November is a month of remembrance, starting with All Saints' Day and All Souls Day, and going through Veterans' Day. I think Veterans Day should be a different date, and November 11th should be changed back to Armistice Day, in honor of the end of that horror that wiped out a generation, including my favorite artist, Franz Marc,
who died in the abattoir called the Battle of Verdun. We should honor the people who died or were physically or mentally maimed in the Great War, aptly named not because it was wonderful, but because it was large and terrible. As the events of World War I start to move beyond living memory, I fear that they will be forgotten. There are several days to honor the memory of those who served in WWII: Pearl Harbor Day, V-E Day, V-J Day, Normandy Invasion Day. My only close relative to serve in a war was my paternal grandfather, who was conscripted into the Italian army in 1917 when he was in Italy attending the University of Naples. Fortunately, he had an uncle who was a general, so he served as a messenger, and never saw combat. We should never forgot the sacrifices of those who did see combat, and honor them with a separate day.
And now for something completely different.
By the end of November, all the deciduous trees have shed their leaves, their stark silhouettes standing as a remembrance of Spring and Summer's life and color. By the end of November, most of the flowers are gone as well, empty places in the garden leaving only a memory of color and fragrance.
Yes, I'm going all melancholy. Time to pull out the full-spectrum UV light box to fend off Seasonal Affective Disorder. I'm already on my second box.
The Franz Marc painting above is from 1911, titled "The Large Blue Horses."
(edit. For a soldier's view of the events of WWI, go to wwar1.blogspot.com.)