I am writing this on Veterans Day, a day of remembrance, originally to mark the end of World War I in 1918, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. President Wilson declared it Armistice Day on November 11, 1919. It was known as such until after World War II, when the combined efforts of a WWII veteran named Raymond Weeks, US Representative Ed Reese, and President Dwight Eisenhower renamed the holiday “Veterans Day” to honor all veterans, by an Act of Congress in 1954.
It is celebrated nationwide with ceremonies and parades. On the Vineyard, there is a parade in Oak Bluffs, followed by a service at Windemere to honor their resident veterans.
I had wanted to list West Tisbury residents currently serving in the military, but as usual I am writing this column at the last minute and haven’t been able to find anyone with that information. It seems appropriate, though, to thank our servicemen and women and to wish for peace. President Coolidge described then-Armistice Day as “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace.” That was in 1938, and our world seems no better able to get along now than it was then.
If you don’t know about it, there is a website you can click on daily. It’s free, a combination of sites that provide meals for veterans, mammograms for poor women, books for children, and so on. Go to www.thebreastcancersite.com and there will be a list of other sites across the top of the page: Hunger, Animals, Veterans, Autism, Children’s Health, Literacy, and Rain Forest. It’s a good habit to get into going there when you are on your computer.
Thanks to West Tisbury Veteran’s Agent Brian Athearn and his sons, Hunter and Emmett, who so dutifully decorate veterans’ graves at our cemeteries and the monument at Town Hall.
Karen Ogden emailed after my kudos to her and Austin in last week’s column. The correct website for National Association of Canine Scent Work is www.nacsw.net, NOT nascw.net as I mistakenly wrote.
The West Tisbury Library Community Poetry Reading will be held at Bunch of Grapes bookstore in Vineyard Haven this Sunday afternoon, November 18, at 4 pm. Read your own poem and/or someone else’s, come to listen, or both. The event is free and open to the public.
The Monday Night Movie is “Starman.” It will be screened at the Chilmark Library at 7 pm. It’s free and so is the popcorn.
I didn’t know that Duncan MacDonald was the Home and Food Editor at Yankee magazine for 15 years before she moved here and came to work for the MV Times. She emailed to say that she still keeps up with what’s happening at Yankee and wanted everyone to know that the current November/December issue includes an article about David McCullough, written by Ian Aldrich.
Linda and Gaston Vadasz have just arrived from Budapest, Hungary, for a deliciously long visit to the island. They are staying with their daughter, Nicole Cabot, and her family. I can’t wait to see them for breakfast tomorrow morning, and hopefully for many occasions before they return home after Christmas. They were on their way for a beach walk at Lambert’s Cove when Linda called. Tomorrow afternoon, she is going to Windemere with her granddaughter, Violet, and Nancy Cabot. Nancy and Violet do a weekly art program there. I know their visit will feel too short by the time they are ready to leave, but now it feels like wonderful walks and meals and conversations await. I am so glad to welcome my dear friends to town.
I love this time of year, hovering between summer and winter. Every day feels like a gift, whether it’s the turtleneck and sweater day inside, or opening all the doors and windows to air out the house while we have one more day outside to get in a few more bulbs or to paint the slowly fading landscape.