I started off the day in a rather cranky mood. The bubbly people on the morning chat shows were a little too full of good cheer in wishing people a "happy" Veterans Day. I'm old enough to remember when the day was commemorated with a mood of sober reflection -- if it fell on a school day there'd be the moment of silence at 11 a.m. Back in the '60s it was still a day to think seriously about sacrifice and the real costs of war. Now it's a day to go hit Dillard's for a good deal on Ralph Lauren sheets (50% off).
The photo is of my uncle Bill, Wilho Oikarinen. He served in the European theater during World War II as a jeep driver, was at the Battle of the Bulge, had multiple jeeps blown out from under him, came home with a Bronze Star and multiple Purple Hearts -- and never, ever talked about the war. My father once described my uncle Bill as "the bravest man he'd ever known." My dad was in the Navy, trained as an electrician's mate, was in the Pacific theater, and saved his reminiscing for stories about being in Japan after the war ended. I'm kind of glad neither of them is still around now to see their sacrifices being trivialized with linen sales.