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Armistice Day in Ypres

I asked my sons, 13 and 16 years old, why Veterans Day is celebrated on November 11, and they didn't seem to know. What little US History they have had in school apparently didn't dwell long on the War to End All Wars. My oldest is currently in AP US History, but they have only gotten as far as the Civil War. Still, I would think the teacher might have taken the opportunity to mention that the 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month marks the official end of World War I.

There aren't many non-religious holidays in the US that are also commemorated in Europe (the Brits aren't big on July 4, for example), but November 11, Armistice Day, is one. Here's a little video of the British commemoration at the Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium. Fluttering down through the openings on top of the gate are red poppies, the poppies of Flanders Fields. The Last Post, the British equivalent of Taps, has been played at the Menin Gate every single night for the past 95 years. Inscribed on the walls inside the gate are some of the names of the missing — not the confirmed dead and identified, just the missing and presumed dead. They had originally planned to include all the names of the missing, but ran out of room, so the list was continued on other monuments throughout the area.

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