Personally, I’m a devout celebrant of Veteran’s Day, but not everyone is all that into it. One of my favorite authors provides a more critical perspective in a novel entitled Mother Night, which I happened to read over the long weekend. In the following passage, the narrator/protagonist is assimilating to life back in the United States after WWII.
I asked the man what day it was.
He told me it was Veterans’ Day.
“What date is it?” I said.
“November eleventh, sir,” he said.
“November eleventh is Armistice Day, not Veterans’ Day,” I said.
“Where you been?” he said. “They changed all that years ago.”
“Veteran’s Day,” I said to Helga as we walked on. “Used to be Armistice Day. Now it’s Veterans’ Day.”
“That upsets you?” she said.
“Oh, it’s just so damn cheap, so damn typical.” I said, “This used to be a day in honor of the dead of World War One, but the living couldn’t keep their grubby hands off of it, wanted the glory of the dead for themselves. So typical, so typical. Any time anything of real dignity appears in this country, it’s torn to shreds and thrown to the mob.”
This is a rare piece of editorializing from a book wherein the narrator generally avoids and often disavows political opinion.
For a more uplifting and personal take on Veterans’ Day, please head over to Ed’s place.