Veterans Day has its roots in the recognition of Armistice Day, initially noted to mark the formal end of World War I. Although not the first, or the last, war to be waged it is often considered as the first “modern” war in terms of mobilization and the effects it wrought upon those who served.
Celebrating the first year anniversary of the armistice, President Woodrow Wilson issued the following words,
“With splendid forgetfulness of mere personal concerns, we remodeled our industries, concentrated our financial resources, increased our agricultural output, and assembled a great army, so that at the last our power was a decisive factor in the victory. We were able to bring the vast resources, material and moral, of a great and free people to the assistance of our associates in Europe who had suffered and sacrificed without limit in the cause for which we fought…
To us in America the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service, and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of nations.”
Armistice Day officially gave way to Veterans Day in 1954 and was broadened to recognize all who have served.
On Veterans Day, we honor all current and former members of the Armed Services, along with their families, whose courage, sacrifice, and service provide the foundation of the strength, security, and freedoms of our country.
I invite you all to stop by and visit our neighboring Veterans Honor Park of Lancaster County after checking out the following works, both fiction and non-fiction, available at your Lititz Public Library. They speak to the varied experiences of our Armed Services.
Thank you for your service / David Finkel
In this sequel to his best-selling account For the Good Soldiers, Finkel returns to the men of the 2-16 Infantry Battalion to understand what life is like after the war, for the men, their families, and the communities to which they return. In the telling of the stories of these soldiers reintegration into civilian life and their battles with PTSD, Finkel poses two profound questions: When we ask young men and women to go to war, what are we asking of them? And when they return, what are we thanking them for?
Beyond the call : the true story of one World War II pilot’s covert mission to rescue POWs on the Eastern Front / Lee Trimble with Jeremy Dronfield
This inspiring true story of veteran Air Force bomber pilot Robert Trimble, who laid his life on the line to rescue World War II POWs on the Eastern Front. At the same time he battled to come to terms with the trauma of war and find his own way home to his wife and child. One ordinary man. One extraordinary mission. A thousand lives at stake.
Tuesday’s promise : one veteran, one dog, and their bold quest to change lives / Luis Carlos Montalván and Ellis Henican
Iraq War veteran Luis Carlos Montalván, along with his golden retriever Tuesday, advocated for America’s wounded warriors and the healing powers of service dogs. As Luis and Tuesday celebrated exhilarating victories, and made great progress battling Luis’ PTSD, challenges remained. Even as Luis struggled with dramatic emotional and physical changes, ten-year-old Tuesday was lovingly by his side through it all. This heart-wrenching story is a reminder that not all wounds are visible. This inspiring story of love, service, and teamwork is a testament to friendship and the remarkable bond between humans and canines.
Tribe : on homecoming and belonging / Sebastian Junger
This work draws on history, psychology, and anthropology to discuss how the tribal connection–the instinct to belong to small groups with a clear purpose and common understanding–can satisfy the human quest for meaning and belonging. The most recent example of that attraction is combat veterans who come home to find themselves missing the incredibly intimate bonds of platoon life. The loss of closeness that comes at the end of deployment may help explain the high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder suffered by military veterans today.
The following are just a few of the fiction titles at the library with stories of veterans and their service:
The frozen hours : a novel of the Korean War / Jeff Shaara
The Frozen Hours tells the story of “Frozen Chosin” from multiple points of view: Oliver P. Smith, the commanding general of the American 1st Marine Division, who famously redefined defeat as “advancing in a different direction”; Marine Private Pete Riley, a World War II veteran who now faces the greatest fight of his life; and the Chinese commander Sung Shi-Lun, charged with destroying the Americans he has so completely surrounded, ever aware that above him, Chairman Mao Tse-Tung watches his every move.
Infamy : a novel / Robert K. Tanenbaum
In the twenty-eighth installment of the New York Times bestselling Karp-Ciampi series, the “rock-solid” prosecutor Butch Karp and his wife, Marlene Ciampi, must team up to solve the suspicious murder of an FBI informant and battle corruption at the highest levels of the United States government.
The life we bury : a novel / Allen Eskens
College student Joe Talbert has the modest goal of completing a writing assignment for an English class. His task is to interview a stranger and write a brief biography of the person. With deadlines looming, Joe heads to a nearby nursing home to find a willing subject. There he meets Carl Iverson,a dying Vietnam veteran– and a convicted murderer, medically paroled to a nursing home, after spending thirty years in prison for the crimes of rape and murder. Unable to reconcile Carl’s valor in Vietnam with the despicable acts of the convict, Joe throws himself into uncovering the truth.
November 13, 2019