Today is Veteran's Day. I am not sure if most people know why we have Veteran's Day on November 11th, but it's to commemorate the end of World War 1 which officially ended on November 11th, 1918. I did Twisted History last night with my buddy Large to talk about WWI because I fucking LOVE it. My favorite War ever. Crazy shit about how it started the motivation for it, the butterfly effect of one stupid kid shooting one unlucky Heir to an empire. I had pages and pages of notes to get through the podcast. I've read "Guns Of August". I've seen 1917, I've seen the series Apocalypse: WWI, I've seen They Shall Not Grow Old, and I've listened to Dan Carlin's full 24 fucking hours of "Blueprint For Armageddon". I thought I had WWI pretty well covered, but NOPE. Large(and Anne) taught me something new...something about this fucking Pigeon named Cher Ami. Which is great because I love learning new shit. Always get that any time you sit down with Large. Big reason why he's one of my favorite guys in the company.
Somewhere along the way "pigeon" became an insult. A great insult. You call someone a pigeon and it stings every time. Everyone knows why. Pigeons fucking suck. They're a filthy. All they do is eat garbage, get in the way, and shit all over everything. They are rats with wings. They're a disgusting creature. That is their entire brand in 2020.
It wasn't always that way though. Apparently pigeons used to be fucking geniuses and war heroes. This pigeon, Cher Ami, saved nearly 200 soldiers from a certain death at the hands of das Germans. They were cut off, surrounded behind enemy lines. Their only hope was a rat with wings. A carrier pigeon to get the word home that they needed to be rescued and quickly. The trapped battalion was down to their last carrier pigeon because the others had all been shot down by German fire. What a different time. Anyways, Cher Ami takes off from the trenches and takes fire as well. This brave little bird got fucking shot threw the breast, crash landed in the battlefield, and had a leg so badly damaged that it was only hanging on by a small tendon. Somehow, Cher Ami dusted itself off and managed to flap it's little wings all covered in blood and took flight again. Cher Ami successfully delivered her message to HQ. This message saved the lives of 194 soldiers.
Medics were able to save Cher Ami's life and they even made her a little wooden prosthetic leg. Cher Ami retired to America after the War and received several medals. Absolutely incredible. So next time you're walking down the street and a pigeon takes a white dump on your head and you want to murder all pigeons, just remember that their great great great great grandma was a War Hero.
Be on the look out for the new Twisted History Pod later today. Listen on spotify, apple, or wherever you get your podcasts