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Veterans Day Potluck ~ A Quiz And A Current Event

November 9, 2015

By Michael G. McClory

As we approach Veterans Day 2015, The Bullard Edge pauses to salute our veterans.  Thank you for your service to this country.  Thank you for your personal sacrifices.  Thank you also to your families and loved ones for their sacrifices.  We appreciate and honor that service.
In the spirit of Veterans Day, have a history of Veterans Day Quiz.  As you think about your answers, we will offer a short editorial on paid-patriotism.  At the end, we will provide you with answers to the quiz questions.  (Please let us know if you get a perfect score.)
History of Veterans Day Quiz:
Veterans Day traces its roots to the end of World War I.  Despite having a grandfather who served in that war, and numerous other relatives who served in other wars (most notably World War II and the Korean War), The Bullard Edge was surprised by its limited knowledge of the history of this national holiday.  With a little research, though, I can play professor with this three question quiz.
  1. Which of the following is correct:
    1. Armistice Day,
    2. Veterans Day,
    3. Veteran’s Day, or
    4. Veterans’ Day?
  1. The Treaty of Versailles, which brought an end to World War I, was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles near the town of Versailles, France.  Why is the celebration of the end of World War I held annually on November 11?
  1. Is Memorial Day basically the same holiday?  Explain.
Answers will appear at the end.  Good luck.
Editorial – Paid Patriotism At The Ballpark:
Many of us have seen the heartwarming stories on television, whether on the local news or ESPN, of active duty veteran being reunited with their families.  Here are a few examples.  On Father’s Day 2012, a long-serving veteran and his father are reunited during a first-pitch ceremony at Dodger Stadium.  During the 2013 holiday season, a servicemember on active duty in Afghanistan surprises his family during a Chicago Blackhawks game.  These are undeniably powerful events, which are unforgettable for the families and moving for most who witness them.
Last week Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake (both R-AZ) released a joint report detailing what they describe as a practice of “paid patriotism” ~ events like the two cited above, except that the sports franchise is paid by the military to conduct the event.  (Note: Neither the Dodgers nor the Blackhawks are included in the franchises identified in the report as having accepted payment in exchange for hosting a patriotic event.)
In a press release, Senators McCain and Flake state that they analyzed 122 contracts between the Department of Defense and sports franchises and that 72 of those contracts “contained some form of paid patriotism.”  The report acknowledges that “some of what was contracted appears to be legitimate marketing and advertising activities for which we would expect DOD to compensate these teams, such as stadium signs, social media mentions, and booth space for recruiters at games.”  Nevertheless, the report concludes that the spending misled the public and occurred without proper supervision (the report states that a “lack of internal controls for awarding, managing, and overseeing these contracts puts them at an excessive risk for waste, fraud, and abuse”).  The DOD has said that it will stop this practice and various professional leagues have encouraged franchises to also stop accepting payment for hosting patriotic events.  This subject has been widely covered in the media (here and here and here).
The Bullard Edge is not going to debate the wisdom or propriety of any particular expenditure.  Instead, we are going to agree with the following statement in the report:
Given the immense sacrifices made by our service members, it seems more appropriate that any organization with a genuine interest in honoring them, and deriving public credit as a result, should do so at its own expense and not at that of the American taxpayer.
In other words, this is another situation involving a distinction between what is allowed and what is appropriate.  While the teams that have staged paid-patriotism events have done nothing unlawful, the practice is unseemly and inappropriate.
Answers To The History of Veterans Day Quiz:
There are a total of 15 points possible on this quiz.  The Bullard Edge scored a 7.  Here are the answers. 
Answer to Question 1
The holiday is called Veterans Day (one point for a correct answer).  Here is the explanation from the US Department of Veterans Affairs: “Veterans Day does not include an apostrophe but does include an ‘s’ at the end of ‘veterans’ because it is not a day that ‘belongs’ to veterans, it is a day for honoring all veterans.”
A bonus point was available for knowing that Armistice Day was the holiday’s original name.  The VA explains that “in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word ‘Armistice’ and inserting in its place the word ‘Veterans.’”
Answer to Question 2
Active fighting had ceased months before the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.  The VA recounts that “an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities” went into effect when the fighting “between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.”  The correct answer here is worth 11 points, naturally; partial credit (you pick the number) is available for responses that are in the ballpark.
Answer to Question 3
This is a two-parter worth one point for each part.  The easier part (which The Bullard Edge got right) is knowing that Veterans Day and Memorial Day are not basically the same holiday.  The more difficult part of the question is knowing difference.  Again, we turn to the VA for assistance.
Many people confuse Memorial Day and Veterans Day.  Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle.  While those who died are also remembered, Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor ALL those who served honorably in the military - in wartime or peacetime.  In fact, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank LIVING veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to our national security are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all those who served - not only those who died - have sacrificed and done their duty.
The Bullard Edge salutes all veterans on this Veterans Day 2015.
Best regards,
The Bullard Edge