Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Armistice Day/ Remembrance Day/Veteran's Day
On November 11, 1918, at 11:00 a.m., the cessation of hostilities between the Allies and the Central Powers in World War I (at the time known as the "Great War") occurred. This event is hailed as the official end of that horrendous conflict. An armistice had been signed by all the belligerents that obliged the fighting to cease at that specific time. The carnage was, at last, after four long years, over.
It would be almost two years before the Treaty of Versailles was signed that officially recognized the Allied victory over the Central Powers. However, for the most part, the "war to end all wars" was finally finished. Those who had survived the gruesome battles could at last return home.
In the USA, the commemoration of this ending of fighting is observed as Veteran's Day. This is the time to salute all men and women, gay, bisexual or otherwise, who have served in both wartime and in peacetime in all branches of the American military. Those killed in action are remembered on Memorial Day, the final Monday of May, annually.
Since 2011, all who have served in the U.S. armed forces, regardless of their sexual orientation, have been included in Veteran's Day parades and services. The U.S. Congress repealed the ban on GLBT people openly serving in the military in December, 2010. President Barack Obama signed the act into law a day later.
Throughout the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, this date is known as Remembrance Day. On this day, all of those who sacrificed their lives in defense of their respective Commonwealth country are honored and remembered for their heroic service.
In the photograph above, H.M. Queen Elizabeth II, places a commemorative wreath of poppies at The Cenotaph honoring British and Commonwealth war dead. In the image below, H.R.H. Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, salutes during the memorial service.
The rest of the world observes this date as Armistice Day. It is celebrated for what it is, the day the fighting of the First World War ended.
Throughout the Commonwealth and much of the world, The Red Poppy symbolizes the sacrifice of those who died while in service of their country. This flower represents the fighting in the trenches that was the norm for most of World War I. It was immortalized in the poem(below) written by John McCrae (1872-1918) shortly before his death prior to the signing of the 1918 Armistice.
In Flanders Fields
by John McCrae
In Flanders field the poppies blow
between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunsets glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Guys Without Boxers: Bare With Pride salutes all veterans who have served their countries in peacetime as well as times of conflict. For all those heroic men and women who paid with their lives, we are all eternally grateful for your courage and valor.
Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!
Bare With Pride