My grandfather Taylor always referred to November 11 as Armistice Day. He had fought in Europe in WW1, one of the thousands and thousands of young men dislocated from their farms and dispatched to France.

Born in 1896 in the house built by his father, who had homesteaded 80 acres of north Missouri prairie, my grandfather's early life took place a few miles from home: the country school a mile and a quarter south down the dirt road that ran in front of the house; his parent's Primitive Baptist church about 4 and 1/2 miles north and west; the local Methodist church with its revivals and suppers less than a mile away; the nearest train station about six miles distant; a country store about a mile and a 1/2 west; and the county seat 10 miles away. No radio. All national and international events were old news by the time they reached the community. Then, with the entry of the United States into the Great War, my grandfather and those like him moved into military life, and were transported to France. I can't imagine the culture shock or sense of displacement those young men experienced.

My grandfather did not talk much about his experiences in the War; my great-aunt Nellie, an older sister, observed that he came home with "sad eyes." War always takes its toll. Grandpa began raising cattle on rented land, married my grandmother, joined the American Legion (he even kept up his dues during the 30s), and moved onto the "home place" in the 1930s. He and grandma raised a family and survived the Depression. My dad has mentioned that he did not know they were poor then because everyone else in the country school (the same one his father attended) had patched overalls also. After WW2 my grandfather was on the local board that brought electricity to the area. (cont. below)

Some time after WW1 Grandpa adopted the view that wars were fought by young men unknowingly in the service of large corporations. He was a proud Legionaire, and VFW member, and an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War. Although he tended to be a Roosevelt Democrat, he castigated the local Democratic county machine as a pack of corrupt no-goods. He had no tolerance for dishonesty or deviousness.

He died in 1974, in the house in which he was born. A Legion Honor Guard fired rounds over his grave to honor him. Another Veteran to remember on November 11.