“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
“Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
“At the going down of the sun and in the morning
“We will remember them.” (Laurence Binyon, “For the Fallen”)
In a corner of Wiltshire, England close by to Stonehenge and the busy A303 trunk road, stands the Ancestor statue who, in aid of the 2015 British Legion Poppy Appeal is sprouting poppies. This annual event in Britain is marked on 11th November– known as Armistice or Remembrance Day, specifically to remember the country’s war dead, though parades are primarily held on the nearest Sunday.
In the United States, November 11 is named Veterans Day and is a federal holiday. In cemeteries across the USA, many graves will be marked by small Stars and Stripes, each marking the final resting places of a veteran who served his or her country. Veterans Day commemorates all who served, with Memorial Day in May specifically for those who died.
France and Belgium mark the day as a National holiday and it is also recognised in Australia, Canada and Barbados. Other countries have important days to remember their dead, notably ANZAC Day in April in Australia and New Zealand.
Armistice Day/Remembrance Day/Veterans Day commemorates the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918.
Ninety seven years on, the Guild is considering its own commemoration – a Guild Military Service Index (GMSI). We are thinking of a database of anyone who served in a military capacity, whether they come from your One-Name Study or from your own family history research. We make no distinction whether the person was serving in a formal national fighting force of an actual country or, for instance, a patriot fighting for the rebellious colonies in the Revolutionary War (or, the War of Independence, depending upon your perspective). We are thinking about building a substantial database within three years, i.e., the centenary of the end of the Great War.
So, what do you think? Is this a project worth undertaking? Would we have your support? Would you contribute? We will publish this post in all of our social media outlets and monitor members’ responses.
Finally, let me just remind you of our website devoted to stories about World War 1: http://ww1.one-name.org/. The site is open to any member to add a story about someone from their study who was affected in some way by the war.
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