Sunday, November 6, 2011

Veterans Day Parade

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Veterans Day Parade 2011-11-05 1

Veterans Day in the U.S. is on November 11, the date the armistice was signed ending World War I. It used to be called Armistice Day but we've been in so much other trouble since 1918 the name has been generalized.

The parade is the Saturday before, of course, but it's a good time to reflect on what patriotism means in this mongrel nation of ours. It's different from countries that have a common cultural and ethnic core, like Japan or France. We are the stewpot of states; everybody came here. We are wildly diverse. What is it our patriots hold such fierce allegiance to? A system of government founded by upper class British ex-pats in a far different time? An idea - perhaps a fantasy - of individualism, unbounded growth and manifest destiny? It would have been interesting to ask people after the parade why they hold this country dear above all others, but I was cold, I'd been on my feet for two hours and I wanted to back to my office.


On another topic, reader Julie from Sydney left a comment yesterday asking but tell me Bob, why does St Louis have a Pinocchio statue? Is there an Italian connection, a Disney connection or a lying connection? Well, we do have an important Italian population and, I'm sure, as many liars per capita as any other city. However, one of our glories is that we have two statues of Pinocchio, and in the same park! Citygarden is a two square block oasis of modern and contemporary sculpture in the heart of downtown. It contains Jim Dine's version seen yesterday (actually called Big White Gloves) and Tom Otterness' take on the theme, Kindly Geppetto. It just is that way.

Veterans Day Parade 2011-11-05 2

Veterans Day Parade 2011-11-05 3

6 comments:

Dave-CostaRicaDailyPhoto.com said...

Good for the Veterans.

My brother is a clinical psychologist for the Veterans Administration. He told me yesterday that he just did an evaluation of a veteran for possible post traumatic stress disorder. The veteran was 97 years old. He served in World War II. I think we should take care of World War II vets regardless of whether they have PTSD or not.

cieldequimper said...

11 November is a holiday here and I have so much to do that I won't be able to go out to see the ceremony. It'll be strange, the first one without any WWI survivors...

I admire American patriotism. I just can't get into that kind of mood.

VP said...

Great images and fine portraits of brave men...

JM said...

The eagle hat is really something! What a great portrait.

Olivier said...

j'aime beaucoup la derniere photo, tres culte. Le motard avec son casque aussi,bien vu

Julie said...

Thanks for that, Bob. Here in Sydney we have a statue of the Scot, Robbie Burns, for which I can find no extenuating circumstances either.

Re your take on 11th November. We celebrate that day still in its original guise of Armistice Day. Our own veterans' day is 25th April which we call ANZAC Day. Both days are held on the day they fall. The premier day is 25th April which is a Public Holiday. On 11th November we hold one minutes' silence in public and in private.

I suspect countries the world over are equal melting pots to the USA. I know Australia is and I know that France is also.