Thursday, November 11, 2010
The home fires went out.
The phrase "keep the home fires burning" came across my visual field this morning. I know what it means but its' history is a bit lost. The phrase was first used in a song during World War I but its' meaning goes back to colonial times. A fire that kept the house warm was very difficult to start. You couldn't pull out your Bic and fire up a presto log. You could go over to a neighbors' house and borrow some embers at the bottom of their fire place or if you were lucky enough to own a flint you could spend the better part of the morning trying to get some straw to ignite. It was therefore important to keep the fire burning 24/7. It meant the house was warm and food could be cooked over the open fire.
I've lost count of all the troops we now have over seas. They get rotated around in what appears to be never-ending wars. I'm sure they have a hope that sometime they'll be able to come home some day even after two three and four tours of duty. But come home to what? It's looking more and more like the home fires are dying. The home was foreclosed on and the occupants are living with relatives or under the overpass. Get a job? The factory was packed up and moved over seas. Munitions expert doesn't really translate well in todays' market. Nor does having to compete with six others for the same job.
We tend to focus on vets who didn't make it home both on this holiday and Memorial Day while forgetting so many out there on the streets who can't come back to the home fires.