November 11, 2010

Veterans Day, Armistice Day, Remembrance Day

The official end of World War I is honored on this day—a day that has been generalized to all the men and women who have sacrificed time and effort and sometimes their lives in times of war.

Here are some of the countries that commemorate veterans this day:

Belgium, France, French Polynesia, Guadeloupe, New Caledonia, Sint Maarten, Switzerland, Australia, Barbados, Bermuda, Canada, Cayman Islands, French Guiana, New Zealand, South Africa, Scotland, St. Lucia, United Kingdom, Guam, Puerto Rico, United States, US Virgin Islands.

Most of these countries are associated with France, the UK and its commonwealth, and the US.

For more on Veterans Day, see last year's post

Also on this day, in 1935...

Albert William Stevens, an officer in the US Army Air Corps, along with Captain Orvil Anderson, made a record-breaking balloon ascent. In front of 20,000 spectators and millions listening to a live radio broadcast, the two entered a gondola called Explorer II. They sealed the gondola and proceeded to climb to more than 72 thousand feet (nearly 14 miles, more than 22 kilometers!). This altitude record stood for more than 20 years.

Stevens was a balloonist and an aerial photographer. He was the first person to take a photograph that shows the Earth's curvature.

Enjoy looking at some aerial photography of today. Here are some pictures taken by Yann Arthus-Bertrand. 

And here are some amazing shots of everything from a boat graveyard and a crazy parking lot to an erupting volcano and a VERY tall mountain poking its tip out of the clouds. 

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