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Growing Up in the Butcher Shop:  Veterans Day / Festa dell'armistizio

Ciao Amici,   

The picture this week is of Grandpop Philip and his friend Pepino Lupe [Joe Wolf] both came to America from Roseto Valfortore, Italy and lived in the Bronx and both were tailors. When duty called in World War I, Grandpop was drafted in the army and Pepino in the Navy. Fortunately for Grandpop, the war ended as he was boarding the ship to go over. Not so for Grandpop’s older brother Michael who saw battle and injury. I wonder with all the immigration problems, instead of handouts  if service to your country would  make  the new immigrants think twice about coming here, it sure did not stop the many Italian Americans who came and sacrificed for this country. Many Americans mistakenly believe that Veterans Day is the day America sets aside to honor American military personnel who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained from combat. That's not quite true. Memorial Day is the day set aside to honor America's war dead. Veterans Day, on the other hand, honors all American veterans, both living and dead. In fact, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank living veterans for dedicated and loyal service to their country. November 11 of each year is the day that we ensure veterans know that we deeply appreciate the sacrifices they have made in there lives to keep our country free. Armistice Day was the day dedicated to commemorate the ending of the "Great War" [World War I], an "unknown soldier" was buried in highest place of honor in both England and France [in England, Westminster Abbey; in France, the Arc de Triomphe].

These ceremonies took place on November 11th, celebrating the ending of World War I hostilities at 11 a.m., November 11, 1918 [the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month]. This day became known internationally as "Armistice Day". In 1921, the United States of America followed France and England by laying to rest the remains of a World War I American soldier -- his name "known but to God" -- on a Virginia hillside overlooking the city of Washington DC and the Potomac River. This site became known as the "Tomb of the Unknown Soldier," and today is called the "Tomb of the Unknowns." Located in Arlington National Cemetery, the tomb symbolizes dignity and reverence for the American veteran. Veterans Day National Ceremony at exactly 11 a.m., each November 11th, a color guard, made up of members from each of the military branches, renders honors to America's war dead during a heart-moving ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery. The President or his representative places a wreath at the Tomb and a bugler sounds Taps.

To my son in laws Glenn and Steve who are in the Marines, “Thank you for your service.”

Con cordiali saluti,   Joe

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