Special Veteran's Day Edition
Today is Veteran’s Day or Remembrance Day, depending on where you live. It is a day on which we honor all soldiers who have fallen in combat since World War I. But it is also a day to honor all the soldiers who are still serving in the Armed Forces.
Here in New York, there is always a Veteran’s Day parade up Fifth Avenue from 23rd Street to 56th Street. This parade has been happening every year since 1929, but it wasn’t so very long ago that there was talk about canceling it. Why? Lack of interest. Interest has since picked up again in recent years and now the parade is better attended.
One person who never forgot Veteran’s Day was Charles Schulz, creator of my muse, Snoopy. Sometimes, he was the only one to remember. Schulz was a veteran of World War II, serving in Europe with the 20th Armored Division. He began his career as a cartoonist in 1947, and always maintained that his early influences were Milton Caniff (Terry and the Pirates) and Bill Mauldin (Willie and Joe), both popular cartoons in World War II.
Why Mauldin? During the war, while serving with the 45th Infantry Division, Mauldin worked on the newspaper for his unit. He created Willie and Joe, two “dogface” soldiers that represented all soldiers. Willie and Joe became very popular because they depicted the ordinary soldier’s life the way it was, and gave them hero status. Willie and Joe was an editorial cartoon, so they were sometime raw and definitely not for children. Mauldin won two Pulitzer Prizes for his work after the war.
Here, then, is a sample of some of Schulz’s Veteran’s Day stripes:
November 11, 1969 The first Veteran's Day Stripe
November 11, 1976 Tribute to all the Rosie the Riveters in World War II
November 11, 1985
November 11, 1997 This speaks for itself
November 11, 1998 Tribute to Willie and Joe
November 11, 1999 Tribute to Ernie Pyle, the famous war correspondent