10 Nov 2008
VETERANS IN EUROPE ??
Jan and Jer gave us the following assignment :
Since Next Tuesday is Veterans Day, I thought it would be nice to salute our Veterans and show our appreciation. Photo requirement of something patriotic. (To this I want to add that this game is for the whole blogworld and not only for American blogs !)
In the European countries we don't have Veterans Day. It is called Armistice Day and is the anniversary of the symbolic end of World War I on 11 November 1918. It commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front, which took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning - the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
In some countries with strong anti-military traditions (e.g., Germany) veterans are neither honored in any special way, nor have their dedicated Veterans Day.
In Belgium it is an official holiday, known also as the day of peace in the Flanders Fields. But if you ask people on the street : "why do you have a day off ?", most of them don't know. Or they think it's because of WW II
In my special case I am "involved" in 3 countries.
I was born in Germany and have a German passport so I am officially German
I married an Italian and became Italian by marriage and I am officially Italian too
The fact that I live now 50 years in Belgium makes me to an unofficial Belgian citizen.
Our son has both nationalities, he is Italian and German, but has never lived in these countries. He doesn't even speak very well German or Italian. He was born and raised in Belgium and his mother tongue is French. He works for an English company and has lived for 10 years in the UK. Since 5 years he lives in Amsterdam (Holland)
Which veteran should he honor ???
So the only patriotic feelings I could have would be for a UNITED EUROPE. And Europe has no veterans, for the simple reason that it is a political and economic union of 27 member states, only established by the Treaty of Maastricht in 1993 upon the foundations of the pre-existing European Economic Community from 1957.
In Germany there are no Veteran cemetaries. German soldiers are burried in 57 countries. In Belgium there are 181.000 graves for them.
In Belgium veterans are honored by the King on this day, but from WW I, I doubt that there is a veteran left.