I was planning to write this blog on Veteran’s day but it turned out it was very windy and cold on that day and the wind took out my internet and cable TV. It turned out I had an old fashioned day without those tools!
At one time, November 11 was called Armistice Day to celebrate the end of World War I. The name was later changed to honor all the veterans who have served this country. One such Armistice Day is one I’ll never forget.
The upper midwest was hit with a surprise snowstorm on November 11, 1940 and it stunned farmers, hunters and townspeople. It immobilized most of the state of Minnesota and surrounding states. The storm killed about 60 people and changed many lives.
For me, a young girl going to our small school that day seemed ordinary. Oh we had a reading about different veterans that lived in our town so we were aware of what the day meant. The day started mild. There was no indication a storm was brewing. My dad was driving that day to visit a lady who has been very ill. He was a pastor in the Lutheran church in our little town and made visits nearly every afternoon. He had no reason to think he had to hurry with his visits. He did feel it was getting cold.
The snow, or rather the blizzard arrived quickly, the snow blowing in several feet high depths on highways making it difficult for drivers. Many of them were stranded right where they were and died there. Some couldn’t even make it from their barns to their homes. Their bodies were found miles from home.
My dad slid into a ditch and couldn’t move because he was stuck by his steering wheel which was bent. He was saved by a farmer who had driven up to the highway in his tractor to save as many as he could. He brought him to his farmhouse and we were left to find out where he was or what happened to him.
The phones were not working so we didn’t find out about Dad for three days! The farmer took him by tractor to the doctor in our town. He had broken several ribs and was having trouble breathing. We were all very happy when he arrived back home. He was laid up for several months and we had substitute pastors preaching at Dad’s four churches.
That is why I remember November 11th. However, I had a husband who was in the European theater during World War II and know how important it is to honor our veterans.