"...By the afternoon, one plane to Denver had been delayed several
hours. United personnel kept asking for volunteers to give up their
seats and take another flight. They weren't getting many takers.
Finally, a United spokeswoman got on the PA and said this,
As you can see, there are a lot of soldiers in the waiting area.
They only have 14 days of leave and we're trying to get them where
they need to go without spending any more time in an airport then
they have to. We sold them
all tickets, knowing we would oversell the flight. If we can, we
want to get them all on this flight. We want all the soldiers to
know that we respect what you're doing, we are here for you and we
"At that, the entire terminal of cranky, tired, travel-weary people,
a cross-section of America, broke into sustained and heart-felt
applause. The soldiers looked surprised and very modest. Most of
them just looked at their boots. Many of us were wiping away tears.
"And, yes, people lined up to take the later flight and all the
soldiers went to Denver on that flight. That little moment made me proud to be an American, and also told me
why we will win this war.
saga of the four chaplains:
one of three ships in the SG-19 convoy, was moving steadily across
the icy waters from Newfoundland toward an American base in Greenland....
Hans J. Danielsen, the ship's captain, was concerned and cautious.
Earlier the Tampa had detected a submarine with its sonar.... German U-boats were constantly prowling these vital
sea lanes, and several ships had already been blasted and sunk....
"Private William B. Bednar found himself floating in
oil-smeared water surrounded by dead bodies and debris. 'I could
hear men crying, pleading, praying,' Bednar recalls. 'I could also
hear the chaplains preaching courage. Their voices were the only
thing that kept me going.'...
"By this time, most of the men were topside, and
the chaplains opened a storage locker and began distributing life
jackets.... When there were no more lifejackets in the storage room,
the chaplains removed theirs and gave them to four frightened young
men. 'It was the finest thing I have seen or hope to see this side
of heaven,' said John Ladd, another survivor who saw the chaplains'
sent by Robert Jason: "At 5:
A.M, in a railway car in the Forest of Compiègne, France,
Allied & Central Powers signed the armistice that ended the First
World War.... [T]he ceasefire was to commence six hours later --
thus Winston Churchill's immortal phrase:
eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month silence
fell across the battlefields of Europe."
Minute - November 11:
"The 11th hour of the 11TH DAY OF THE 11TH MONTH of 1918, World War I
Though the Armistice was signed at 5:00 AM, fighting continued till
11:00 AM, killing nearly 11,000 more men.
"In 1921, President Warren Harding had the remains of an unknown
soldier killed in France buried in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
at Arlington Cemetery.
Inscribed on the Tomb are the words:
"Here lies in
honored glory an American soldier known but to God."
"Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day in 1954 to honor all U.S.
Veterans. In 1958, President Eisenhower placed soldiers in the tomb from WWII
and the Korean War.
"The soldier from Vietnam, buried by President Reagan in 1984, was
identified by DNA tests as pilot Michael Blassie and was reburied in
1998 at Jefferson Memorial Cemetery, St. Louis, Missouri.
"On NOVEMBER 11, 1921, President Harding stated:
"On the threshold of eternity,
many a soldier, I can well
believe, wondered how his ebbing blood would color the stream
of human life, flowing on after his sacrifice...
"I can sense the prayers of our people.... Let me join in
that prayer. Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy
name. Thy kingdom come..."
Bataan 60 years later - Remembering those who served:
"John M. Wright... remembered the Army and Navy women nurses, the 'angels' of Bataan and Corregidor
[Philippines, World War II], who refused to leave the wounded when ordered out. He also remembered a truckload of 20 badly wounded men who were to be taken to a 'hospital' but instead were driven away and then beheaded....
"Dick Francies of Cleveland repaired Japanese army radios in prison and subtly sabotaged each one.
Malcolm Amos of Afton, Iowa, a medic who nursed the sick and injured at the prison at Cabanatuan, was a large man who returned home weighing 90 pounds....
"Everett Reamer of Lake Havasu, Ariz., was tortured for 28 straight days after being taken as a slave to Japan; he
kept sane by repeating the 23rd Psalm each day. He is still a tough guy.
In fact, they are all pretty tough guys.
"Yet, these men have a collective feeling of being
abandoned by their country during the battle in the
They have not forgotten that President Franklin Roosevelt, in a radio speech, promised them that help was on the way when it had already been decided that Europe would take first call on men and supplies.
They were never told the truth of their situation and they
kept fighting until there was nothing left to fight with. As one veteran told me:
'We never surrendered! We were surrendered.'
....There is still such sadness in the voices of these men when they speak of how they were treated as prisoners and slaves."
(Eric Sinkkonen, SFC 5/27/02)
"At 6:00 A.M. on the 4th of July in 1863, it rained in
Gettysburg -- it rained on many of the 27,000 wounded and dying Confederate and Union
soldiers. It rained on the thousands of dead yet to be buried. As the day wore on, Lee's
shattered army left Gettysburg and Maj. George Rogers Clark Todd, 10th GA Infantry
(surgeon in Semmes' Brigade) headed south, leaving behind the battlefield his
brother-in-law, Abraham Lincoln, would come to consecrate just 4-1/2 months later."
(See picture of soldiers like
The wise and loyal soldier, Sullivan Baloo,
was killed at the first battle of Bull Run. Read his
last letter home.
More War Letters
do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet
the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our
light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us
far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not
look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are
not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the
things which are not seen are eternal." 2 Corinthians