Pop Quiz: Does your school do anything for Remembrance / Veterans’ Day?
Today marks the 95th anniversary of the armistice that ended hostilities in the first World War, celebrated in Commonwealth countries as Remembrance Day and in the US as Veterans’ Day. It affords an opportunity to contemplate not only service and sacrifice of the men and women of the armed forces, but also the terrible toll any war inevitably takes on those involved–a yearly reminder of the price of military action that has thankfully not yet been co-opted by barbecues and mattress sales.
Browsing my facebook feed today I saw a variety of personal and institutional responses to the holiday, from charity golf tournaments to parades to frustrations that, in some places, November 11th has become just another day.
My own institution plays host to our city’s largest Remembrance day celebration, including a parade (with awesome bagpipers, natch) and a twenty-one gun salute. Friends at other schools mentioned an institutional moment of silence at 11:11, the time at which the armistice was officially signed and proclaimed.
So I’m curious: what does your institution do for the holiday, if anything? What level of acknowledgement is appropriate? Does it seem like the significance of the holiday is fading in your area? Conversely, do things ever cross the line into a (totally inappropriate) glorification of militarism?
The Pop Quiz is a question posed to you, the Scholars of Doubt. Look for it to appear Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons (ET).
Featured image: Corn poppies (papaver rhoeas), photographed by Pablo Alberto Salguero Quiles. For Americans not familiar with the symbolism, poppies are emblematic of Remembrance Day in Canada and other Commonwealth nations largely because of this poem.