.  You readers who are veterans, thank you for your service.

I’ve read that some veterans, particularly of our recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, are sick of hearing that.  It is good, though, that they are receiving today almost universal respect, unlike the reception in some quarters of Vietnam vets.  After the jump, some questions and a link to a classic discussion of the military vocation. [Read more...]

“Thank you for your service”

Happy Veteran’s Day.  And to all of you veterans, let us join in saying what has become a common refrain: “Thank you for your service.” Notice how the military’s emphasis on service ties right in to the doctrine of vocation.

Here is a fine meditation for the day by my sometimes-colleague Joe Carter:  What a Veteran Knows | What So Proudly We Hail.

Honor a veteran today

Today, 11/11/11, is Veterans Day, a time to be thankful for the military vocations.  Use this space in a comment to honor a veteran you know.

I’ll go first:  My father-in-law, one of those Marines who fought at Iwo Jima.

The Vocation of Military Service

In honor of Veterans’ Day and to salute those who served in the military, I would like to hear from those of you who are veterans.  How did military service impact your life?  What did it do for your character, personality, beliefs, etc.?  Those of you who have been in combat, did you come out of that traumatized or stronger or a bit of both or what?  (All of this has to do with the military as vocation.)


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