by Glenn C. Koenig, webmaster at Town Wide Mall
station), then turn and head up Summer Street, to stop at Memorial Park, across the street from the Fine Arts Theatre. There, marchers will stop to gather for a brief ceremony. After that, the parade will reform, head down Nason Street and return to Town Hall.
A few details are available at the town's web site, here:
And on the Discover Maynard web site, here:
There is some background on the holiday, on Wikipedia, here:
Veterans Day began as "Armistice Day," when, at "the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 the Armistice with Germany went into effect, officially ending World War I, then known simply as "The World War" or "The Great War" (as no one at the time anticipated that another world war was yet to take place, merely 20 years later).
In 1954, the name of the day was changed to Veterans Day to honor American veterans of all wars.
I once heard someone say that World War II was the last good war. My mother told me that when she asked her father, who had fought in World War I, what it was like, he replied "War is Hell!" In those days, the word hell was considered taboo, but I think he wanted to emphasize the point. The process of trying to kill others before they kill you, and watching others die is one of the most disturbing experiences anyone can have. No wonder many veterans just decline to ever talk about what it was like.
In my mind there is no such thing as a "good" war. To me, war is glaring evidence that we have failed to find a better way to resolve our differences peacefully and make amends for ways in which we may have harmed each other in the past. I should correct that and say that many people have found ways to settle differences and make amends without resorting to violence and destruction. Perhaps we're just working toward the day when those ways become so widespread and accepted that war is no longer considered an option.
When war is anticipated or breaks out, there seems to be lots of support for the enterprise, but when it's over, the horror of it all apparently leaves us wishing to leave it all behind and get on with our lives. We mourn the dead every year, but, sadly, the veterans who survived often end up neglected in the process. Their names are not carved into the stone monuments or cast onto the plaques. Many of them have been injured, either physically or mentally, and need our support and care but end up feeling forgotten. It's as if they remind us of something we wish we hadn't participated in. Budgets are cut, services end up diminished, and veterans are sometimes left to fend for themselves. Many end their own lives out of despair.
Just showing up at a parade won't do much to change this, perhaps. But please show up anyway. Dress warmly, as it will be chilly, but the forecast is for sunny skies and calm conditions.
Oh, and by the way, I am a veteran. I am fortunate to have remained in the US mainland during the Viet Nam war, so I did not engage in combat. I'm willing to discuss my experiences with anyone, so please don't hesitate to ask me. I'll be there tomorrow. I hope to see you there.