Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day

When we think of U.S. veterans, we usually think of soldiers who served in World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, or more recent conflicts. But here's a card commemorating the efforts of veterans in 1909, well before we ventured into those bloody wars.

The veterans we're talking about here were veterans of the Civil War. The Sons of Veterans was a fraternal organization that grew to 200,000 members by 1904. In 1922, the name was changed to the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. Although membership has declined to about 7,500, you can still join if you are a male 14 or older and:

1. Are directly descended from a Soldier, Sailor, Marine or member of the Revenue Cutter Service (or directly descended from a brother, sister, half-brother, or half-sister of such Soldier, etc.) who was regularly mustered and served honorably in, was honorably discharged from, or died in the service of, the Army, Navy, Marine Corps or Revenue Cutter Service of the United States of America or in such state regiments called to active service and was subject to the orders of United States general officers, between April 12, 1861, and April 9, 1865;

2. Have never been convicted of any infamous or heinous crime; and

3. Have, or whose ancestor through whom membership is claimed, have never voluntarily borne arms against the government of the United States.

Here's the back of the card, addressed to Perley Thomas of Gouverneur, New York. It's an unusual name, and I had hoped it was the industrialist and entrepreneur who developed the famous Perley Thomas streetcar, but I don't think it's the same person.


  1. That's a lovely card, Christine. Thanks for sharing it. Seeing it and thinking about all the other long-lost soldiers makes today's duty a little less lonely: I'm off to the cemetery to pay respects at my father's grave, a veteran of Vietnam.

  2. lovely card...nice to see another vintage postcard blogger marking remembrance day...

  3. There is a graceful beauty to this image, reflecting the inherent values.

  4. What a wonderful card and good to remember that history extends beyond WWI!

  5. The last qualification reminds me a little of the British humourist, Peter Cook, who on entering the USA at one point was faced with the usual question on the immigration forms "Do you intend by the use of force to overthrow the legitimate government of the United States?" and wrote "Sole purpose of visit"

  6. Alan, I'm guessing that Mr. Cook was either refused entry or offered a seat in the Senate...

  7. Anonymous, thanks for that quip. Back in the 1990s, I briefly thought of emigration from the United States, and the political lies (as I saw them) I lived under were a strong secondary motivation. My emigration fever passed, but not the underlying thought. All the best. Jack/Youngstown

  8. Hi Christine,
    Nice memorial post and toast to our veterans, makes me want to go and create a piece of jewelry in honor of them! I have a special place in my heart for them, my grandpas(all 4 of them)were veterans too!



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