Here are some of the 'major connections' Ginger has had to our military over the years:
Well, at the ripe old age of six, she was 'recruited' for a bond drive advertisement in Missouri for World War I.
Ginger's mom, Lela, was one of the first ten women in history to join the Marine Corps, in 1918, as a stateside publicist to drum up support and recruits, even as WWI was drawing to a close. It would be KILLER to find a pic of Lela in uniform! :-]
Lela met her second husband, and Ginger's eventual 'last-name-sake', John Logan Rogers, after he was released from a Veteran's Hospital in New York, where Lela just happened to be stationed at the time.
Of course, Ginger's third husband, Jack Briggs, was a Marine Private First Class, whom she met during one of her many USO drive appearances. He did a tour of duty in the South Pacific in WWII.
Ginger was a popular 'celebrity' during WWII, as a 'pin-up', on the sides of bombers, etc...
And then there are the movies Ginger did which were in support of the war effort - such as "Major and the Minor", "Once Upon a Honeymoon", and "Tender Comrade".
But the best and most compelling of her 'wartime' films has to be "I'll Be Seeing You", the story of a veteran who is recovering from what is now known as 'post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), who meets and subsequently falls in love with a girl who happens to be on furlough from prison for murder (in self-defense, mind you...).
This movie deals with PSTD in a sincere and honest manner, addressing a 'avoided' topic in that day. I'm sure most of y'all have seen it, but just in case you haven't...it's a good movie - ya need to check it out.
Another 'once-removed' connection to Ginger regarding WWI is the 1930 movie her second husband, Lew Ayres, starred in, "All Quiet on the Western Front"; I watched this one a few days ago, and was quite surprised by the 'realism' of the battle scenes and the depiction of the 'kids' sent to battle grossly unprepared and surviving such bleak conditions (it is told from the German' side, although the actors are decidedly 'English-American' acting). Ayres really did a great job in it, and it is another one I would suggest viewing if you haven't already...
As for 'here and now', just a 'shout-out' to my hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, which was, and still is, a major player in the development of Veteran's Day. The concept for the observance is as follows below, from www.bhamwiki.com :
"Veterans Day is largely intended to thank living veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to United States national security are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all those who served - not only those who died - have sacrificed and done their duty. Like its predecessors, "Armistice Day" or "Remembrance Day" in other parts of the world, Veterans Day falls on November 11, the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. (Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice.)
"Armistice Day" was first commemorated in the United States by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919, and 30 states made it a legal holiday. On November 11, 1921 the remains of an unknown soldier were entombed in Washington D.C. as a memorial to all who died in service to the United States. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 inviting all States to observe the day, and then passed another resolution in 1939 making it a federal holiday.
Raymond Weeks, a World War II veteran and Birmingham citizen, led efforts to expand Armistice Day to salute the veterans of that war. He led a delegation that presented the idea to General Eisenhower, the Army Chief of Staff. With his blessing, plans were made for the first Veterans Day celebration, held on November 11, 1947 in Birmingham. A parade was held downtown, beginning a tradition which continues with what remains the nation's largest Veterans Day Parade.
After years of lobbying, a bill to formally change the name of the federal holiday was introduced by Representative Edwin Rees of Kansas. It was signed by President Eisenhower on June 1, 1954.
The National Veterans Award was created in Birmingham in 1954 for the first National Veterans Day. Weeks was given the Presidential Citizens Medal in November 1982 for his efforts on behalf of U. S. veterans."
Well, I hope this post was informative - a bit of a 'departure' from a typical G-ology post... we obviously delve into the 'minutia' of Ginger, which is our mission, right? But it is always important to understand the true meaning of a VERY important observance and act accordingly...in short, thank someone you know who has, or is, serving for our country.