I know that.
But in 1917, my great-great uncle Robert died of wounds received during Allenby's campaign to drive the Turks out of Palestine (as it was called then) in World War I. So in Scotland, he and his fellow soldiers are mourned this day. How can I not follow suit?
Our Canadian neighbors call this day Remembrance Day. Most of the old Commonwealth nations set aside this day to remember their dead. The day itself commemorates the end of the Great War. When at the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month of 1918, the guns fell silent. The war which many called "The War to End All Wars" was over.
Millions were dead. The peoples of the United Kingdom and France left nearly an entire generation dead on the fields of battle. Other nations suffered as well. The carnage on the Western Front, in the East, in Africa, and in the Middle East led to the fall of the Russian, German, Ottoman, and Austrian Empires.
From those ashes would arise the twin specters of Soviet Communism and National Socialism. Which led to more slaughter and the deaths of millions more.
Yes, I know that today is Veterans Day.
I know we're supposed to remember our dead on Memorial Day.
You remember things your way, I will remember them my way.
I celebrate my freedom every day.
I remember and mourn those who paid for that freedom, every day.
I thank my fellow veterans for their service, not just today, but every day.
But those who fell are never far from my mind.
And never far from my heart.
In Flanders Fields
Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae
In Flanders fields 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 sunset 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.