I had never realized that there was a connection between Martin of Tours and Armistice day, until I just saw in the Wikipedia article on him that he was buried on November 11, 397. The day in the Church is called Martinmas, or Feast of St Martin, but it is apparently coincidence that these two share the same day. He was named Martin after Mars, the Roman god of War and is the patron saint of France and soldiers, and also conscientious objectors since he later went on to refuse to fight saying, "I am a soldier of Christ. I cannot fight." The article goes on to say:
While Martin was still a soldier at Amiens he experienced the vision that became the most-repeated story about his life. He was at the gates of the city of Amiens with his soldiers when he met a scantily dressed beggar. He impulsively cut his own military cloak in half and shared it with the beggar. That night he dreamed of Jesus wearing the half-cloak Martin had given away. He heard Jesus say to the angels: "Here is Martin, the Roman soldier who is not baptised; he has clad me." (Sulpicius, ch 2). In another story, when Martin woke his cloak was restored, and the miraculous cloak was preserved among the relic collection of the Merovingian kings of the Franks.
The Wikipedia article also notes that the word "Chaplain" comes from the name and veneration of the cape he allegedly gave a beggar...after which he had a vision of Christ and became a Christian. "One of the many services a chaplain can provide is spiritual and pastoral support for military service personnel by performing religious services at sea or in the battlefield."
I've been observing chaplains at the local hospital and am so amazed by their work and ministry. I'm thinking about it as a path for myself.... I think it's synchronicity that I am learning about all this today. I had never even heard of Martinmas until today.
Anyways, I want to say thank you to Veterans. Someone I know on Facebook said that "on 60 Minutes this Sunday, Andy Rooney said that as a Vet, he would like to work toward a Peace Day, because every single military death is a tragedy that person and his (and now her) loved ones. He said thank me by stopping the need for a Veteran's Day."