Reflections on Veterans Day—November 11th
Originally Known as Armistice Day in the United States And Still Known As Remembrance Day in England
My “Joys and Concerns” Statement: First Unitarian Society of Madison, October 26, 2008
I light this candle in the spirit of the approaching All Souls Day and several weeks from now Veterans Day—as children we knew it as Armistice Day---
To my wife Sally’s father James W. Porch who 90 years ago this month (October 1918) served as a First Lieutenant and Company Commander in the 5th Infantry Division. He led his men in the fierce fighting of the Meuse-Argonne Campaign that took place during the final six weeks of World War I. That brief campaign resulted in 125,000 American casualties, among them 26,000 killed in action. Sally’s father survived but he would never talk about his wartime experiences.
To an older brother Jim who in World War II served as a Sergeant in the 34th Infantry Division and fought in the brutal Italian campaign. He did not survive. He was killed in action 65 years ago tomorrow, October 27, 1943. He was awarded posthumously a Silver Star for his bravery. He is buried in the Rome-Sicily American Cemetery in Nettuno Italy.
These are memories that will never fade away.
About the Author
At age 92 I decided to showcase my recent and current writings on a variety of topics outside of my career interests as an economist. My wife Sally’s dementia, my experiences of war, and my interests in improving higher education all compel me to write.
For most of the last decade I maintained a low profile, necessitated by my wife Sally's suffering from a decade-long siege of vascular dementia. After she passed away several years ago I wrote about our experience, in the belief that this would be helpful to the many others who suffer from dementia and their family caregivers. I am currently seeking a publisher for my book manuscript: The Forgotten: Dementia and the Right to Die.
Over the past few years I began working on several other writing projects that are described more fully elsewhere in my blog. These include a nearly-completed book manuscript on my "expected proficiencies approach to the college major'' as a vehicle for reinvigorating liberal education. I continue to write on the shortcomings of UW-Madison's affirmative action policies and programs that over the years have been renamed "diversity and inclusion" policies and programs.
Within two weeks of my graduation from UW-Madison in June 1950, the Korean War broke out. I was drafted and expected to be sent to Korea to join our fighting forces there. But instead I was sent to Turkey for 18 months. How lucky I was. I am also writing a memoir of my Korean War military experience when I served as an U.S. Army adviser in our military aid program in Turkey.
Until I began branching out beyond economics, I failed to realize what a profound effect the Great Depression and World War II had on me as I grew up. I have already captured some of these recollections, with more of them to follow.
With that introduction, I turn you over to my blog entries as well as my other writing projects described more fully elsewhere in my blog. Best wishes ~ W. Lee Hansen
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Award-winning author W. Lee Hansen, Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Full bio.