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Remembering Our Veterans Nov. 11

This whole Veteran’s Day weekend I have been thinking about all those men and women who answered the call of duty to fight for the USA over our 242-year history. We should also remember the dogs, horses, donkeys and other animals who help our glorious heroes. You can read about animals at war at https://www.nps.gov/articles/animals-of-the-armies.htm

Two hundred and forty-two years and so many wars it’s sometimes hard to keep track of them. My last novel The Potato Thief included scenes that took place during the Spanish American War. I had to considerable research One war that is often overlooked is the Spanish American War that freed Cuba from Spanish colonization, eventually (after WW2) allowed the Philippines to be self-governed and made Puerto Rico a protectorate of the USA. My last novel The Potato Thief included scenes that took place during the Spanish American War. I had to considerable research and found out a lot about that "little war".

We all learned about Teddy Roosevelt’s charge up San Juan Hill on his horse, and I guess it was important in those days to have a single hero. Not to take away from Teddy, but the other heroes of that war and that battle are often not mentioned. These were the men who charged up the hill, not on horses, but on foot. That includes Teddy and his Rough Riders who had to dismount, the regular infantry and a company of the famed Buffalo Soldiers, an all African American Calvary unit that fought in the west. Many of these men, once Cuba fell, ended up in the Philippines where they also fought the Philippine-American War that started after we kicked the Spanish out.

Three hundred eighty-five troops died in combat, and another 2061 from disease and 1622 were injured in the Spanish American war. One thousand and twelve died in combat during the Philippine American war, and 3176 died from disease.

I leave you to ponder on these three famous quotes:

“There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty, that makes human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism.” - Alexander Hamilton

“Older men declare war. But it is youth that must fight and die.” ― Herbert Hoover

“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” ― Albert Einstein

And to all those currently serving in all our military, police and first responders I leave you with this simple Irish blessing

“May God grant you many years to live,
For sure He must be knowing
The earth has angels all too few
And heaven is overflowing.”