Thursday, November 11, 2010

Armistice Day - Remembrance Day - Veterans Day

On this day in 1918, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month . . . the guns fell silent on the War to End All Wars . . .

Veterans Day was originally known as Armistice Day; the original intent of Armistice Day was to honor the Dead.

In the British Commonwealth, November 11th is known as Remembrance Day. Poppies are displayed to honor to the Dead of all wars.

The Field of Remembrance in front of Westminster Cathedral, London.

The poppies represent the blooms across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I, their brilliant red color is an appropriate symbol for the blood spilt . . .

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

This Armistice Day, STORMBRINGER honors Benjamin Floyd Leavell, World War II veteran of the Grey & Simcoe Foresters and First Hussars Tank Corps (CANADA).

Ben Leavell was a hero in Normandy; on 25 July 1944 he was severely wounded by a German machinegun while trying to rescue his crew from the burning hulk of their tank - his story has been told many times in the newspapers of his native Province of Ontario, and also here in STORMBRINGER.

Canadian forces going ashore in Normandy, June 1944

Ben passed away peacefully this past summer, July 27th, 2010, in his 92nd year; sixty-six years almost to the day of when he was wounded in France. He was survived by his wife Florence (nee Burgess) of 62 years, children Alice, Robert, Helen and Susie; grandchildren Melanie, Miranda, Allison, Ainsley, Lincoln; and six great-grandsons.

STORMBRINGER also honors Sgt. Phillip G. Crittenden, RAAF, KIA 20 October 1941; shot down over Charleroi, Belgium while piloting the lead plane in the first British Bomber Command mission of the war that was led by the Royal Australian Air Force.

The crew of Crittenden's plane, Wellington bomber #FU-D,
just before take off. There was only one survivor.

Sergeant Crittenden was twenty years old at the time of his death.

To Veterans everywhere: Thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you for the Freedom we enjoy.

And to the Honored Dead -

We will never forget you.



  1. Thanks to all our wonderful veterans for every thing they've done for us.

  2. And to you Sean.
    Most folks here in the States could not tell you the beginning of this day and what it means.
    Having lived in Alberta as a high school student from 68 to 71, I learned the other part of this day.
    That first Remembrance Day, we watched Prime Minister Trudeau and I do believe Governor General Michener. The entire country came to a STOP.

  3. Just a little add on in regards to the poem "In Flanders Fields"... The author was...

    Lt.-Col. John McCrae, MD [1872-1918]
    Canadian Army

    It was written on May 3, 1915, at the battlefront during the second battle of Ypres in Belgium.

  4. Let me introduct myself - I'm ORPO1's younger sister (a fact he often wished were not true) and spent 22 years as a Navy Wife.

    Your post is beautifully done, as usual. Thank you.