On Sunday, pause at eleven o’clock. The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. The ninety-fourth anniversary of the end of World War One. The Great War. The War to End All Wars.
They called it Armistice Day. We call it Veteran’s Day.
Years ago, I visited with an elderly gentleman, and he apologized for coming to the door so slowly. “It was the war,” he said.
“How so, sir?”
“My legs froze. The trenches were filled with water to our waists. We lived like that.
“The only way we could sleep was in groups of three. Two men would support a third man while he slept for twenty minutes. Then we’d wake him up and another would sleep for twenty minutes.
“I remember one time, one time, when I dreamed. I dreamed I was on the deck of a freighter crossing the Indian Ocean. It was warm, and I lay down on the deck to take a nap. I could feel the warmth of the sun on my chest and the warmth of the cargo hatch on my back. It was wonderful.
“And then I woke up.”
In our lives of central heating and electric blankets, we need to remember the sacrifice of veterans.