Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Historic Gems for Veterans Day

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, World War I ended. It was November 11, 1918.

Here we are almost 100 years later, and the original "Armistice Day" has become "Veterans Day". A lot of people will hardly blink.

Looking back to World War I, I found this very interesting poster that I thought I'd share with you. Someone designed a horse-drawn horse ambulance that made a lot of sense. The ambulance was rear-entry and front-exit, so that an injured horse never had to back up. I think that is brilliant. When the ambulance arrived at the stable or hospital, the pulling horse was unhitched and the injured horse led forward through the traces.

But in the heat of battle, how many of these ambulances would be needed for all the injured horses?

Here's an Army enlistment poster you won't see anymore. The US Army in World War I needed thousands of men to care for the horses...and they were willing to train them how to do it.

Going back a little further, to the Civil War, here's a rare photo of a forge wagon and also a sketch of the design; this was no doubt the Stonewell truck body of its day. 

Today's not a day to glorify war but to honor those who served, whether a century ago or a year ago. Think about them as you go about your routine today.

Images in today's post are from the collection of the Library of Congress.

--Fran Jurga

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