Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Remembering ... Veterans Day, Rememberance Day or Armistice Day.

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"Verdun" Félix Vallotton - 1917
oil on canvas , Musee de l'Armee - Paris, France

Today is "Veterans Day" in the USA. A day first established in 1919 (and then called "Armistice Day") to commemorate/remember the end of the First World War and to honor those who served. Today, "Veterans Day" in the US is also to honor those who have served in all past/current wars - the "veterans".
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The UK and France also have their "Rememberance Day".
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Having vacationed a lot in the Somme region of France, (where the fiercest battles of WWI took place), my "humans" have seen many monuments and memorial gravesites to those fallen during WWI.
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This is a British gravesite near Auxi-le-Château in Beauvois-Wavans, France.
photo copyright Auke Nijholt
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A typical wrought iron cross marking a spot of a battle on a field (now a wheat field) in the Somme region.
photo copyright Auke Nijholt
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Poppy fields in France. This photo was taken near St. Valery-sur-Somme, France last summer.
photo copyright Auke Nijholt
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The red poppy is the symbolic flower of WWI.

"Veterans Day" or "Rememberance Day" is not celebrated in the Netherlands. During WWI, the Netherlands remained neutral. However, Kaiser Wilhelm II fled Germany to take up residence here in the town of Doorn. This is a picture of "Huis Doorn"(House Doorn) where he lived until his death. Yes, that's a bust of old "Kaiser Willy" there in the pic., with the manor house in the distance.
photo copyright Auke Nijholt

The "Kaiser" is buried in the mausoleum on the grounds of "Huis Doorn".
photo copyright Auke Nijholt
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You can take tours of the house, see the massive amounts of personal belongings he brought with him (by train loads... many trains!) and stroll the expansive gardens. It's actually quite interesting, according to my humans. ;-)
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Tot ziens,
Sacha
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For more on Huis Doorn, see this amazing website (also available in english and german). You can look through the collection of photos and objects in the collection.
http://www.huisdoorn.nl/huisdoorn.html
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For more on French artist Félix Valloton:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F%C3%A9lix_Vallotton
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I also found this website of art from the First World War...have a look, it's very interesting.
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