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.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Thank You Veterans!

The primary school at which I teach  had it's annual Veterans Day assembly yesterday. Each year, veterans and active service men and women are invited to attend and be honored. The children learn about the branches of the military and why we should all be grateful to the individuals who've served our country to preserve our freedoms.  The interactive presentation included the audience reading the line, "Thank you veterans.  You are America's heroes"  after  brief introductions to each branch of the service. This year, a group of uniformed active military men and women also visited classrooms to greet the kids. Each year the soldiers seem to get younger and it hit me hard  as I sang the national anthem and looked at these brave young souls, that they could easily be my children or former students.  Always before, I'd thought of them as adults, and they are, but they also seemed so very young, children really, whose parents and communities have loved, taught, and nurtured. 

This Veterans Day, I'll once again be grateful for my freedoms, thankful to the men and women who have and are serving their country, and  disappointed in humanity that war still exists.  A verse of the hymn "The Church's One Foundation" comes to mind:

Mid toil and tribulation,  and tumult of her war, 
she waits the consummation  of peace forevermore; 
till, with the vision glorious,  her longing eyes are blest, 
and the great church victorious  shall be the church at rest.

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.

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 armour 
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 homeland 
May heaven hold your dream  
My homeland 
Be my dream 
My hope  

- Sir Cecil Spring Rice and Z. Randall Stroope


  1. Happy Veteran's Day, Peter, and thank you to all those who served and continue to make the decision to serve. These days, it's not a decision without considerable risk... Beautiful photos, too - I've always wondered if the decision to celebrate V-day in autumn is a symbolic one....?

    1. Armistice Day is commemorated every year on 11 November to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning—the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" of 1918. The date was declared a national holiday in many allied nations.

  2. This is a wonderful tribute, Peter! Those giving of themselves in military service should receive our full support, both while in action and upon their return from service.

  3. Kids indeed. Brave ones. I'm so glad schools are still doing things like this.

  4. Beautiful pictures, beautiful words. I, also, am glad for this school paying tribute and educating its students to honor and cherish our veterans.

  5. A touching tribute paired with beautiful photos. Thank you.

  6. Happy belated Veteran Day, Peter. We eare have no the holiday like this, we pay tribute to our veterans May 9th, when the 2d WW was finished.
    Lovely photos!


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