Today is Veterans Day, formerly Armistice Day, which recalls the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918, when the guns of Europe fell My father was a World War I veteran, and I was born when he was in his 50s. I learned many things, some more complex than others, from him. He had both fire and humor and a fine sense of irony.
In addition to teaching me how to argue either side of an issue with fluency, he taught me how to make a bed with square corners, how to march, how to salute, and how to two step standing on his shoes. He was my hero and he loved this World War I poem, which I heard recited today against the sound of a bell tolling from London via the BBC.
"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them."
Laurence Binyon, 1914