Posts Tagged ‘ Veterans ’

Memorial Day Personal For All Generations

As Reported by Michael Beall for The Great Falls Tribune

It arrives when spring begins its slow transition to summer, as high school seniors prepare their next steps and, when the fickle Montana weather cooperates, it’s a day for barbecues, parades, picnics and remembrance — surrounded by loved ones, bouquets of flowers and American flags.

Memorial Day is a national holiday with a personal connotation that dates back to 1868 and the wake of the Civil War. It stems from contentious roots in a time when the North and South honored their dead on separate days, until the country united the holiday after World War I to remember all American soldiers from every war.

It was known as Decoration Day in the 19th century, when Americans from both battlefronts carried flowers to graves or makeshift monuments honoring the approximately 620,000 soldiers who died on American soil.

“The procession went on, and stopped here and there at the little graveyards on the farms, leaving their bright flags to flutter through summer and winter rains and snow. They sent flags to all the distant graves and proud were those households who claimed kinship with valor,” wrote Sarah Orne Jewett on Decoration Day 1892, remembered in the book “Race and Reunion: the Civil War in American Memory.”

Jewett’s words ring true today in the graveyards and cemeteries, memorial parks and main streets, and in homes and backyards. Memorial Day is as personal as an individual’s relationship with a war, a veteran, a living or fallen soldier.

Maureen Blake, a third-grader at Morningside Elementary, planned to celebrate the holiday with an annual barbecue to spend time with her mom, dad and sister.

“Memorial Day means to me and my family to celebrate soldiers and their hard work in the military, army, marines or whatever they do,” Blake said in a shy but excited voice. “I think it’s a day for remembering the soldiers.”

She said she remembers her dad, Ferrel, who is an Air Force sergeant, and her uncle, who passed away in a car wreck. When she grows up, she wants to follow her father into the military so she can help people.

Advertisements

11/11/11: Luck, Mysticism and Conspiracy of Rare Perfect Palindrome

By The National Post Staff

Regardless of how you keep the date — year/month/day? month/day/year? — 11/11/11 is a rare day on the Western calendar when six of the same number line up, capturing the fancy of numerologists, conspiracy theorists and textile lovers (more on this later) alike. Below, some of the ways the world is marking November 11, 2011.

Remembrance

The most solemn meaning of November 11? Remembrance, as much of the globe pauses in honour of those who fought — and those who fell — in various conflicts around the world. As most who paid attention during their school’s Remembrance Day ceremony know, the date’s origins come from signing of the armistice ending World War I on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month — November 11, 1918.

Luck

In China, couples flocked to registry offices to marry on Friday in the belief that the “11/11/11” date is the most auspicious in a century. November 11 has been celebrated as an unofficial “singles’ day” in China since the 1990s — as the date is composed of the number one — and it is seen as a good day to marry and leave the single life behind. But this year is viewed as particularly special because the year also ends in the number 11. More than 200 couples packed into a marriage registration office in downtown Shanghai Friday morning, some having lined up for hours before its doors opened to ensure they were among the first to marry.

Shanghai alone had more than 3,300 couples who booked to marry on Friday, but the final tally could be higher as it does not include people who walk-in unannounced, a civil affairs bureau spokeswoman told AFP. Other Chinese cities reported a similar mania for marriage. In the eastern city of Nanjing, more than 3,000 couples planned to marry on Friday, ten times the usual daily average, the official Xinhua news agency said. More than 1,300 pairs will tie the knot in eastern Hangzhou city.

Conspiracy

Egypt will close the Great Pyramid of Giza on Friday to avoid any rituals by a group rumoured to have plans to mark the date of 11/11/11 at the site, an official said. The decision came “after much pressure” from Egyptian Internet users that strange rituals were going to be held “within the walls of the pyramid on November 11, 2011,” Atef Abu Zahab, head of the Department of Pharaonic Archaeology, told AFP.

The Supreme Council of Antiquities confirmed the closure Friday of the tourist site, in a statement that only referred to the need for maintenance following a busy period during Muslim holidays.

The Pyramid of Cheops is the biggest and most famous of the three Giza pyramids. It houses the tomb of Pharaoh Khufu, and is the only surviving one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

Mysticism

Thousands of people plan to meet at the time around the world for ceremonial dances, and several pages devoted to the date have appeared on social networking website Facebook.

Some attribute the number 11 to paranormal powers that provide a channel of communication with the subconscious, others see a mystical connection between the number and disasters, like the 9/11 attacks on the United States.

Corduroy

It’s not just a day for solemnity and subconscious-channeling — what about the fabric that has given so much plush joy to the world? The folks at the Corduroy Appreciation Club havedeclared November 11, 2011 The date which most closely resembles Corduroy, EVER. In honour of this extremely important occasion — the culmination of an 11-day celebration that includes protests against that sinister, smooth rival, velvet and a “mass waling” — members are assembling in New York. They will be required to don at least three (not two!) items of corduroy. Activities will include “Dark Secret Rituals,” “Presentation of Awards for Exemplary Usage of Corduroy,” “Singing, Dancing and Poetry inspired by Corduroy,” and, we suspect most crucially, an open bar.

 

Marketing

Much like 9-9-99, 01-01-01 and 09-09-09, 11-11-11 is a great date for marketers. Several companies, including Taco Bell and Energizer had huge promotions based around the easy-to-remember date. Probably the most notable North American promotion was the release of Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, a massive role playing video game, which switched its launch date from the traditional Tuesday to Friday to get the 11-11-11 date. The fact that the date is an American holiday, Veteran’s Day, is also fueling ad dollars. From the NYT:

Ads that hinge on a special date are an example of a marketing tactic called borrowed interest, in which advertisers try to involve themselves in big, topical events that the proverbial “everyone” is talking about. It is the hucksters’ equivalent of candidates far down on the ballot attempting to win by riding the coattails of those at the top of the ticket.

Births

Marketers aren’t the only ones looking to cash in — several Des Moines, Iowa women hope to get a refund on their obstetrician’s fee by giving birth on 11/11/11. Reports the Des Moines Register:

Dr. Ross Valone announced last February — nine months ago — that he would put the fee money into a bank account in the baby’s name, with the stipulation that the child could withdraw the money upon turning 21. His fee usually runs from $900 to $2,000, depending on the case and the insurer. Valone said Wednesday that he is scheduled to perform cesarean sections Friday on two women who delivered that way in the past. He also is scheduled that day to deliver a baby for a woman who plans to have an induced birth.

With files from Agence France-Presse

%d bloggers like this: