Giving thanks to our Veterans today
I’m not sure how Veterans Day turned into a Friday holiday and a day to sell stuff, but then, most every holiday has turned into a day for stores to run “sales”. Possibly, the original intent was to give our veterans a break but it has sure morphed away from that.
Veterans Day is supposed to be a day to thank those who have served.
From the Constitution:
Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and
Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations;…
But I digress. This year, today is also Remembrance Day in the UK – including Scotland where my grandfather was a soldier in the Black Watch.
I never met my grandfather. He had died in Peshawar, India, fighting for the Black Watch during World War l. Peshawar was on the northern frontier of British India, near the Khyber Pass.
In 1947, Peshawar became part of the newly independent state of Pakistan after politicians approved merger into the state that had just been carved from British India.
We have a trunk of his belongings, though, and it’s very interesting to recreate his life.
My dad was born in Scotland in 1913.
In 1914, my grandfather was involved in this:
On the outbreak of war there were seven Black Watch battalions – for in addition to the Regular 1st and 2nd Battalions and 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion there were a further four Territorial ones which had become part of the Regiment in 1908. They were the 4th Dundee [Mary O’Note: I’m pretty sure this was his, since that’s where my dad was born], 5th Angus, 6th Perthshire and the 7th Battalion from Fife. The 1st Battalion was in action at the very start of the war taking part in the Retreat from Mons before turning on the Germans at the River Marne and the subsequent advance to the Aisne. Trench warfare then set in and the 2nd Battalion arrived from India, both battalions taking part in the Battle of Givenchy. Meanwhile the Territorial battalions had been mobilised at the start of the war but only the 5th was in action in 1914.
I guess this is why I love the Pipes and Drums of the Black Watch so much.
The Edinburgh Tattoo had been on my bucket list for a long time since my grandfather was in the Black Watch and I just love to hear bagpipes. Even my cellphone ringtone is Scotland, the Brave.
My mom says that my Grandfather’s name is inscribed as a war hero in Edinburgh Castle, where the Tattoo is held. You know, I’ll find that!