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November 11, 2012 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Peeling away the slime

Sticky mess, slime.

Noun or verb?

Your choice. Just be done with it at least for today.

(Is it safe to turn on what passes for news? Dare to converse with people?)

Capstone event. Midshipmen in US Navy. (Public domain image. 2004. US Navy/

Take today’s date, 11, as a sign: One won.

One as in individual? (It’s the chosen? Rescued?)

One as in group? (It’s a party? Will there be country dancing or leashes?)

One as in nation? (It’s a memory? That oneness fractured as things are?)

Double ones.

Kilmer's Swamp Root. Pre-1923 answer to anything. (US Public domain /

Kilmer’s Swamp Root. Pre-1923 answer to anything.


We did.

Through determination and conviction, unthinkable darkness was shoved back.

It’s Veteran’s Day.

Time to turn from all else so as not to diminish the importance.

National WW II Memorial, Washington DC. The 4,000 stars represent over 4000,000 Americans who gave their lives (Public domain image. US Navy /

Thanks Dad – and uncles and great grandparents, nieces, nephews, cousins, and kids down the block.

Thanks to those who struggled with morals and ethics of killing, but could not stand by and watch innocents willfully slaughtered.

Thanks to those who as toddlers staggered triumphantly from handhold to handhold. Only to have that staggering stopped years later during fierce struggle. Those, grown in size and heart – but not in parents’ eyes.

Thanks to those who hold them fast in their hearts even as they must drop their hands and let them go.

Thanks to those who stoically keep silent despite their insider knowledge and inner conflict with political games. All that matters is the higher calling of Honor and Country, indivisible.

Slime and stink belong in a swamp – not in public discourse. (Louisiana Sea Grant College Program Louisiana State Univ./

In comparison we, here in front of the TV, seem such a petty pale reflection of your dedication and sacrifice.

Maybe we can crawl out of the slime and mudslinging long enough to re-evaluate what’s important.

Maybe we can turn and remember how 

We won.

How Good triumphed.

And how some died to make sure it happened – to make you safe.

Arlington National Cemetery. (Public domain image.

A simple thanks.

Hardly seems enough.

F-22 Raptors. Pearl Harbor Flyover. Missing man formation. 2011. (Public domain image. US Navy.

F-22 Raptors. Missing man formation.

But know it’s given every single day:

Thanks to those gone on.

Thanks to those who return and quietly try to pick up their lives.

And the rest of you still on duty, stay safe, and come home.

Like you get the “thanks” in person.

Grateful and hopeful,

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Related posts about WW II and the Rainbow Division:

“July 4th. The real Father’s Day”  Dads went to war – for a reason. Families world-wide were glad.

“Talking Mules, Mines, and WW II”  What mules taught soldiers during WW II – and saved some lives.

Photo essays on Military canines: (definitely worth a look – great pictures)

War Dog. Rebecca Frankel’s photos and article. Canines have been fighting along side soldiers for over 100 years.Yes, dogs do jump out of planes.

War Dog II by Rebecca Frankel.


  1. CATachresis / Nov 11 2012 10:53 pm

    Thanks Phil for putting your particular slant on this Remembrance Day (as we call it). Yes, we say stay safe and come home!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 12 2012 3:35 pm

      We must never forget. Remembrance Day is important. Kids need to grow up understanding what it all means from the time they are little. Thanks for marching over


  2. jmmcdowell / Nov 11 2012 11:27 pm

    I remember. My eldest brother served in the Navy during Vietnam and my father in the Army in World War II, where he and other members of the Medical Corps brought up the rear in the Battle of the Bulge, retrieving all the wounded GIs they could while the German tanks advanced. If only there was no need to keep sending some of each new generation out in their footsteps.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 12 2012 3:46 pm

      What a small world. It’s very likely our fathers met at one point or another – Dad was a medic on the front lines of the Battle of the Bulge – rescued men and stabilized them and sent them back to safer spots. At one point a general called the medic tent during the height of the battle and said the line wasn’t gong to hold: the medical team could leave, pull off medic insignia and pick up guns and fight, or continue working. Dad told him, “Sir, we have men on the table. We’ll continue to work.” The General paused and said he understood. Dad turned to the others and said “We make be working on German soldiers soon.” and they kept working. After about 20 minutes dad said it was quieter. A call came from command. THe line had held. But that was just the beginning of the battles for them.
      Most people don’t know medical teams did not carry any weapons….even when running into enemy fire or behind enemy lines to rescue soldiers.
      Veteran’s Day must be more than a shopping holiday. People must remember the World Wars, Korea, Vietnam (it was a war no matter what the PR said), and the current “conflicts”. To forget is to impulsively encourage more


      • jmmcdowell / Nov 12 2012 4:21 pm

        Wow, they very likely could have met. My dad was a Tech-3 Surgical Medic, but I’m not sure in which unit. He told the story of how one officer (fortunately over-ruled) wanted him court martialed for refusing to wear the red cross on his helmet when German snipers in the area were using them for target practice. If he’d worn it, neither I or my siblings might be here today.


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 12 2012 6:02 pm

          Dad was in the 42nd Rainbow Division. He used to talk about how their captain was always battling West Point trained but no experience command about common sense stuff. I went to a couple of army reunions in the 90’s. Fascinating men with stories. Brave doesn’t even start to cover it.


  3. notedinnashville / Nov 12 2012 12:05 am

    This was beautiful, Philosopher Mouse. Thank you.


  4. robincoyle / Nov 12 2012 1:45 am

    “Thanks” feels inadequate, doesn’t it.


  5. Helen McMullin / Nov 12 2012 2:43 am

    This was awesome, Philosopher Mouse. For my grandfather, a WWI Vet, my uncle, who died in WWII, my cousin, who served in Viet Nam, thank you.


  6. PiedType / Nov 12 2012 5:31 am

    Got a little misty here, thinking of my dad and so many, many others. Hard to find the words to express the gratitude … but you did it beautifully.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 12 2012 3:50 pm

      It’s a hard day for many. We must remember what it was all about. Surely the country can unite understanding the sacrifices and the obligations we now have in their honor. Glad you stopped by


  7. / Nov 12 2012 1:23 pm

    Eloquent words, when we look back at what people endured in and post all the wars in the last 100 years or so, we should not forget how lucky we are.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 12 2012 3:52 pm

      Wars touch everyone. We owe them honor. We owe them great effort to ensure what they fought for endures. Thanks for stopping by to recognize those who served


  8. shoreacres / Nov 12 2012 2:34 pm

    And what a wonderful way to remind us that the mudslinging should stop, in tribute to those who crawled through the mud – for us! While we remember those who defended us from external threats, we should do what we can to defend our country from the lazy, the nasty and the willfully ignorant without becoming the very people we sometimes criticize.

    Happy Veterans’ Day!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 12 2012 3:53 pm

      Thanks for the perfect comment. We salute them and pledge to see what they fought for endures.


  9. Snoring Dog Studio / Nov 12 2012 3:11 pm

    Yes, I’m so very grateful for the people who serve this country in our military. We must support them every way we can. They perform an ultimate sacrifice to keep us free.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 13 2012 2:03 pm

      As long as the stories are told, they and what they stood for lives. Thanks for saluting along


  10. EllaDee / Nov 13 2012 3:20 am

    Wonderful post. Thanks to your Dad too and his kind, and we must remember, not just the stories that we were told, but all the untold and unsung, two-legged and four, all that’s forgotten or been excised form memorable history. Veterans or Remembrance Day is the perfect day to honour the known and unknown.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 13 2012 2:06 pm

      So many – without thought for themselves – only of others. Humbling. Thanks for marching over to honor them


  11. jannatwrites / Nov 13 2012 4:08 am

    This was an awesome post to honor our veterans. My grandpa was in the Navy and my cousin is a Marine. I am thankful to those brave enough to serve our country to protect our freedom. I appreciate their sacrifice (if not their lives, their emotional well being.)


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 13 2012 2:10 pm

      There not enough words to express what we owe those who serve. In the face of threat, danger, and horror they stood and still step up to stand. So glad you stopped to recognize and honor them


  12. aFrankAngle / Nov 13 2012 1:44 pm

    This is one of the best posts I’ve seen about Veteran’s Day … and in your own style! Well done … and glad to back making my rounds. 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 13 2012 2:12 pm

      What can you say about those brave soldiers? Not enough words to do justice to their sacrifices. Thanks for saluting them.
      (and glad you had a nice trip!)


  13. Kourtney Heintz / Nov 14 2012 2:36 am

    Thanks Phil for reminding us of the importance of this day. My grandmother lost her older brother to WWII. I often wonder how different her life and her families would have been if he’d been around longer. But the sacrifice he made for his country should be cherished and remembered. 🙂


  14. writingfeemail / Nov 14 2012 11:12 am

    I agree with Frank. This is one of the best Veteran’s Day Posts that I have read. Good job!


  15. philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 16 2012 3:09 pm

    Thanks for your gracious attention. (Running behind reading due to life…but hoping for calm this weekend to catch up – see ya soon)



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