Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Silent Song Headed To #1

Although we celebrate Veteran's Day here in the United States, it seems that it has lost some of its meaning. Whenever I have traveled to Canada or England prior to November 11th, the entire country seems to be awash in poppies with everyone wearing the symbol from World War One as a reminder of the sacrifices veterans have made for their respective countries. There is nothing like that here in the United States and every year I ask why. This year, in England, in addition to the poppies, veterans groups are trying to push the sale of a two minute record. The record is two minutes of silence and it has a very good chance of going to #1 on the charts because of the passion people have in England for recognizing the service veterans made for their country. I think it is amazing that people are willing to spend almost $2 on two minutes of silence in support of such a great cause.

The two minutes is because typically at 11 a.m. local time there is two minutes of silence. World War One officially ended at 11:11 on 11/11 hence where we get the date of our Veteran's Day and what Canada and the UK call Remembrance Day. Countless stars have made an appearance in the "music" video for the two minute silent song. Below is the preview of the video. If you know of any similar tributes or actions for Veteran's Day here in the US, I would love to know about them and share them with everyone on Thursday.


Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

I usually take the pin part out of the poppy and make lips with the rest. :/

RocketQueen said...

We've already had a report of a senior being robbed of the poppy funds. I love that they're out there selling them/collecting money, but this happens EVERY YEAR and they're easy targets :( Can't we provide them with a little young, strong backup??

Seachica said...

When I moved to the UK, I was stunned at the poppies. It's such a great way to show your support, and it's wonderful that people stop and think about the service and sacrifice people make for their country.

Patty said...

I think it's bigger in Europe since that is where WWI and WWII actually happened. Yes, we were involved but it wasn't in our backyards (literally). Not an excuse. We need to do more to honor our veterans and remember all the wars.

Now! said...

In the US the military is highly segregated from the rest of society, and that's bad for the troops and bad for the society at large.

Well-educated and well-off Americans can make sweeping political pronouncements - Send the troops to Dafur! Send the troops to stop the genocide in Rwanda! Send the troops to Afghanistan and Iraq! Send the troops to New Orleans! - knowing full well it will never be their sons and daughters putting their lives on the line.

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

When I lived in Europe I got to see a lot of bombed out buildings from WW1+WW2. You learn about this stuff in school, but it doesn't really hit home until you see the remenants of it. At least, it didn't for me.


FC said...

Americans are just too far removed from the troops and the sacrifices they make. As a military wife and huge supporter of the military in general, I try to make it MY duty to bring awareness to any and all military causes, groups, organizations, etc. One really simple way to help is to send a $2 Cup of Joe to a deployed soldier via http://www.greenbeanscoffee.com/coj/. I have done this many times before, and it's so rewarding for those who receive a cup, not just for the free coffee, but more importantly for the message of thanks and appreciation you can send. I only wish we were more like England, or Canada.

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...


There's also anysoldier.com that you can send a care package to. That is my "charity" for Christmas.

Unknown said...

Thanks for posting this Enty. This video even though there was only 11seconds, I already starting tearing up. As a wife of U.S. military serviceman, the daughter of a U.K. veteran, and granddaughter of U.S. and U.K. veterans, thank you so much for your support for ALL military members.

Meg said...

Man, I consider myself a very patriotic person but these stories make me sad and ashamed that we don't do more to show appreciation like Canada/England.

@FC - That is a cool website! I just donated. I'll have to send it out to my friends/family.

Thanks for posting this, Enty.

sunnyside1213 said...

I was moved to tears by a huge puppy wreath in Notra Dame for the British soldiers lost in France.

mazshad said...

Having been brought up in the UK and now live in Canada, poppies on 11th Nov was always THE expression of remembrance for soldiers who paid the extreme sacrifice. It has added significance in today's world.
In Ottawa after the national ceremony, people place their poppies on the grave of the Unknown Soldier, I find that a poignant and touching tribute.
I always wondered why the US never took to the poppy.

MommaBear said...

As Canadians, my family and I proudly wear our poppies in the week leading up to November 11th.

While I'm not old enough to have experienced the wars first hand, back when I was in school, our grade 12 curriculum had a tremendous focus on the WWII and the holocaust. That education has left me with a great appreciation for those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom today.

I'm proud to call my self a Canadian. We were there in the very beginning of both wars, fighting for justice and protecting the innocent. Just as our troops are doing today in Afghanistan.

Anna Geletka said...

I guess. To me, wearing the poppy is just like plastering a big yellow magnet on your car that says "support the troops". And yes, I've lived in Britain. Both actions take equivalent amounts of thought and support. And I cannot imagine why I would pay for a silent recording. Just give someone 2$! Why do people buy crap they don't want in the guise of supporting a cause? Just give the cause your money and skip the crap!

I'm getting really annoyed at people telling me to support my troops. I didn't ask them to fight this war and I don't want them to fight this war. Why should I support them in doing something that I think is totally, completely wrong?

And please don't respond, "because they are willing to die for you", or "they are fighting for your freedom", or any of that kneejerk nationalistic nonsense. Our freedom is hardly in jeopardy. To think otherwise is the height of absurdity. If we were in any real danger I would be willing to die for my country, or to fight for freedom.

I know this post will offend people and I know some of you are military or military spouses. You are sacrificing the most precious thing of all - your lives and health. But the sacrifice is worth nothing because there is no reason for you to do so. Why should I either applaud or celebrate meaningless sacrifice?

People say, "you're so ungrateful! I'm in the military FOR YOU! I'm doing this for YOU!" Well, I didn't ask you to, and I think your actions are making the world a worse place. So stop. If you're actually doing this for me, please stop.

I'm not some crazy hippie who would spit on returning troops, I don't blame any individual solider for the things that they have been trained to do. We just get sidetracked down this "support the troops" rabbithole instead of examining the rationale behind this needless war. No one has the balls to say that they don't support the troops. Well, I don't.

FC said...

Awesome, MCH! :)

Yes, anysoldier.com is a great site too, Sue Ellen. I also like Soldiers Angels and Adopt a Platoon.

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

I was going to go all Clarissa and Explain It All to Mrs Luey, but then I figured I might as well not waste my time of explaining things like the theory of international relations. So forget it.

chihuahuense said...

I work at the VA Hospital, so I get to tell the vets how much I love them everyday. Except for the one that hit me today...I don't love him. :(

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

Not today, but maybe you will again tomorrow. :)

MommaBear said...

I always try to remember that we all have our opinions and to respect that. I don't normally speak out against what someone has posted here, but Ms. Luey, you are mind numbingly ignorant.

Make not mistake, the freedom that you have today is directly linked to the the allies victories in the wars. Our world would be a very different place had Hitler and the Japanese won in WWII. Where would we be today if the world turned a blind eye to ethnic cleansing of millions of Jews?

The Commonwealth troops (Canada/Britain) are over in the middle east acting as Peacekeepers. They are there to protect innocent women and children from the Taliban, and help establish democratic leadership. What bothers me the most is your apathetic view on attrocities occurring in our world.

Just because it occurring out of your line of sight, doesn't make it any less heinous. War is never 'needless' when you are trying to protect the vulnerable.

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

I mostly agree with you MommaBear, except a lot of the time war isn't fought for simply altruistic reasons. Some of them are for political gains. See the invasion of the Falkland Islands for details.

RocketQueen said...

I don't know where Ms. Luey is from, but I'm guessing American, because we don't have a big "Support Our Troops!" thing here in Canada as in the states. That's not what the poppy is about. The poppy is for REMEMBRANCE of those who DIED in the war. The funds collected from the poppy go to the veterans that are still alive, and they rely on it. That alone makes it a worthy cause.
There's a movement for the white poppy (check it out on FB) that might suit you better.

Newfoundlander Upalong said...

I think this song pretty much sums up Remembrance Day and why it is so important to Canada.


It is about remembering and respect not some political agenda.

MommaBear said...

Very true Ms. Mishkey. I will give you that. Sometimes it is a power grab disguised as a humanitarian exercise.

My own beliefs stem from Lester B. Pearson's goal to utilize soldiers instruments of peace and not war.

Anna Geletka said...

I'm not talking about our past veterans, I'm talking about current troop support, as many of you were discussing up thread. I have no issues with people supporting veterans, I'm talking about the present.

I am well aware of what the poppy symbolizes; as I said I've lived in Britain. Helping out those who have suffered in war is categorically difference from mindlessly spouting slogans to "support our troops" (the state of our country's VA hospitals is a total disgrace, for one thing).

Sue Ellen, knock off your condescension. Please understand that I have already heard everything that you would want to "explain" to me.

Momma Bear, perhaps Canadian troops are indeed performing such a noble act. I can't comment on that. And make no mistake, I do not support the Taliban's war on women. But it sounds pretty "mind numbingly ignorant" to ignore the fact that the US did NOT get involved in Iraq or Afghanistan because of any concern over the well-being of women and children. We'd be in Darfur if that was the case.

Don't presume to imagine you have any idea of my awareness or apathy of atrocities in this world. I don't believe that troop involvement in the Middle East is doing Thing One to stop any atrocities. In fact, I believe that the involvement is making the atrocities worse. I don't slap a yellow ribbon on my car but that has no bearing on my apathy.

ALL wars are fought for political gain. There is no such thing as an altruistic war. Ever. Ever. Even wars which do help to stop atrocities (like WWII) are fought for political gain. The US strongly suspected that the concentration camps existed for years before we declared war on Germany. We would not have done so no matter how many Jews died, were it not in our political interests. To believe otherwise is naive. And Canadian involvement in Afghanistan is political, not altruistic. Governments don't do altruism.

Anna Geletka said...

PS - just wanted to say that this is my favorite blog and I always enjoy reading the comments. I don't generally share the above opinions because I realize that they are extremely unpopular.

On many sites I would have just gotten name calling but here I've gotten actual discussion and I do appreciate that. I don't anticipate that anyone will ever agree with me on this and I respect your right to your opinions.

chihuahuense said...

the state of our VA Hospitals? what year are you living in? You're right, I don't agree.

chihuahuense said...

here's an article from just yesterday talking about the VA Hospitals.


I have worked at three different hospitals in a large city and the VA is CONSTANTLY outperforming private hospitals. Show me the facts...not from 1980 that the VA Hospital is a disgrace. Please, I'd love to see them.

MommaBear said...

Ha Ha, having a hard time to type for the tears of laughter.

It is possible to be peacekeepers instead of just bombing the shit out of a place and moving on. Canada's current role is not to go in and stir it up, we come in and clean up the mess left behind (aka infrastructure/government/healthcare/education/police)

The Canadian military is fairly small compared to most countries. We may not have had the resources occupy every nation in conflict at once. However, we were actively involved in Sudan/Darfur beginning 2005, in conjunction with the United Nations. We have also had a presence and in many other conflict zones like Kosovo, Bosnia, Cyprus, Sierra Leone, as our resources would allow.

Perhaps it's my 'pie in the sky' views, but for myself and I think a great number of Canadians, entering a conflict is not about controlling or gaining political power. We sit on the world's largest deposit of oil in the free world so it's not about accessing resources for our industry. It is genuinely about helping others to realize the freedom that we have been blessed with and so often take for granted.

MommaBear said...

Oh, I should mention (I ramble sometimes) that this is a great commentary. Like Ms. Luey said above. It is wonderful to participate in an active discussion about important issues affecting our world. Because lets face it, if old Lilo smokes some crystal meth tomorrow, it's not likely to affect me and mine. But what happens in the Middle East and other unstable places has the potential to affect all of us eventually.

Anna Geletka said...

MommaBear, I think your views are fairly naive. I doubt that Canada enters any conflict from an altruistic position. However, perhaps they do. There's always a first time. I've always heard Canada is a wonderful place.

I am truly jaded on this issue and of course that affects my judgment. As a student of history I have had my heroes smashed into the dust again and again. It's difficult for me to believe that any country acts without ulterior motives. I wish I could see this from your perspective. Soldiers should be peacekeepers and protectors of the weak.

My nationality also clouds this issue. Even if Canada's military is on a mission of peace, I cannot accept the premise that America's military is. And I still don't believe that any Western military force should be in the Middle East, because I don't believe that the troops are accomplishing anything meaningful.

At the best, Canada is going in to mop up the US's mess.

Chihuahuense, the VA hospital my grandfather died in last year was awful. I am extrapolating one negative experience onto all VA hospitals. That was a reckless thing to say and I was wrong.

Lissette said...

I purchased the 2 minute silence song from iTunes and I am wearing a fatigues to honor my students and family members, as well as, those I don't know that are serving my country.
I am Cuban American and take offense when people say we are far removed and don't care. That's a horrible generalization and I don't think it's true.

chihuahuense said...

Ms Luey--That stinks, I wish that your reason could've been reading an article or hearing a story and not a personal experience. Unfortunately poor care sometimes happens, but I want you to know that the VA as a whole has come a long way from when that was the rule and not the exception. I wish I could've been there for your grandfather to give him the care you expected. I hope the new generation of VA staff can learn from the successes and failures of the previous generation and continue to raise the bar.

Anna Geletka said...

Thanks, Chihuahuense. I wish you could have been there too! My father's father served in the Pacific during WWII. My mother's father was in the air force in Korea and was actually shot down behind enemy lines. And a dear friend of mine was a Marine in Vietnam.

All of these men went into the service fresh-faced and patriotic, and came out bitter men that were broken in many ways. The former Marine in particular really hates the military. I feel that the military pushes their agenda of heroism and orphan/widow saving on the young and impressionable, then perverts that enthusiasm into a blind dedication to corrupt ideals. It makes me sick to think of this young and optimistic energy being used in this way.

Honestly, it would be great if I were wrong about this.

Anonymous said...

Another thing we do as proud Canadians to show support for our soldiers that have lost their lives is we added the poppy to our quarters.


ardleighstreet said...

I always buy poppies. My father fought in 2 wars and was commander of our VFW when I was just a little girl. I know what that poppy means and wear it proudly.

I will always support those people who are in our military even if I do not always support our govt.

Bon said...

While I don't share the same views as you, Ms. Luey, I'm very glad you commented. It made me stop and look at it from a different stance. Again, still disagree, but very much enjoyed the above opinions/discussion.

And, unfortunately, my family, too, had a bad experience with a VA hospital. I'm thrilled to learn that the system's improving and even surpassing private hospitals.

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

Well, thank God I don't have to explain something to someone. Nice change.

And you're right about governments not doing altruism. I just don't want to get into it with people. The state of the world is a complete race to the bottom and I don't know how it's going to be stopped.

Also, Canada isn't that great cause we are the biggest freeriders on America ever. So. Yeah.

__-__=__ said...

Wow! I had no idea about the poppy stuff. Wonder how I missed that! Here's a feel-good story about a vet's wedding, for your pleasure:
Thanks Vets!!

mazshad said...

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them


Popular Posts from the last 30 days