In the 11th hour of the 11th day during the 11th month — the guns fell silent and war ended forever……

Don’t you wish that had happened — that subsequent generations would never know the pain, the throb and the overwhelming divisiveness of war.

With lots of help, we’ve put together a Veteran’s Day program at the elementary school to honor the many who have served our country. It’s important for the kids to see the WWII vets, the Vietnam vets, all those including those currently serving. These moments link them to history.

This year I’ve centered the program on a lovely children’s book by Margot Theiss Raven, about the “candy bombers” and the goodwill they engendered in a broken post-WWII Europe. During the late 1940s, the story achieved much the same luster of “In Flanders Fields.” John McCrae, the unfortunate Canadian Army surgeon, lived long enough to see the wildfire acceptance of his little poem — but died early in 1918 before war’s end.

In Flanders Fields by John McCrae
In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky 

The larks, still bravely singing, fly 

Scarce heard amid the guns below. 

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie, 

In Flanders fields. 

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw 

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

war is over: Just Like That (Kieran Kane); Blowing in the Wind (the classic Dylan is probably best, or least cheesy); Don’t Sit under the Apple Tree (the Andrews sisters, they were just cool); I’d Like to teach the world to sing (I like Bobby Bare’s cover — it’s more than a Coke ad); Peaceful World (John Mellencamp — one of the inheritors of the protest song mantle); Don’t you wish it was true (John Fogerty — awesome lyrics); Dreams Come True (Lone Justice — I think of the end of the Berlin Wall on this one); Bombs Away (the Police); Give Peace a Chance (John Lennon); When the War is Over (JJ Cale & Eric Clapton — surprisingly folky); Cool, Cool, Considerate Men (from 1776 — the politics behind the peace); War (Edwin Starr — can everyone sing a few bars); Through the Storm (Aretha Franklin & Elton John — what an awesome recording); Peaceful Easy Feeling (the Eagles — every once in a while); Lili Marlene (Lale Anderson — my Daddy really loved this one); Rosie the Riveter (the four Vagabonds); Rehumanize Yourself (the Police — such great lyrics for group think); The War is Over (Phil Ochs — he makes the whole world march); and Thanks for the Memories (Bob Hope — for every USO tour, and every special that helped us remember that when we say “troops,” we mean men and women)


my daddy, 1942

Every act of love is a work of peace no matter how small. –> Mother Teresa

Take care,

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