Veterans Day

by Marina


I recently finished listening to Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War by Mary Roach. I wasn’t a huge fan of the narrator–her vocal inflections came across as too “cutesy” for me. Even though Roach writes humor with a deft hand in her scientific topics I felt it needed a narrator with slightly more gravitas.

Nonetheless, I did learn a lot about the science on making war safer for soldiers. Roach covers topics such as hearing damage from close range bomb detonation and the ways flies and their larvae can either cause medical issues or help resolve them, such as food contamination vs wound debridement. Also included is how intestinal distress–diarrhea–can make or break a military engagement.

A lot of pride comes from serving your country. Military veterans have a day for the nation to show them their support and appreciation–November 11th.  Originally known as Armistice Day, the day we now celebrate as Veterans Day was first observed in 1919 to celebrate the anniversary of the temporary cessation of hostilities of World War I. It became a legal holiday in 1938, and in 1954 the name was changed to Veterans Day in order to honor all military personnel that served in wartime in any era. It was adopted as a federal holiday in 1968.

One of the longest traditions of celebrating veterans takes place in New York City every year: America’s Parade. The long tradition of this parade can trace its roots back to the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812! Produced by the United War Veterans Council, there was a decline in support during the post-Vietnam War era of the 1970s and 1980s. Renewed support has been seen following 9/11 and with a new generation of veterans taking leadership of the parade.

There are a few communities around the area (Arlington, Oak Harbor, Lynnwood, Monroe, and Mill Creek) that are hosting (or hosted, in the case of Monroe) parades or ceremonies to honor veterans. If you aren’t able to get out and attend one of these programs then celebrate and reflect on the veterans that have served with books or movies. You can also catch America’s Parade on television or online.


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