10 Nov 2008


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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 Compi├Ęgne, 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 ???

European Flag

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.


Faye said...

"Day of Peace"--how moving to celebrate peace instead of war. You do have a diverse citizenship, don't you? Our tour guide for recent European trip had your same situation--German by birth, married to an Italian and living in Italy. Oh, she had also lived in Paris for over ten years and then got tired of the traffic. I loved the Eiffel Tower with its blue lights and gold stars to signify the United Europe.

By the way, if you read my post and find that I've made some historical errors please tell me so I can correct. Thanks!

karisma said...

I agree with Faye! How lovely that you celebrate peace instead of war! You should be so proud Gattina! Your son is a child of our beautiful earth! Much like my own! My kids have Turkish/English and Scottish backgrounds but live in Australia! They have a Catholic and Muslim background but have been raised as citizens of our earth! Not by religion or race! If only everyone felt the same!

Tracey9AD said...

I am loving the ability to hear what other countries do for the Vets. Very informative!

Jo Beaufoix said...

Great post Gattina. I'm wearing my Poppy today for Remembrance which is a tradition in the UK. I think your idea of a wish for a united Europe is lovely. I would wish for peace for all wartorn countries and blessings to anyone who has been touched by war.

Hootin' Anni said...

Wonderful, historic facts Gattina! I appreciate this, and learned a lot.

Mine's posted...scroll down to the last of my Monday blog. See you there.

Junebug said...

The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. That is so interesting!

Abraham Lincoln
Freedom is the last, best hope of earth.

Anonymous said...

There is an exhibition in my town about the women and children during the WW 1. I think I will have a look. I am always impresse reading your nationalities! Nothing else to have an opened mind on the world!

Jan n Jer said...

It's always so interesting to hear about other countries and their traditions. Bottom line we are all Gods children. My wish is "Let there be Peace on Earth and let it begin with me" Thanks for sharing and God Bless

Unknown said...

Your multi-citizenship is fascinating. There's such a difference between the U.S. and Europe. What you described reminds me of someone who says their mom is from Texas and their father is from Colorado and they were born in Kentucky and married someone from Maine. We think states while you think countries.

Anonymous said...

A very informative post indeed, with lots of interesting facts. Well, its even less celebrating in Sweden since we've not been in the war because of our so called neutrality. (Which some thinks weren't so neutral :-)

War really is the most STUPID thing in this world I think... and human is supposed to be intelligent! Bah!

IamwhoIam said...

Very intresting post - Being so very blend
The thought of a day of peace would be a fitting rememberance and I like the concept.

ChrisB said...

Gattina I found yours a very interesting post. As well as Armistice Day, we do actually have a Veterans Day now in the UK. But this was only established a couple of years ago.

Dr.John said...

Thanks for the information. Ameruican sometimes think everybody is like them.

Anonymous said...

A Day of Peace would be nice everywhere.

I guess I can understand why Germany wouldn't have a Veteran's day, so to speak, considering all the atrocities that occurred during WWII.

Unknown said...

I agree with Dr. John, sometimes I feel like we in the US think we are the only ones... thank you for your global view. I love reading your blog and learning new things.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading your post and learning different facts.

Sayre said...

This was a lovely post - and I learned quite a bit reading it too!

Anonymous said...

There are four WW1 veterans still living in Britain. The oldest is 110. Remembrance Day is taken very seriously, as it is still officially a day of mourning.

I am fascinated by your mult-nationalities, though I hope there is never a fully united Europe, or at least not one with Britain in it. I want us to quit the EU.