November 11 is Veteran's Day. Originally known as Armistice Day (also known as Remembrance Day) November 11 commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front, which took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning — the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" 1918.
Although the official date to mark the end of the war reflected the cease fire on the Western Front, hostilities continued in other regions. The date was declared a national holiday in many allied nations, to commemorate those members of the armed forces who were killed during war
U.S. President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed Armistice Day as November 11, 1919. The United States Congress passed a concurrent resolution seven years later on June 4, 1926, requesting the President issue another proclamation to observe November 11 with appropriate ceremonies. The 11th of November is"a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as 'Armistice Day'." It was later changed to Veteran's Day. Too many wars.
Given that I love to read mysteries that reflect regions and holidays, it's only natural that I planned to compile a list for Veteran's Day. Of course, Jacqueline Winspear and Charles Todd's mysteries were at the top of my list, but one of the most complete lists is BV Lawson's 2007 invaluable blog of Veteran's Day Mysteries. No need for me to duplicate her effort. Be sure and read her blog, as well as all the comments. Another fine list is In Remembrance Fiction in Times of War (not all mysteries) from the St. Charles Public Library. And, I did a Memorial Day blog here on Mystery Fanfare that will round out the list.
Wikipedia has an entry about Veteran's Day Mysteries. Several hardboiled heroes have been war veterans. H. C. McNeile (Sapper)'s Bulldog Drummond from World War I, Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer and many others from World War II, and John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee from the Korean War. In Bulldog Drummond's first appearance he is a bored ex-serviceman seeking adventure, Spillane's Mike Hammer avenges an old buddy who saved his life on Guadalcanal. The frequent exposure to death and hardship often leads to a cynical and callous attitude as well as a character trait known today as post-traumatic stress characterizes many hardboiled protagonists.
Read a Veteran's Day mystery today and remember the men and women who fought (and are fighting) for world peace.
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