Early Settlers of
Their Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements
Lifting the Mists of History on Their Way of Life
By: Ethelene Dyer Jones
A day to honor those who served
In the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, the Armistice was signed ending World War I. The shouting and celebration would come later, commemorating this auspicious event in world history.
On November 11 each year we
Veterans Day to honor all military men and women of the
President Woodrow Wilson
observance of Armistice Day on
In 1953, a veteran named Al King
For almost two years now I have
daily contact with veterans. Most of you know that my beloved husband,
Grover D. Jones, who served admirably in the U. S. Navy during World
has been a resident of the Georgia War Veterans Home in Milledgeville.
Now in a
skilled nursing unit of the
Others and I have been greatly
that 81 of the mobile (still able to walk and care somewhat for
veterans in the
The sad commentary on this
me, has been that "no funds were available in
My cry on Veterans Day is that
Autumn for the Veterans
It is autumn for the veterans.
Like falling leaves their lives
Ebb out into the great beyond.
No fight is left.
Their battles behind them now
may have nightmares about
may relive the trauma of
set a day in history: D-Day,
were at the
Tens of thousands of young soldiers
Barely out of boot camp
Facing the enemy head-on.
In this autumn of their lives fears return,
Play on the dark wall of memory
Where courage again meets the enemy,
Fellow soldiers fall on foreign soil,
Where cities built from civilization's cradle
Crumble in the ruins of war
And innocents are set adrift or meet untimely deaths.
In the Pacific Enola Gay bore "Little Boy"
Three days later, as if more destruction ordained the victory,
Nagasaki fell, scattered and scorched by splitting atoms.
"What did we do?" the veterans ask.
The question comes in watches,
In noonday's red and purple fire,
In twilight's clouds like huge mushrooms
Hovering and smothering.
It is Autumn for the veterans.
Spring and Summer with their red-hot battles are past.
Purple hearts and silver stars lie in quiet displays,
Mix with golden falling leaves of Autumn.
Winter is very near—
Closer than we know.
-Ethelene Dyer Jones
c2008 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published November 13, 2008 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
[Ethelene Dyer Jones is a retired educator, freelance writer, poet, and historian. She may be reached at e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; phone 478-453-8751; or mail 1708 Cedarwood Road, Milledgeville, GA 31061-2411.]