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Home » Archives » November 2017 » The 11th Hour Of The 11th Day Of The 11th Month Of 1918

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11/09/2017: "The 11th Hour Of The 11th Day Of The 11th Month Of 1918"

ig_M_AmericanLegionFuneral-001 (96k image)
( Background story of the photo is below)

Veterans Day is usually observed on November 11. However, 2017 Veterans Day falls on a Saturday, so Friday, the 10th of November is considered the federal holiday.

Veterans day marks the anniversary of the end of major hostilities of World War I: the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, and is intended to honor military veterans who served in the United States Armed Forces.

Veterans Day coincides with other holidays, including Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, that are celebrated in other countries.

The American Legion story behind the photo above:

In response to those who ask what is the point of the POW/MIA black flag that is flown under the American flag: It is a reminder that not all of our veterans remains have been found and returned to their families, thus giving them some sense of closure to their lost loved ones, and, also to not forget that from time-to-time we still have POWs, and we want them back.

The May cover of the 2 million-circulation American Legion national magazine features a stirring and somber photo.

It shows a long-delayed military funeral east of Chadron, in northwest Nebraska, and it was shot by a photographer from Omaha.

It’s gaining a lot of attention and it’s touching people - including one who applied a memorable phrase.

The magazine’s art director, Holly Soria, said one reader emailed that “the photo stopped him in his tracks and is an image for eternity.”

The funeral was that of Fae Moore, who died in 1943 at the Battle of Tarawa in the Pacific, and whose remains were identified recently by DNA.

The photographer is Clay Lomneth, 29, a graduate of Omaha Central High and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Said Soria: “Our members take very seriously the honor and remembrance of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice in honor of their country. ... We’ve gotten lots of email praise for the image.”

It shows two horses pulling a wagon with a flag-draped coffin, followed by flag-bearers carrying the Stars and Stripes.

The photo illustrates the cover story, “The Missing Marines of Tarawa Return Home.”

Tarawa, 2,500 miles southwest of Hawaii, was a tiny atoll in the Gilbert Islands and a Japanese stronghold protected by bunkers, machine-gun nests and anti-aircraft batteries.

As The American Legion magazine noted, the U.S. invasion was seen as crucial to securing a foothold in the Pacific from which to launch assaults.

Over three days, though a victory, more than 1,100 Americans were killed and 2,500 were wounded. All but 17 of the 4,500 Japanese troops died in the fighting or killed themselves.

Some of the Americans who died were buried in unmarked graves, and by 1949 were declared unrecoverable. But in recent years the nonprofit History Flight Inc., which seeks the missing, found a grave of 35 Marines at Tarawa.

Among them was Fae Moore, who had died at 23 on Nov. 20, 1943, the first day of battle. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency identified his remains at its main lab in Hawaii. (Another is at Offutt Air Force Base.)

Fae Moore had worked as a ranch-hand and carpenter before joining the Marines in 1941, a few months before Pearl Harbor.

The World-Herald last fall reported that his remains would be buried next to those of his parents, Alonzo and Mary Moore, in Beaver Valley Cemetery, 18 miles east of Chadron.

For its article on the Tarawa Marines, The American Legion magazine sent staff photographer Lomneth from Legion headquarters in Indianapolis to two funerals - one in Denver, the other near Chadron.

As a UNL photography student, he had toured small towns in Nebraska with a professor and classmates. He recalled that experience when he arrived for Moore’s early-October funeral.

More than 100 attended. Lomneth took numerous images, but the cover photo was shot from a distance.

The White House, November 11, 1919.

A year ago today our enemies laid down their arms in accordance with an armistice which rendered them impotent to renew hostilities, and gave to the world an assured opportunity to reconstruct its shattered order and to work out in peace a new and juster set of inter national relations. The soldiers and people of the European Allies had fought and endured for more than four years to uphold the barrier of civilization against the aggressions of armed force. We ourselves had been in the conflict something more than a year and a half. - With splendid forgetfulness of mere personal concerns, we re modeled our industries, concentrated our financial resources, increased our agricultural output, and assembled a great army, so that at the last our power was a decisive factor in the victory. We were able to bring the vast resources, material and moral, of a great and free people to the assistance of our associates in Europe who had suffered and sacrificed without limit in the cause for which we fought. Out of this victory there arose new possibilities of political freedom and economic concert. The war showed us the strength of great nations acting together for high purposes, and the victory of arms foretells the enduring conquests which can be made in peace when nations act justly and in furtherance of the common interests of men. To us in America the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with - solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service, and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of nations.


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