Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Thank You Veterans!

Nobody likes war and I'm disappointed in the human race that we have not yet evolved beyond such a thing.  However, I am grateful every day for the freedoms I enjoy which I know have been won at great cost.

Stained glass panel created by Harley Pyle.

To those who served or are serving in the military, we set this day aside to remember you, your families and the sacrifices you have made for our country.   Armistice day, Remembrance Day, Veterans' Day, originated with the signing of the armistice between the Allies of World War I and Germany at "the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month," at Compiègne, France. for the cessation of hostilities on the western front of WWI. 

There is a British patriotic song called, "I Vow to Thee, My Country" with music by Gustav Holst and words by Sir Cecil Spring Rice.  Here are the lyrics:

I vow to thee, my country, all earthly things above,
Entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love;
The love that asks no question, the love that stands the test,
That lays upon the altar the dearest and the best; 
The love that never falters, the love that pays the price, 
The love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice.

And there's another country, I've heard of long ago,
Most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know;
We may not count her armies, we may not see her King;
Her fortress is a faithful heart, her pride is suffering; 
And soul by soul and silently her shining bounds increase, 
And her ways are ways of gentleness, and all her paths are peace.

Z. Randall Stroope, an American composer added some lyrics and created a great choral setting which has become quite popular. Click the arrow below to hear the piece.

The first verse is the same but the two that follow are different.

Though the road has bends and turns, and my spirit suffers,
Humans fail, systems fail, shadows fall.
But the ruts run deep, cut by the blood of faces above,
And voices now silent...
But the message loud is heard:  "Homeland, homeland,
Renew your youth, restore your soul!"

Homeland, the country that I love, hold out your arms to me,
I strive for you and give you the best I hope to be.
May your wisdom be your armor, your compassion be your sword;
May your strength be forged with mercy, your courage lives restore.
Homeland, the country that I love, forever reign supreme;
And when time stands still my country, may heaven hold your dream.

My homeland, be my dream, my hope.
Homeland, homeland.

Thank you to all veterans and their families for the sacrifices you've made and continue to make for our country!


  1. And the world commemorates, thank you indeed!

  2. Happy Veterans' Day to you, Peter. I too wish that we could evolve beyond wars. That, unfortunately, is a long time in the future, if at all. Do you have off school today? If so, I hope you have some fun, or maybe peaceful, plans.

  3. The need for war boggles my mind, and yes for some it is a need. I know that must sound incredibly simplistic and naive but there it is. Oh what a debt we owe to the brave ones.

  4. I too am really disappointed that humanity is taking so long to learn diplomacy. History is supposed to be our teacher but too often the powers that be skip that lesson and let their basely nature take over. Sad. Thank God for our troops.

  5. Great tribute! Someday Peter, we'll evolve, someday.

  6. Used part of our imposed snow day today to finish reading East of Eden by John Steinbeck. I'm still in awe of such an epic story, and of how - throughout the book - so many miseries were caused by war - both between nations and individuals. I'm afraid I'll side with Loree here - I don't think humans will ever evolve beyond perpetual conflict. And, of course, the sacrifices are huge. Great tribute, Peter.


Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.