vet2010Today is Veterans’ Day in the United States, the day we pause to remember the contributions of those who have served our country in war and in peace.  It is always a good thing to thank those who have served in the military and remember those who gave their lives for us.  But it is especially poignant as a whole new generation of men and women are risking and giving their lives in active wars as we speak.

In recent years I have thought much about those who have come before us as well.  I have also become interested in the toys that mark our military history.  Along with my growing collection of toy cowboys (including the “lost” cowboy that gave this blog its name) I have collected more than a few toy soldiers from various eras and US wars.

Among my collection is a Marine in full dress uniform from the Korean war era.  This little guy sits on my desk and is among other things, a tribute to my Dad who served in the Marine Corps at that time.

I look at all the little toy soldiers I have collected and think about the contributions so many people have made to allow us to live our lives of freedom.  Each little model soldier represent the millions of veterans that served our nation over the past 230 years or so and serves as a reminder to show continued appreciation to them.

I was pleased to find that the business of making, selling and collecting toy soldiers is still going strong.  In addition to a very active community of collectors trading vintage toy soldiers, new collections are minted every day.

I recently came across the website for The Sierra Toy Soldier Company, a purveyor of all things toy soldiers.

I really like this set of The 20th Massachusetts from the Civil War manufactured by Collector’s Showcase“The 20th Massachusetts was one of the hardest fighting regiments in the Army Of The Potomac. Of the 2,000 Union regiments engaged during the Civil War, the 20th suffered some of the highest losses. Through their tenacity and bravery the unit earned the right to file in first at the head of the Corp column. The 20th was known as “The Harvard Regiment” because of the large number of Harvard educated officers. As a unit in the Second Corps, the 20th Massachusetts fought in battles from Balls Bluff, Fair Oaks, Malvern Hill, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Wilderness all the way to Appomattox Court House. Our sets capture their fighting spirit.”