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Memorial Day Observance

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Banjer 24 May 02 - 05:30 AM
Murph10566 24 May 02 - 07:22 AM
GUEST 24 May 02 - 08:36 AM
MMario 24 May 02 - 08:38 AM
Big Mick 24 May 02 - 08:56 AM
SharonA 24 May 02 - 09:05 AM
PeteBoom 24 May 02 - 09:07 AM
Mrrzy 24 May 02 - 10:10 AM
Roger in Sheffield 24 May 02 - 10:48 AM
Mary in Kentucky 24 May 02 - 11:01 AM
Jeri 24 May 02 - 11:03 AM
MMario 24 May 02 - 11:03 AM
PeteBoom 24 May 02 - 11:07 AM
Roger in Sheffield 24 May 02 - 11:16 AM
Mary in Kentucky 24 May 02 - 11:17 AM
Amergin 24 May 02 - 11:22 AM
MMario 24 May 02 - 11:27 AM
SharonA 24 May 02 - 11:45 AM
SharonA 24 May 02 - 12:03 PM
Mrrzy 24 May 02 - 12:18 PM
Kim C 24 May 02 - 12:40 PM
gnu 24 May 02 - 12:41 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 May 02 - 01:07 PM
Jeri 24 May 02 - 01:34 PM
catspaw49 24 May 02 - 02:42 PM
Devilmaster 24 May 02 - 02:48 PM
Lonesome EJ 24 May 02 - 11:48 PM
DougR 24 May 02 - 11:52 PM
Banjer 25 May 02 - 03:09 AM
Amergin 25 May 02 - 11:03 AM
Lonesome EJ 25 May 02 - 12:15 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 May 02 - 12:27 PM
Banjer 25 May 02 - 12:30 PM
Banjer 25 May 02 - 12:45 PM
Chip2447 25 May 02 - 01:43 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 May 02 - 01:58 PM
Steve in Idaho 25 May 02 - 03:04 PM
Clinton Hammond 25 May 02 - 03:57 PM
Bill D 25 May 02 - 05:27 PM
catspaw49 25 May 02 - 06:12 PM
DonD 25 May 02 - 06:36 PM
GUEST,The Canadian Connection 26 May 02 - 09:49 AM
Genie 04 Jun 02 - 02:07 AM
Mrrzy 27 May 04 - 01:29 PM
Bettynh 29 May 10 - 01:18 PM
LadyJean 29 May 10 - 11:13 PM
LadyJean 29 May 10 - 11:22 PM
olddude 29 May 10 - 11:34 PM
GUEST,Ref 30 May 10 - 08:31 PM
GUEST,Mike B. 30 May 10 - 08:40 PM
Leadfingers 30 May 10 - 08:58 PM
GUEST,Azoic 27 May 11 - 11:44 AM
GUEST 27 May 11 - 11:54 AM
open mike 28 May 11 - 01:46 PM
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Subject: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: Banjer
Date: 24 May 02 - 05:30 AM

Our three day weekend is here!! Picnics, fun at the beach, the beginning of summer, school out soon....All these things are finally here. But during our fun this weekend let us all remember what helped make a lot of these things possible for us. Let us remember the sacrifices made by service men and women in the past to ensure us a free future.
It is especially important this year after the events of 9/11/01 that we pause to reflect on our freedoms. Many communities will have some sort of Memorial Day ceremonyies. Take a few minutes of your time to remember those that made the ultimate sacrifice and the folks they left behind.


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Subject: RE: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: Murph10566
Date: 24 May 02 - 07:22 AM

The Very Last Memorial Day Parade


The old Veteran looks on,
As the small crowd gathers near,
And he thinks, "Not half as many
As there were this time last year."
But a few won't let themselves forget,
And a few still shed a tear,
At The Very Last Memorial Day Parade.

His thoughts drift to an early time,
When hundreds line the street;
To proudly hail and wave their Flags
As favorite Bands compete.
The Marchers smartly strut their stuff
To the Drummers' stirring beat,
At The Very Last Memorial Day Parade.

The Pipers and the Buglers
Sound their rally loud and clear;
Old uniforms are dusted off,
And medals reappear -
The Color Guard is greeted
By a mighty rousing cheer,
At The Very Last Memorial Day Parade.

He smiles, to see the 'Buddy-Poppies'
Blooming everywhere -
These loyal, loving Patriots
Who take the time to care,
Distinguished Guests are introduced
And tributes fill the air …
At The Very Last Memorial Day Parade.

But now, a solemn moment:
The Crowd bows its head as One -
For Those Not Present, gone before,
In battles lost and won.
The Pageantry and Glory fade;
His Daydream's finally done,
At The Very Last Memorial Day Parade.

The Old Vet sadly shakes his head
And stares down at his feet;
Alone again, his footsteps
Echo through the empty street -
And he wonders, "Did The SPIRIT die,
Or did it just retreat ?"
At The Very Last Memorial Day Parade.

For Veterans who gave their All,
Has the Final Taps been played ?
Will our Nation turn her back once more,
Another Debt unpaid ?
So easily forgotten, then -
Those Promises we made…
At The Very Last Memorial Day Parade ?


Tim Murphy
M.D. 2002


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Subject: RE: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: GUEST
Date: 24 May 02 - 08:36 AM

Have you seen the old man
Outside the Seamans Mission
Memory fading like the medal ribbons he wears
In our winter city the rain cries a little pity
On one more forgotten hero and a world that does'nt care
Ralph McTell
In loving memory of our Merchant Seamen. "Who also Served"


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Subject: RE: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: MMario
Date: 24 May 02 - 08:38 AM

In Flanders Field the poppies grow


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Subject: RE: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: Big Mick
Date: 24 May 02 - 08:56 AM

The young people ask, what are they marching for?
And I ask myself the same question..........


This "holiday" always makes me sad. I think of my comrades in arms, I look at the happy faced kids...........and I struggle with it all. I always tried to teach my own what the day really means, but it is a futile gesture, in the end. That is why I always go to the local memorial on the actual day of the holiday, not the one that they made so the merchants could have a three day weekend. Talk about cheapening the sacrifice. I love my country, but I hate the way we devalue the sacrifice made by the "great fallen". But what's new? We also devalue the children of the world by encouraging the sweatshops so we can have cheaper prices at Walmart. We think it is perfectly fine that more and more workers are injured and killed so long as the cost to business isn't too high. We say that government shouldn't be intruding on the rights of manufacturers even though they are destroying the world environment. It seems to this old and tired crusader that our values are a matter of convenience.

And one more thing. This is Memorial Day, not Veterans Day. It is a time to think about and honor those who sacrificed their lives in service to our nation. If you want to thank a Vet for their service, that's fine. Just make sure you understand that that isn't what this day is about. This is the day that the Vet's are thinking about their fallen brothers and sisters in arms. I came home, they didn't. I got to raise a family, pursue a career, play music. They didn't. I have seen the birth of my grandchild. Kelly, Robin, Rollie, Gordon and countless others didn't. I appreciate your thanks, but save them for another day and spend this one honoring those that fell.

Thanks,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: SharonA
Date: 24 May 02 - 09:05 AM

"It is for us, the living, ...to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they have, thus far, so nobly carried on. It is... for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain..."

from Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address


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Subject: RE: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: PeteBoom
Date: 24 May 02 - 09:07 AM

Mick - we're at Caledonia on Monday - come on out if yer not elsewhere.

Noon - short parade to the vets monument in the cemetary, then retire to the Legion hall. We'd play Flowers of the Forest, but no one there would recognize the significance, so were stuck with Amazing Grace. High School band will play Taps, Politician will speechify, the kids will look at us funny ("look mom, they're wearing dresses!") - We'll probably march out to Wings - Alan's old regimental "March Past" (50th Div, Royal Engineers, TA - his active duty was Royal Navy - rose to Ship's Chief Engineer). We've enough old codgers to know what its about.

Cheers -

Pete


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Subject: RE: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: Mrrzy
Date: 24 May 02 - 10:10 AM

...I think of men who fought in glen with rifle and grenade
May Heaven keep the men who sleep from the ranks of the old brigade
Where are the lads who stood with me when history was made?...

I do use this time to remember those who fell that we might live the way we want to, rather than all those who strove, for which I reserve Veteran's Day. And as a pacifist, I also recall those who did not wish to serve militarily but fell nonetheless... such as my father, conscientious objector during WWII, killed by terrorists at a peaceful embassy.

And the pools open, which delights my twins, but we still talk about what this holiday is about. I do appreciate the freedoms brought to me, here in these United States, by the minutemen, the Union soldiers, the overseas fallen in both world wars... "and again and again and again and again, did they beat the drum slowly, did they play the fife lowly, did they play the death march as they lowered you down..."


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Subject: RE: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 24 May 02 - 10:48 AM

excuse my ignorance (I am English)
Is memorial day fri/sat/sun or monday?
What is the significance of this particular date - over here we commemorate on different dates which have particular significance to us
MD is also a holiday for nearly everyone? Like we have bank holidays over here?


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Subject: RE: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 24 May 02 - 11:01 AM

A Nation that fails to honor its heroes,
soon will have no heroes to honor
-- Winston Churchill


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Subject: RE: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: Jeri
Date: 24 May 02 - 11:03 AM

Rog, Memorial Day is on Mon, because they've moved almost all of our holidays to Mon. (It's been on Mon for as long as I can remember, though.) It's similar to a bank holiday.

Memorial Day
Jeri, May 24 2002,
With love

Every year I come here to remember those who fell
The friends I lost and others, who never lived to tell
The vision many people have is of war that never ends
But I come here, not for memories of war, but to remember them - my friends

Some believe that war is grand - it's pomp and brass-band glory
But those who died, they all had names and each one, their own story
Folks imagine heroes brave and bold and hear the battle cry
But I knew them - frightened, homesick souls who didn't want to die

And in my dreams and quiet moments, sometimes they do come home
Not in some ghostly regiment, but one by one, alone
Sometimes I remember how they lived and laughed and cried
And sometimes I remember how they died

I'm not saying war is always wrong, nor is it always right
But we must look for causes worth our lives in the wars we choose to fight
For ghostly voices of the fallen, they remind us of the cost
But they speak little of the prizes their sacrifices won or lost

And every year, I'll come here to remember those who fell
The friends I lost and others, who never lived to tell
And when the stars shine in the silent night, and this long day finally ends
I'll raise a glass, not to glory, but to those who died - my friends


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Subject: RE: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: MMario
Date: 24 May 02 - 11:03 AM

Memorial Day History


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Subject: RE: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: PeteBoom
Date: 24 May 02 - 11:07 AM

Thanks for posting that MMario - beat me to it.

Cheers -

Pete


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Subject: RE: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 24 May 02 - 11:16 AM

Thank You Now I understand


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Subject: RE: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 24 May 02 - 11:17 AM

Roger, I found some information here. Several years ago (in my lifetime) 5 (or 6) were made national holidays, incorporating a Monday so that workers could have a three-day weekend. This may be like your "bank holiday." I'm a little skeptical of the whole thing because it seems like government workers are the main ones who get off. But because so many offices are closed, others take off too. It seems a bit convenient that the days are spaced throughout the year. (Is it true that the Queen's birthday is a holiday for you, and if she happens to have a yucky month, chooses another?) Anyway, Memorial Day, in addition to being a remembrance day for those who have served our country, also is a day for remembering family and loved ones who have died. In many of the rural areas people visit cemetaries and put flowers on the graves of loved ones.


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Subject: RE: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: Amergin
Date: 24 May 02 - 11:22 AM

A friend of mine runs this site for her local chapter of Rolling Thunder.

Hello, Michael, It's Me

Hello, Micahel, it's me
It's been a long time since I saw you last
In your uniform as you proudly marched past
M-16 on your shoulder, eyes straight ahead
As you paraded down the pavement gallant and calm
To the dark sweltering jungles of Vietnam
So many years have gone by, are you alive or are you dead?

Hello, Michael, it's me
Your young son, John, is a man fully grown
Married with two wonderful sons of his own
He looks and sounds just like his dear father
From the twinkle in his eyes to his lopsided grin
From the brown in his hair to the red on his chin
The very strides he takes holds your spirt together

Hello, Michael, it's me
Your photograph is faded, weathered and worn
Happily holding the baby, when Johnny was born
Stands on a dark table stained with growing years
And your letters sit folded on my dancing breast
The words blotched and wrinkled, pages torn at the crease
Spotted with the salt drying from my tears

Hello, Michael, it's me
The christmas lights dance in the window red and green
Your unopened presents sit beneath the shining tree
Can you feel the laughter in the children's joyous call
As we saunter down the pathways frozen and bare
Bearing roses through the cold snow spotted air
To find your name forever etched into a granite wall?

Goodbye, Michael, merry Christmas.
Please come home soon.

nathan tompkins


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Subject: RE: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: MMario
Date: 24 May 02 - 11:27 AM

For years my Dad was in charge of decorating the graves in my home town - we always suspected because he was the member of the vet society with the most kids to help him! We would spend the weekend before memorial day placing flags on all the known war-dead graves in town (for a small town Sandwich had a LOT of graveyards!) Being one of the older New England towns - there were even a few predating the War for Independence!


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Subject: RE: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: SharonA
Date: 24 May 02 - 11:45 AM

The traditional Memorial Day is Thursday, May 30. Most calendars list the Monday holiday as "Memorial Day (observed)". Yes, nearly everyone has the day off on Monday; banks and government offices are closed, mail is not delivered, most corporate businesses shut down for the day. Store clerks, however, are still on duty since there are many "holiday sales".

During the time that Mary in Kentucky speaks of, there was a push to include the US's Indepence Day in that Monday-holiday-so-we-can-have-a-long-weekend movement. Thankfully, too many people objected to the idea because Independence Day refers to a specific date in history rather than a day of observance picked by the government, so the idea was dropped. Good thing, too; I wouldn't have liked to celebrate "The 4th of July" on the 1st or 2nd or 3rd, etc.

For my part, I plan to walk or bike down the highway to watch the parade in the small town nearby, and stop at the old cemetery at the other end of town to visit the grave of my great-great-uncle the wounded Civil War vet. Thanks for the reminder, Banjer, to give a thought to the meaning of the holiday. May we remember more than once a year!


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Subject: RE: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: SharonA
Date: 24 May 02 - 12:03 PM

NAME ON A WALL

All you are, after all, is a name on a wall – just a name between names on a stone.
Yet somebody may come who will find himself numb to the numberless names, save your own,
And his eyes will there linger; he'll reach out a finger across the dark letters to crawl,
Just as others have traced other names they have faced with the fingers they've touched to the wall.

Though your name is asleep on a black granite sheet, you awake in the minds of your friends
Who have all come to call to read names on a wall, just to see who has come to his end;
And they stand, swapping stories concerning the war and the dead man they fondly recall.
They're a fitting memorial, warm and corporeal, at the cold stone of the wall.

Through the twistings of fate, I was born years too late to know anyone's name on the list.
If the two or three veterans whom I have met are an inkling of what I have missed,
Then, name, I mourn for you and the other names too, for these vets are the best of us all
And I wish I knew why the best flew off to die and to chisel their names on a wall.

There's no man who dares tell me the depths of the hell he had plumbed with you there in that fight
So I'm left in the dark till an offhand remark brings another grim detail to light.
When the veterans, too, are as lifeless as you are, who'll know then what caused you to fall?
Who will know you as more than just some man of war who became just a name on a wall?


Coypright © Sharon E. Abbott
All rights reserved


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Subject: RE: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: Mrrzy
Date: 24 May 02 - 12:18 PM

Thanks for that, SharonA. I always forget that my Dad's name is on the State Department wall... we have no grave for him. "The body of the 17th American was left in Lebanon according to his family's wishes."


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Subject: RE: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: Kim C
Date: 24 May 02 - 12:40 PM

My father fought in Korea and earned a Purple Heart, which is now in my possession. He died almost two years ago due to a number of health complications. Dad was proud to have served his country, but there was something that made him a little sad... when he was having problems with his health, and needed expensive medications, he applied to the Veterans Administration for assistance.

He didn't get any. They told him he made $50 a month too much.

Dad wasn't rich by any means. He probably didn't even qualify for middle-class status.

Anyway, he felt bitter about this, because he had served his country and was wounded. He was there when they needed him, and when he needed them, they wouldn't help. And I know he would never have asked for help unless he really needed it. Personally I thought the Veterans Administration was for all veterans, not just the broke, homeless ones. Maybe I was wrong about that.

Because of this, he specifically asked that he have no reference to his military service on his gravestone, nor any mention of it in the memorial service. But, my stepmother is going to take some flowers for Memorial Day all the same. So there, Dad. :-P

I have a friend in the Army whom I cherish dearly. I told him I know Memorial Day is a dead people's holiday, but the living deserve some thanks too, because they don't get nearly enough.

Maybe y'all will remember my dad along with all the others. He was a music lover and it's because of him that I do a lot of the things I do.

Cheers ------------------ KFC


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Subject: RE: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: gnu
Date: 24 May 02 - 12:41 PM

Lest we forget. Thanks Yanks.


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Subject: RE: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 May 02 - 01:07 PM

So in the US, where here we have just Remembrance Day, commemorating the war-dead and the survivors near November 11th, you've got Veterans Day at that time and Memorial Day in May, a separate day for each. Interesting how these things vary in different countries.

And no, the Queen's Official Birthday in June isn't any kind of Holiday. There's a big parade, the Trooping of the Colour, which is fine by me, because it tends to coincide with my daughter's birthday, and is great fun with all the bands and the marching on the TV.


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Subject: RE: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: Jeri
Date: 24 May 02 - 01:34 PM

Here's a site with some history of Memorial Day. And here.

Memory
by Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

My childhood's home I see again,
    And sadden with the view;
And still, as memory crowds my brain,
    There's pleasure in it, too.

O memory! thou midway world
    'Twixt earth and paradise,
Where things decayed and loved ones lost
    In dreamy shadows rise,

And, freed from all that's earthly, vile,
    Seem hallowed, pure and bright,
Like scenes in some enchanted isle
    All bathed in liquid light.

As dusky mountains please the eye
    When twilight chases day;
As bugle notes that, passing by,
    In distance die away;

As leaving some grand waterfall,
    We, lingering, list its roar --
So memory will hallow all
    We've known but know no more.

Near twenty years have passed away
    Since here I bid farewell
To woods and fields, and scenes of play,
    And playmates loved so well.

The friends I left that parting day
    How changed, as time has sped!
Young childhood grown, strong manhood gray;
    And half of all are dead.

I hear the loved survivors tell
    How nought from death could save,
Till every sound appears a knell
    And every spot a grave.

I range the fields with pensive tread,
    And pace the hollow rooms,
And feel (companion of the dead)
    I'm living in the tombs.


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Subject: RE: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: catspaw49
Date: 24 May 02 - 02:42 PM

On this Memorial Day specifically, it might be good to remember the names Cynthia Wesley, Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, and Carol Robertson......Four little girls who gave their lives as the result of a terrorist attack in Birmingham, Alabama in September of 1963. Their deaths brought a new focus to the Civil Rights movement and made "fence sitting" an impossibility. Two days ago and after 38 years, the last of the bombers was finally found guilty.

It is incumbent on us to right the wrongs whenever we can and to take measures to insure it doesn't happen again. As schoolchildren learn of this verdict, this case, they will learn a significant, if not shining, part of our history and in the learning will find that freedom is more than just a word.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: Devilmaster
Date: 24 May 02 - 02:48 PM

They shall not grow old
As we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them
Nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun
And in the morning
We shall remember them.


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Subject: RE: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 24 May 02 - 11:48 PM

The two young men walked in line with the thousands of others like them, tired men in mud-caked uniforms who plodded and slid along a sodden road in Western Germany. The sun had finally come out after two days of near constant rain, and the air was filled with rising mist from the swamp-filled potholes and streaming ditches. The men lined both sides of this road, as a river of green trucks, jeeps, and personnel carriers rumbled and shifted gears down the middle, throwing geysers of mud in the air. The men's mood was lighter after the end of the rain, though, and they laughed and catcalled to the unlucky ones caught in the sprays of muck. Some sang snatches of popular songs..Drinking Rum and Coca Cola or Lily Marlene.. and others would take up the tunes momentarily. Cigarette smoke wafted down the long line, mingling with the smell of exhaust and sweat. Despite the slogging, there was a feeling of gladness among them. The Spring was beginning, and the War was winding down. The enemy was routed, the bloody battles in the past, and soon they would be going home.

The handsome, sturdy soldier held out a pack of Camels to his buddy, the tall, lanky kid with the good-natured comical face. They lit up with the tall kid's Zippo lighter and moved on through the marshy road. They smiled and joked with the easy camaraderie of men who had waded the same surf, crouched in the same holes, dodged the same bullets, slept in the same tents, and watched others fall by the wayside in the long 11 months since D-Day. The tall kid swung his M1 up onto his shoulders, letting both arms hang through the strap, the cigarette in his left hand, near his mouth. A mess-truck lumbered up behind them, downshifting as it slipped sideways in the mud, engine suddenly roaring. "Out o' the way!" barked the Supply Sergeant at the wheel.

As the men moved away from the truck, the tall kid slipped in the muck falling against the truck. The handsome soldier, quite used to his friend's clumsiness, laughed out loud and grabbed the tall kid's arm, but the arm was pulled out of his grasp by the truck. He saw the problem instantly. The tall kid's rifle-strap had hung up on a tie hook on the side of the truck. Stumbling, ungainly, laughing in embarrassment, the skinny kid slipped along in the mud trying to keep his feet. "Stop the truck!" yelled the handsome soldier, but his shout was swallowed in the sound of engine roar and gear surge. The tall kid fell and was swept under the rear wheels of the truck.

The convoy halted, the curious foot-soldiers bunched up, and the handsome soldier cut loose the strap, pulling the mud-covered form of his friend away from the truck. When the medics arrived, the kid had stopped breathing. They quickly lifted him into a jeep as a First Lieutenant ordered the convoy forward. The handsome soldier watched the jeep travel back down the column, dodging marching men. It was four days before he heard the news that his friend had died.

The handsome soldier returned from the War, married, raised a family, endured sleepless nights, drank too much, and when he drank too much, he sometimes spoke of the war, but mainly of the friend who was taken from him on the first Spring Day at the End of the War. He died an old man, 48 years after the tall kid was buried in a field in France.


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Subject: RE: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: DougR
Date: 24 May 02 - 11:52 PM

Here's to all of those who fought in all of the wars who cannot be here to enjoy the freedom they made possible.

Cheers!

DougR


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Subject: RE: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: Banjer
Date: 25 May 02 - 03:09 AM

This is a holiday whose meaning has largely been lost among the commercialization of it. Like Big Mick it angers me that a day set aside to commemorate our fallen should have been moved from its original date just to accomodate the pleasures of the living! Like him I usually stop by a local cemetery on the 30th of May and pause to reflect at the gravesites of those that made the ultimate sacrifice.

It is important also to pass on to the younger generation the true meaning of Memorial Day. Take a minute to explain to the grandkids or the kid next door that this is not just a day to go to the beach or to go hang at the mall. Take them to a local Memorial Day observance, for it is through them that our traditions will be carried on.

LEJ, that is an interesting story and there are probably thousands more like it in our past. What is the source of this one? Are there more where this came from?


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Subject: RE: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: Amergin
Date: 25 May 02 - 11:03 AM

If I was back home...I would go to the local cemetary and visit my uncle...Jim Ellis...who was a sergeant inKorea...and later flew for Air America during Vietnam....

He was a great man...died of lung cancer a few years ago....sometimes at night I can still hear him laughing...or see him pulling one of his jokes...


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Subject: RE: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 25 May 02 - 12:15 PM

banjer, the soldier who survived was my Dad. He told me the story, but I have forgotten his friend's name.


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Subject: RE: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 May 02 - 12:27 PM

Was there any particular reason for May 30th in the first place, like there is for November 11th?

It strikes me there's something to be said for not having a holiday for a thing like this, but hold it on the nearest Sunday. Nobody has succeeded in commercialising Remembrance Day in November yet. Probably not for the want of trying.


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Subject: RE: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: Banjer
Date: 25 May 02 - 12:30 PM

Wow, LEJ....That is quite a story. Thanks for sharing it with us on this Memorial Day weekend.


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Subject: RE: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: Banjer
Date: 25 May 02 - 12:45 PM

McGrath, if you will follow the link in one of the earlier postings about the history of Memorial Day it will answer amny questions. The following is an excerpt from the site:

Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans – the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) – established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared it should be May 30. It is believed the date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country. The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.

The document in which General Logan made his declaration was General Order 11. As early as 1866 many Southern States had already set aside APril 25 as a day to honor their fallen. Confederate Memorial Day is now observed on April 26 here in the state of Florida. It used to be know as Decoration Day. As for November 11 having significance; obviously it doesn't any more or it would be observed on the 11th and not the nearest Monday, regardless of the date. I can't wait (and won't be a damn bit surprised) til some ingeneous bean counter figures out that we could probably celebrate July 4th on some other day!!! Like Big Mick, I ask: What's sense of having days set aside for certain ceremonies when any ass in the government can change them at will???

Let us not get off track in this thread. If we want to discuss the frailities of our government let's take it to another thread and leave tis on for Memorial Day to itself.


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Subject: RE: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: Chip2447
Date: 25 May 02 - 01:43 PM

Add my name to the list of those who wish to offer thanks to those who died so that others may live. To their survivors, another thank you for the sacrifice that was thrust upon you.

May another name never need added to a wall.

Lest we forget.... Chip2447


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Subject: RE: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 May 02 - 01:58 PM

The trouble with having a holiday for commemorations is that many/most people just take it as a day off work, and go for a day out or whatever, and that feeds into commercialisation. Remembrance Sunday doesn't feel like that here anyway.

Generally speaking I'm all in favour of holding celebrations on the traditional day - switching May Day holiday to the first Monday after real May Day on May 1st, as the have in some countries, such as England, is ridiculous.

Wanting a day when the flowers would be blooming to remember the dead strikes me as an excellent idea. So May 30th was an arbitrary choice, other than that?

Having a separate commemoration day for the two sides in the Civil War after all these years seems strange though. After all, it's the same date for the two sides in the Great War, and that in itself is an important symbolic statement.


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Subject: RE: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 25 May 02 - 03:04 PM

Here's to those who fell for their beliefs. I'm glad we get the day off as I don't think I could function at work.

Semper Fidelis
Steve


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Subject: RE: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 25 May 02 - 03:57 PM

This is for Remembrance Day, but it works just the same...

by Garnet Rogers

11:11

Ah the glorious few are all the fewer here
In the cold November Air
The crowd draws silent their collars raised
To the edges of the square
The children's choir sings "In Flander's Fields"
The band plays "Over There"
The old heroes still try to dress the line
As the chaplain leads the prayer

For the glorious few no longer stands so straight
As they did long years before
When they faced a hard and cruel fate
On a far and distant shore
Their tunics faded green and blue
Poor shelter from the cold
The memories made yet raw and new
At the calling of the roll

The heads are bowed in silence now
At the tolling of the hour
The first few falling flakes of snow
Drift gently on the flowers
All piled and stacked against the stones
Petals fluttering in the air
The eyes that stare down through the years
At the one no longer there

The taste of lost and wasted years
So bitter on the tongue
White breath in clouds in the autumn cold
Frail chests with medals hung
In battle ribbons red and gold
In the pale November sun
The hands and faces grown so old
While the heart stays ever young

For the glorious few are all the fewer here
The old soldiers form the square
The wind blows hard and shakes the leaves
And stirs the thin white hair
Of these fading brave and fragile souls
As the bugler plays "Last Post"
The snow falls thick and faster still
And turns them white as ghosts


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Subject: RE: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: Bill D
Date: 25 May 02 - 05:27 PM

there is this movie clip from D-day...the Normandy beach. I have seen it dozens of times, and I'll bet most of you know exactly the one I mean....they are splashing thru the surf and up onto the sand, when one soldier pitches and falls heavily to the sand.

This always comes to my mind when Memorial tributes are mentioned. I always wonder if that soldier survived, or died where he fell...and who he was. It's not that he was any more important than thousands of others, but I have watched HIS sacrifice so many times.

I hope he is at rest....and all the others also. They did what was required, and we reap the benefits in our continued freedom. Let "Taps" sound one more as we pause to remember.


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Subject: RE: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: catspaw49
Date: 25 May 02 - 06:12 PM

Sorry for the drift here, but Bill, those exact thoughts have always come to me too. I think I mentioned it somewhere here before as a matter of fact. It is the classic piece of D-Day footage and I have wondered the same thing for years. I suppose there are others besides us too, but I found it spooky when I read your post as I could have written it myself.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: DonD
Date: 25 May 02 - 06:36 PM

And the young people ask, " what are they marching for?" and I ask myself the same question.

I'll be marching Monday morning with our local Lions Club, and each year it seems to have less and less to do with the meaning of the day. The parade pauses at each of the monuments in the Town so that politicians can say a few appropriate remarks and the American Legion team can fire several volleys. For most of the paraders and the spectators that's just a regrettable delay in the proceedings, a chance to show the flag -- not just the US flag, but the Lions flag, the Fire Department flag, the local High School band's flag, etc. etc, and then we go off to a barbecue or to shop.

As i read the above posts, my eyes teared up. Not for the beauty of the verse as much as the reminders of the tragic waste of life in wars over decades and centuries. "When will they ever learn?".

If only enough people could consider the horrible loss and devote some energy ro figuring out a better way. For the fallen, as the Jewish tradition says, may their memory be for a blessing.

May peace prevail on earth.


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Subject: RE: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: GUEST,The Canadian Connection
Date: 26 May 02 - 09:49 AM

HISTORY OF THE POPPY

Why was the poppy chosen as the symbol of remembrance for Canada's war dead?

The poppy, an international symbol for those who died in war, also had international origins.

A writer first made the connection between the poppy and battlefield deaths during the Napoleonic wars of the early 19th century, remarking that fields that were barren before battle exploded with the blood-red flowers after the fighting ended.

Prior to the First World War few poppies grew in Flanders. During the tremendous bombardments of that war the chalk soils became rich in lime from rubble, allowing 'popaver rhoeas' to thrive. When the war ended the lime was quickly absorbed, and the poppy began to disappear again.

Lieut-Col. John McCrae, the Canadian doctor who wrote the poem IN FLANDERS FIELDS, made the same connection 100 years later, during the First World War, and the scarlet poppy quickly became the symbol for soldiers who died in battle.

Three years later an American, Moina Michael, was working in a New York City YMCA canteen when she started wearing a poppy in memory of the millions who died on the battlefield. During a 1920 visit to the United States a French woman, Madame Guerin, learned of the custom. On her return to France she decided to use handmade poppies to raise money for the destitute children in war-torn areas of the country. In November 1921, the first poppies were distributed in Canada.


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Subject: RE: Not BS: Memorial Day Observance
From: Genie
Date: 04 Jun 02 - 02:07 AM

Beautiful poem, Sharon!

Jeanene


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Subject: RE: Memorial Day Observance
From: Mrrzy
Date: 27 May 04 - 01:29 PM

Just to remind people - don't only remember the fallen soldiers. Many civilians have died in terrorism's war on us since the early 80's when our war on terrorism SHOULD have begun. Why O why did the gubmint wait till they came here?


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Subject: RE: Memorial Day Observance
From: Bettynh
Date: 29 May 10 - 01:18 PM

Memorial Day isn't so much about military dead in my family. The family was lucky, nobody died, even the friends came back. But my father's father was a professional gardener. It was unthinkable to leave the family graves without tiny gardens, and the tending of those gardens were and are the center of my Memorial Day.

When we travelled to Chile to see an eclipse, we were there for their Day of the Dead, Nov. 1. This was near the Nazca Desert, so no gardens, but families visited graves with plastic flowers, cigarette cartons, and liquor bottles to leave at the graves. The churches were decorated with flowers. It struck me that the timing was the same - late spring (iris were in bloom in household gardens). Do other countries have a similar tradition? If so I'd like to hear about them.


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Subject: RE: Memorial Day Observance
From: LadyJean
Date: 29 May 10 - 11:13 PM

There will be a Memorial Day service at Homewood Cemetery, here in Pittsburgh. There is, also a small sevice in my own community. There isn't space anwywhere here for a large gathering. The Borough was built about 100 years ago, to house workers in George Westinghouse's Union Switch and Signal. I think old George didn't want mass meetings in the town square.

I put a flag on my Dad's grave today. He served in WWII. My joke, since he was a civil war buff, is that I am honoring his service at First and Second Bull Run, Antietam, Gettysburg, and Appomatox. Now and again, someone believes me, and I get some odd looks.


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Subject: RE: Memorial Day Observance
From: LadyJean
Date: 29 May 10 - 11:22 PM

In my youth, Memorial Day generally involved somebody reading Lincoln's Gettysburgh Address, which kind of sums up what the civil war and the United States is all about. Wish that custom would be revived.


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Subject: RE: Memorial Day Observance
From: olddude
Date: 29 May 10 - 11:34 PM

The song I wrote last memorial day
Memorial Day


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Subject: RE: Memorial Day Observance
From: GUEST,Ref
Date: 30 May 10 - 08:31 PM

"I have a rendezvous with death, at some disputed barricade..."


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Subject: RE: Memorial Day Observance
From: GUEST,Mike B.
Date: 30 May 10 - 08:40 PM

This holiday was created specifically to pay tribute to fallen US soldiers - it's not about shout-outs to troops serving overseas right now or honoring living veterans of previous wars (there's a separate holiday in November for that).

For whatever reason, that fact seems to have been forgotten to some extent.


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Subject: RE: Memorial Day Observance
From: Leadfingers
Date: 30 May 10 - 08:58 PM

We (SiverSmith) were booked in Pat Troy's in Alexandria on the Saturday of Memorial Weekend ! I was struck by the number of Bikers who were in the area for the Bikers Run through DC on the Sunday - Mostly Ex service , and having a good time . GOOD Memories !


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Subject: RE: Memorial Day Observance
From: GUEST,Azoic
Date: 27 May 11 - 11:44 AM

In observance of MemoriaI Day in the US, I recommend "Happed In Mist"from "Angel Tiger","The Band Played Waltzing Matilda"from "Airs & Graces","Flowers Of The Field-No Man's Land"from "Ashes & Diamonds","Standing In Line","Soldiers Three","The Writing Of Tipperary","Will Ye Go To Flanders?",and "The Nurse Dorothy Nicol,The Long Trail,The Reaper's Blade"from "Always".All of these are sung by June Tabor.
"


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Subject: RE: Memorial Day Observance
From: GUEST
Date: 27 May 11 - 11:54 AM

The fly


She sat on a willow-trunk
watching
part of the battle of Crecy,
the shouts,
the gasps,
the groans,
the tramping and the tumbling.

During the fourteenth charge
of the French cavalry
she mated
with a brown-eyed male fly
from Vadincourt.

She rubbed her legs together
as she sat on a disembowelled horse
meditating
on the immortality of flies.

With relief she alighted
on the blue tongue
of the Duke of Clervaux.

When silence settled
and only the whisper of decay
softly circled the bodies

and only
a few arms and legs
still twitched jerkily under the trees,

she began to lay her eggs

on the single eye
of Johann Uhr,
the Royal Armourer.

And thus it was
that she was eaten by a swift
fleeing
from the fires of Estrees.


    Czech; trans. George Theiner


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Subject: RE: Memorial Day Observance
From: open mike
Date: 28 May 11 - 01:46 PM

http://www.npr.org/2011/05/28/136742729/decoration-day-the-southern-way-to-honor-the-dead

Here is Eric Bogle's tribute to 50,000 Australian soldiers from WW1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WG48Ftsr3OI


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