12
   

Happy Memorial Day!

 
 
Reply Sun 30 May, 2010 06:17 pm
May 30th. Memorial Day. Except we will "celebrate" it tomorrow. Monday. So we can have a long holiday weekend.
Cookouts, travel, and automobile dealers having really big sales events.

In Flanders fields, the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly,
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

Did you know that only 10% of the U.S. soldiers who served in WW2 are still alive? By the end of the decade they will probably all be gone and the countdown of VN era vets will begin.
According to data from the Rasmussen polling group>
> 74% of adults have a favorable view of the military. 12% have an unfavorable opinion and 13% are unsure.
> 40% say that they, in their lives, lost someone in their family or a close circle of friends, in war.
> 14% of Americans have served in the military.

Happy Memorial Day.
 
CalamityJane
 
  2  
Reply Sun 30 May, 2010 06:19 pm
Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the flowers gone?
Girls have picked them every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where have all the young girls gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the young girls gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the young girls gone?
Taken husbands every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where have all the young men gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the young men gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the young men gone?
Gone for soldiers every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Gone to graveyards every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where have all the graveyards gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the graveyards gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the graveyards gone?
Covered with flowers every one
When will we ever learn?
When will we ever learn?
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 30 May, 2010 06:25 pm
@realjohnboy,
This is going to sound odd, but I plan to donate all the stuff from my father's data to the atomic museum here in albuquerque. I need to get my act together on that, fill out some papers..

In memory, and memory of those he served with.




My father was the first anti war person I knew. Complicated to describe.
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  1  
Reply Sun 30 May, 2010 10:20 pm
@realjohnboy,
http://www.usmemorialday.org/images/cards/memorialdaycard.jpg
0 Replies
 
Pemerson
 
  1  
Reply Sun 30 May, 2010 10:40 pm
Happy Memorial Day to you!
I've never had any family member who fought in any war. One brother was stationed in Hawaii but sat behind a desk, the other served in the Korean war in secret service.

I've been watching the story of America on one of the History channels, to be continued tomorrow evening. It began with the boxing match between Joe Louis and Max Schmelling prior to WWII -- fascinating -- with actual footage. I didn't know that thousands of Americans were killed in bomb making factories, many who were women.

Very sad, especially the Normandy invasion.
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 May, 2010 06:31 am
@Pemerson,
For my Uncle Adolph, who guarded the Panama Canal during WWII.

For my father, and my father-in-law, both stationed at Fort Dix, NJ during Korea.

For my Cousin M___, who went to Viet Nam.

For everyone else's cousins, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, daughters and sons.

Thank you.
0 Replies
 
mysteryman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 May, 2010 07:42 am
I found this video on Fark.com where it linked to youtube.

Check this out, and listen as the letter is read.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JYTJInVT6Q
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 May, 2010 09:39 am
@mysteryman,
Very moving MM
0 Replies
 
panzade
 
  5  
Reply Mon 31 May, 2010 09:40 am
A friend posted this letter from Wes Johnson.

"Remember on this day that those who died for our freedom were not Democrats nor Republicans alone.

They were simply Americans.

To divide our country along such a narrow ideology is an insult to their sacrifice. The flag is not one color alone, and it has more than one shape. Our founding fathers came here for freedom of religion, which includes the right to none at all.

I served in the Army for the right of all to express their freedom, and many who did the same died for it. As you remember our fallen today, please remember that those who died for the Red, White and Blue were Black, White, Asian, Straight, Gay, Male, Female, Republican, Democrat and Independent. They died so that we could ALL have freedom to live in our own individual ways in a free country. To hinder those who think differently would dishonor those who served and died, as well as all this country has stood for.

To those with whom I have shared the uniform of this nation, and to those who gave their all for it, I salute you. And to my countrymen I implore you - get along."
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 May, 2010 11:09 am
My two brothers were drafted during the Vietnam War. One stayed at Fort Hood the whole time, doing carpenter work. The other decided the war was not something he felt obliged to fight. He did not consider it his business if they fought a civil war. He deserted and eventually served three months at Leavenworth. I joined the Navy before I heard of Vietnam. The same year I left my ship to go home, after I was gone, it was sent to the war area.

Others of my relatives were in the military during Korea and the world wars. In a chain of coincidences, none ever fought, that I am aware of.

I salute the veterans, whatever capacity they served. I hope a day will come your services will not be needed more.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Mon 31 May, 2010 12:07 pm
Most sites i've found list May 5th, or May 30th, 1868 as the first Memorial Day. But, in fact, the first celebration or observance of this tribute to veterans and war dead--all veterans and war dead--took place on April 29, 1866, in a cemetery in Carbondale, Illinois. The memorial service and the decoration of graves was organized by John A. Logan, who had reached the rank of Major General of United States Volunteers.

When the war began, people were apprehensive about where Logan's loyalties lay. It was understood that the boys of southern Illinois would follow him, wherever he lead them. A great many people in southern Illinois were sympathetic to the Southern "cause," and in the event, a great many served with Confederate forces. Logan, a prominent member of Congress from Illinois chose to serve the Union, and was commissioned a Colonel of United States Volunteers. He helped to organize the Thirty-first Illinois Regiment of United States Volunteer Infantry. The ranks were largely filled with southern Illinois boys, with a few from Peoria, and a company from Chicago. The 31st served with distinction throughout the war. They were at Belmont, and when other regiments dissolved into looters upon reaching the Confederate camp, Logan kept his men in order. When the Confederates rallied, and attacked back into their camp, the other Yankees ran, but Logan was there with the 31st, in line with bayonets fixed, and they covered the retreat and the loading of the other regiments onto the transports under the guns of the United States Navy. At Fort Henry, the 31st did not arrive until it was all over (a freaky lucky shot from a Navy gunboat dismounted the one big gun at Fort Henry, and flooding on the Tennessee River meant the water batteries (the gun emplacements on the river bank) were flooded, so the Confederates commander surrendered to the Navy.

The 31st and the other regiments spent a miserable ten days in the ramshackle barracks which had been built from green wood for a much smaller Confederate garrison, and then marched overland in a typical mid-South, late winter ice storm to Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River. There, Grant invested the fort, which was commanded by John B. Floyd, the former Secretary of War, and Simon Buckner, a man whose military skills were much exceeded by his own opinion of them. With them was the pugnacious and fiery Gideon Pillow, a Mexican War veteran with solid military credentials, and therefore not the man in charge. (Competence seems to have been the death knell of military careers early in the war, on both sides of the lines.) Floyd and Buckner had trouble restraining Pillow, who wanted to attack the Yankees, then lying in the sodden, frozen woods outside the lines of the fort. On Valentines Day, Buckner agreed that Pillow could make the attempt, but then Pillow temporarily lost his nerve when an aide was shot down by a sniper as they were conversing. The next day, Pillow launched his attack, and initially swept all Yankee opposition before him, rolling up the right of Grant's line.

Logan and the 31st changed face, and formed a line to face Pillow's troops, and held on, even though Logan himself was shot down (he was subsequently promoted Brigadier General for his performance that day, and given a brigade). William Wallace came up with the "third" division, newly organized in the preceding few days, and Pillow's attack was stopped. Although Beford Forrest rode out with his cavalry regiment, many of them carrying an infantryman with them, and as many of the infantry as could find a horse or a mule to join them, Floyd and Buckner surrendered the rest of their command to Grant.

Logan recovered, and by early 1863 was given the command of a division, and a few weeks later, was promoted Major General of U.S. Volunteers. The 31st re-enlisted for the duration, and both Logan and the 31st had sterling records during the war. Logan took command of the XVth Corps, and then the Army of the Tennessee during the battles around Atlanta. He went home to Illinois for the 1864 election campaign--he switched from the Democratic Party to the Republicans. He rejoined the army after the elections, and in the Spring of 1865, commanded his old XVth Corps in the campaign in the Carolinas.

When Logan returned home, he was enthusiastically received by the people of southern Illinois and his veterans of the 31st Illinois. But there had been many "down home boys" who had fought in the Confederate service, and a residue of ill will. So Logan organized an observance to decorate all of the graves of the war dead in the cemetery on the east side of Carbondale, including those of the Illinois Confederates. This observance took place on April 29, 1866, a year to the day after old Joe Johnston had surrendered in Durham, North Carolina, considered the end of the war by most veterans in those days.

Logan continued to pursue his political career, serving again in the House, and then in the Senate, where he was serving at the time of his death. He also became commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, the veterans organization from the Civil War which was the equivalent of the modern American Legion. As Commander of the GAR, Logan organized the first national observance of Memorial Day in May, 1868 (i've seen both May 5th and May 30th listed as the first national observance, so take your pick).

The Confederate graves are still there, but they are down the slope from the main part of the cemetery, and the last time i saw them, more than 20 years go, they were pretty much invisible if you didn't know where to look, being overgrown, and neglected by the city crews who maintained the rest of the cemetery. There's a grave there for a boy from New Hampshire, too--who knows how he ended up there, but his people cared enough that his is a large, impressive and elegant head stone. I wonder if anyone in New Hampshire remembers that boy any longer.

I spent Memorial Day in 1975 sitting in that cemetery (i think it's Woodlawn Cemetery, but don't quote) in the rain, remembering all the boys i served with whom i've never seen since, or whom no one will ever see again. I last visited that cemetery in the late 1980s.

My grandfather served in the Great War. My mother and father served in the Second World War. My oldest brother served in the Navy, and my other brother and i served in the Army. My best wishes to all the veterans out there, and the families of those who won't be coming home to join them. I like RJB's snatch of poetry there at the beginning, which was written by a Canadian doctor, John McCrae. He died not long after writing that poem of a septic disease which he contracted while treating his fellow countrymen. There is a photograph of him that i have always loved:

http://clatterymachinery.files.wordpress.com/2007/03/john-mccrae-and-dog.jpg

panzade
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 May, 2010 02:40 pm
@Setanta,
Logan was a unique soldier. Thanks for the post.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 May, 2010 03:50 pm
My uncle Charlie was apparently an interesting man. He died of a heart attack in 1944 or 5 - I'd have to check, just after the plane he and everybody had been working on got into production at last (I'll be back on that). He was a machinist, and a liaison between machinists and management at Douglas. Also, he died not long after he taught me how to hand crank ice cream, probably when he was on a visit to the Oklahoma City plant of Douglas (or was it Wichita?)

What I know of him are his books (mostly western u.s. oriented, lots of Zane Grey and some thick tome on Wyatt Earp, which was too tough for me to read at 13), all of Dickens, his fishing basket, his dog Rusty the irish setter (he and my father went bird hunting, and I never talked to either about that). I still have his rock collection (he basically hiked southern california and into the southwest, and his tool chest, which my aunt said he made. I'm not so sure it was from a kit, if they had those then. I also inherited all of his silk threadspools, re fishing. I have a few of his childhood school books. Strange now to think of my aunt letting me play with them.

He was mustard gassed as a young man in WWI, but I don't know in what skirmish or battle, always thereafter had somewhat ill health.

At some point he gave his love, my aunt, this photo, cut out and pasted onto carved wood..
My aunt was never interested in any other men. As she was the straightforward type, I think we would have known if she was. Ok, well, she turned a bit inward, sometimes for good reason.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v722/ossobuco/Charlie117.jpg?t=1275340562

Love and rest in peace to Charlie.

I might get it together to post a couple of old photos of happy days with him and my aunt.


Odd, this kind of reminiscing. I now see the things my aunt was so proud of as all about and by Charlie (the amazing cabinets in the back hall with the rolling doors). I see my aunt's furniture, likely a product of my mother who worked for an interior decorator in the thirties, and Charlie's stuff, like books.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 May, 2010 04:00 pm
My guess is that is no banjo, but a play on a banjo and a wrench..
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 May, 2010 04:34 pm
@ossobuco,
This is not the last plane, which I was mentioning, but where else but here to include stuff Charlie was involved with?

The scans may be too big, I'll try to alleviate that. It will take two photos.
The writing is my mother's.

Ok, I give, I don't have photoshop or now even i photo. What we have here is a vertical of a horizonal photo much larger than the picture. I've tried to flip it 20 times, that's enough, using my scanner.. The first B-19, I take it. You can twist your head and see my mother's date of when she saw the photo from the magazine.


Oops, the photo - http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v722/ossobuco/Rascalinthepot119.jpg?t=1275344865
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 May, 2010 04:40 pm
I'm guessing Charlie died a day after the B -25 was finished, but I'm now pooped from trying to snag photos. What is my point? people served in different ways.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 May, 2010 04:59 pm
@ossobuco,
Good presentation, osso.
firefly
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 May, 2010 07:01 pm
@realjohnboy,
http://ahoy.tk-jk.net/Images/LoneSailorNavyMemorial.gif
The Lone Sailor
at the United States Navy Memorial, Washington, D.C.

Two of my uncles served in the Navy. I thought a lot about both of them today with a great deal of pride.
One had been stationed at Pearl Harbor at the time of the attack, he saw combat during WWII, continued to do sea duty for 20 years after the end of that war, and served in the Navy for a total of 30 years.
The other served during WWII and was wounded during combat in the Solomon Islands. His injuries disabled him for life.

Today is a time to remember all of our veterans, but, most particularly, those who gave their lives in the service of our country.

This is one of the most recent...

Quote:
Community Remembers 1000th Marine Killed In Afghanistan

Cpl. Jacob Leicht, 24, Was Killed Last Thursday While Serving In Helmand Province

OCEANSIDE, Calif -- On the eve of Memorial Day, a Camp Pendleton Marine born July 4 paid the ultimate price for his country, with this death marking a grim milestone in the war in Afghanistan.

A Marine corporal stationed at Camp Pendleton is the 1,000th American serviceperson killed in Afghanistan. But those who knew Cpl. Jacob Leicht said they would remember him for his valor

"It takes a lot to want to go back," said Stephen Nelson, a Marine stationed in Oceanside.

From his hospital bed, Leicht begged to go back to war after an improvised explosive device hit his Humvee in 2007.

"Everybody is scared, you know, when we go over there and do the things we do but not everybody has what it takes to go back," said Nelson.

Leicht's two brothers honored his memory in his hometown of Kerrville, Texas, near San Antonio. Leicht was killed last Thursday when he stepped on a land mine that ripped off this arm in the Helmand province.

"I think it is very courageous how he, even when he was hurt, he went back out to fight for his country," said Gregory Gilmore, an Oceanside resident.

Gilmore said each death reaches far beyond the walls of Camp Pendleton.

"It hits all of us in Oceanside because they are not only a part of our country, they are fighting for our freedom," he said. "They are friends as well."

"It's just every Marine's job. We go to war and fight," said Pvt. Johnson. "It's the price of freedom."

Leicht was born on the day that celebrates America's independence, and freedom was what he died for at 24 years old.

He was one of about 9,000 troops currently fighting in Afghanistan. Another 2,000 are set to deploy in August.
http://www.10news.com/news/23741262/detail.html


I paused to remember Cpl. Jacob Leicht, and his bravery, today.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 May, 2010 07:18 pm
@ossobuco,
I think Charlie understood art.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 May, 2010 07:34 pm
@ossobuco,
Modern slugging wrenches are shorter and heavier, but I think that is what he is holding.
 

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