Skip to comments.The FReeper Foxhole - Remembers our Honored Dead - TODAY is Memorial Day - May 30th, 2007
Posted on 05/29/2007 7:53:44 PM PDT by snippy_about_it
are acknowledged, affirmed and commemorated.
| Our Mission:
The FReeper Foxhole is dedicated to Veterans of our Nation's military forces and to others who are affected in their relationships with Veterans.
In the FReeper Foxhole, Veterans or their family members should feel free to address their specific circumstances or whatever issues concern them in an atmosphere of peace, understanding, brotherhood and support.
The FReeper Foxhole hopes to share with it's readers an open forum where we can learn about and discuss military history, military news and other topics of concern or interest to our readers be they Veteran's, Current Duty or anyone interested in what we have to offer.
If the Foxhole makes someone appreciate, even a little, what others have sacrificed for us, then it has accomplished one of it's missions.
We hope the Foxhole in some small way helps us to remember and honor those who came before us.
By John McCrae
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.
We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
This was the poem written by World War I Colonel John McCrae, a surgeon with Canada 's First Brigade Artillery. It expressed McCrae's grief over the "row on row" of graves of soldiers who had died on Flanders' battlefields, located in a region of western Belgium and northern France. The poem presented a striking image of the bright red flowers blooming among the rows of white crosses and became a rallying cry to all who fought in the First World War. The first printed version of it reportedly was in December 1915, in the British magazine Punch.
McCrae's poem had a huge impact on two women, Anna E. Guerin of France and Georgia native Moina Michael. Both worked hard to initiate the sale of artificial poppies to help orphans and others left destitute by the war. By the time Guerin established the first sale in the U.S., in 1920 with the help of The American Legion, the poppy was well known in the allied countries America, Britain, France, Canada, Australia and New Zealand as the "Flower of Remembrance." Proceeds from that first sale went to the American and French Children's League.
Guerin had difficulty with the distribution of the poppies in early 1922 and sought out Michael for help. Michael had started a smaller-scaled Poppy Day during a YMCA conference she was attending in New York and wanted to use the poppies as a symbol of remembrance of the war. Guerin, called the "Poppy Lady of France" in her homeland, and Michael, later dubbed "The Poppy Princess" by the Georgia legislature, went to the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) for help. Following its first nationwide distribution of poppies in 1922, the VFW adopted the poppy as its official memorial flower.
However, a shortage of poppies from French manufacturers led to the idea of using unemployed and disabled veterans to produce the artificial flowers. In 1924, a poppy factory was built in Pittsburgh, Pa., providing a reliable source of poppies and a practical means of assistance to veterans. Today, veterans at Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities and veterans homes help assemble the poppies, which are distributed by veterans service organizations throughout the country.
Donations received in return for these artificial poppies have helped countless veterans and their widows, widowers and orphans over the years. The poppy itself continues to serve as a perpetual tribute to those who have given their lives for the nation's freedom.
|"Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed greatly to the general public's nonchalant observance of Memorial Day."
Memorial Day used to be a solemn day of mourning, a sacred day of remembrance to honor those who paid the ultimate price for our freedoms. Businesses closed for the day. Towns held parades honoring the fallen, the parade routes often times ending at a local cemetery, where Memorial Day speeches were given and prayers offered up. People took the time that day to clean and decorate with flowers and flags the graves of those the fell in service to their country.
Unfortunately, when Congress made Memorial day into a mandatory three-day weekend in with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 - 363), it made it all the easier for us to be distracted from the spirit and meaning of the day.
The yankees were late getting on board. The first memorial day was celebrated in Georgia in 1866. I'll dig around a bit.
Oops, I was wrong. Make that 1865:
Confederate Memorial Day State Historical Marker
Located on Railroad St. in Kingston, Ga.
CONFEDERATE MEMORIAL DAY
First Decoration, or Memorial Day, was observed in Kingston in late April of 1865, and has been a continuous observance here since that day, the only such record held by any community in this Nation. The first Memorial, or Decoration Day, was observed while Federals still occupied this town, flowers being placed on both Confederate and Federal graves that day. Much credit is due the Dardens and other patriotic citizens of this town for their untiring efforts to keep alive memories of the gallant Confederates — greatest fighting men of all time.
008-39 GEORGIA HISTORICAL COMMISSION 1956
These are the one I was thinking of:
The day of observance may trace to the women of Columbus, Georgia, who on April 12, 1866 organized a memorial association and began a campaign to have a special day for “paying honor to those who died defending the life, honor and happiness of the Southern women.” Three days later, the Atlanta Ladies’ Memorial Association was organized, and on April 26, 1866, the association held a Confederate memorial observance at Oakland Cemetery.
“Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed greatly to the general public’s nonchalant observance of Memorial Day.” — VFW 2002 Memorial Day address
Chance encounter binds Vietnam veterans (Memorial Day Must Read!)
KTAR News Radio ^ | May 27, 2007
Posted on 05/28/2007 2:43:23 AM CDT by 2ndDivisionVet
RAINELLE, W.Va. - Cole Kayser signs his name on a white shirt for fifth-grader Christian Martin, then rises from the grass outside Rainelle Elementary School, a tall and imposing figure.
He is every inch the retired Marine, from silvery brush-cut hair and camouflage cap to black leather motorcycle boots and the ``USMC’’ tattoo on the edge of his right hand, on display when he salutes.
But ask him how it feels to be here, in a sleepy southern West Virginia town where children chase one-time warriors like Hollywood paparazzi, and a tear slides down his cheek.
``I’ve been holding back for 40 years, keeping all that emotion inside,’’ said Kayser, a Vietnam veteran from La Habra, Calif. ``I found a family.’’
For one weekend a year, this town of 1,500 opens it park, back yards, fire hall and school auditorium to hundreds of military veterans from across the country.
Motorcycles roar into town for the West Virginia Veterans Reunion, and people spend days discussing what few others will _ the plight of tens of thousands of Americans who remain prisoners of war or missing in action.
``As the years go by, sometimes we forget. And we shouldn’t,’’ said Joann Crowe, who traveled from Meadow Bridge to greet the Rolling Thunder biker brigade. ``It seems like a long time ago, but if it was your family, it wouldn’t be. It would be like yesterday.’’
Folks here care deeply about the fates of POWs, from those who vanished in World War II and Korea to the 22 West Virginians missing in Vietnam and more recent cases.
Lt. Cmdr. Michael Scott Speicher, a Navy pilot from Orange Park, Fla., went missing during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. Army Sgt. Matt Maupin of Batavia, Ohio, vanished in 2004 after an attack on his convoy in Iraq.
``Unless it’s somebody you love or know, most people don’t care about POWs being left behind,’’ said veteran Danny ``Greasy’’ Belcher, executive director of Task Force Omega of Kentucky.
``It’s like the dog out back. If it’s far enough away from the house, you don’t hear it and you don’t know it’s hungry,’’ he said. ``It’s something this nation doesn’t want to address or do anything about.’’
When the bikers arrived Thursday afternoon, there were hugs and laughter. When they handed over the $22,000 they had raised for the school, there was applause and gratitude.
But the crowd fell silent, choking back tears as four men hoisted a bamboo cage. Inside sat a skinny, white-bearded man with filthy clothes and vacant eyes, a mock POW.
``What would you do? No help. No hope. Nobody looking for you,’’ asked Belcher. ``This is just an image, but there’s men who have lived through this and much worse. We do everything we can to bring them home.’’
A bagpiper played ``Amazing Grace,’’ and a flock of white doves fluttered up to the sky.
``This is the way we want the POWs to be - free as a bird,’’ said reunion chairwoman Monica Venable.
Rainelle, 14 miles from the nearest interstate highway, wasn’t always a stop on the Run for the Wall, the annual cross-country motorcycle pilgrimage to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
But 19 years ago, Belcher and about 200 other bikers grew irritated when toll takers on the West Virginia Turnpike refused to let them pay in advance for the group.
No one wanted to waste time or tie up traffic, so they looked at a map, spotted U.S. Route 60 and decided it would be a nice ride.
As they passed homes and towns, word spread to Rainelle. The police chief heard about the bikers by radio and called the principal, who brought the children outside to greet the veterans.
``We came into Rainelle, and there’s flags everywhere and people waving and hollering. We looked around and thought, ‘We’re in the middle of a parade!’’’ Belcher recalls. ``I kept looking back and thinking I was going to see the high school band coming around the corner.’’
Then he realized they were the parade.
``It’s a good thing we had dark goggles on ‘cause I know we was all teary-eyed.’’
The first few years, the bikers passed through. Then some decided to stay, believing the D.C. rally had grown too big and lost its focus.
Plus, ``Big towns have no heart,’’ Belcher says. Rainelle had heart to spare, plus safe streets, reasonable prices and genuine patriotism.
``You got Jane Fonda, you got Cindy Sheehan, you got George Clooney,’’ says Pato Pato, a hulking biker from Honolulu who ticks off the names of well-known peace activists during his ninth stop in Rainelle.
``These people couldn’t care less about any of them,’’ he says. ``We’re their heroes.’’
Steve ``Sergeant Rock’’ Walker, of Wickenburg, Ariz., rode into Rainelle 12 years ago, his heart hard, ``like a rough old stone.’’
He had killed a 10-year-old boy in a fire fight in Vietnam. The boy was armed, the shooting justified, but it didn’t ease his pain. Unable to discipline his own young daughter, he distanced himself from her and others.
In Rainelle, children knew nothing about him. They greeted him with smiles and notepads.
``They really wanted your autograph and they really wanted to get to know you. They want to know your name,’’ says Walker. ``It just blew me away because all the things that I felt I had lost, I was slowly starting to gain them back.’’
He has since reconciled with his daughter. When he held his newborn grandson this year, ``I could just sort of feel all the bad things bleed out of me.’’
``I get a second chance,’’ he says, ``and not a lot of people get those.’’
The veterans’ reunion stretches over five days, with lectures, a parade, a battle of the bands and a replica of the Vietnam memorial on display Monday.
Someday, 32-year-old Lynn Guilliams will see the real thing. For now, she pays tribute in Rainelle to her grandfather, World War II veteran Basil Martin, and her grandmother’s younger brother, John Henry Dixon, who is MIA.
``When I win the lottery,’’ she says, ``I’m going to buy a Harley and I’m going to the wall.’’
This Memorial Day was bittersweet for me. We have many fallen heroes from the war we are fighting today to honor in addition to those from past wars.
On the other hand, the MSM just seemed a little over anxious to publicize our honored dead to press their political agenda that this war is "lost." How ironic that this holiday was born in the aftermath of the Civil War, when a population a mere fraction of today's suffered truly horrific casualties. Facts our present day history-deprived generation is unaware of.
God Bless those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for this great nation.
Heres a good book Im reading now.
Ship of Ghosts
The story of the USS Houston CA-30
A few excerpts:
This captivating saga chronicles the ordeal of the lost cruiser USS Houston and the fate of its 1,168 men a grim tale that was then a mystery and largely untold in historical accounts of WWII naval warfare in the Pacific.
Hornfischer provides an intimate history of FDR’s favorite pre-war ship, its crew and the desperate sea battle in 1942 off the coast of Java that sunk the Houston, the U.S. fleet’s flagship in Asia.
The bulk of Ship of Ghosts follows what happened to the third of Houston’s crew that survived the sea battle only to face shark-infested waters, hostile nearby islanders, and for those lucky or unlucky enough to get that far years of hardship and struggle to stay alive as prisoners of war. This is the part of the story that David Lean told in his classic film The Bridge on the River Kwai about horror-filled POW camps in the impassable jungles of Burma and Thailand, where merciless Japanese guards forced Houston survivors suffering from starvation and deadly tropical diseases to build bridges and railroads by hand.
Authors sight (nice Memorial on it)
Its deserving of a movie Or a Foxhole thread. The battles it was in is something else
From a quick Google(BAH) search I believe that this sculpture was done at the request of the American WW_II Orphans Network.
Hi alfa, sorry I forgot to ping you. How goes it?
Nice graphic. I gotta run, dentist appt. coming up.
May 30, 2007
How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? Psalm 13:1
My friends Bob and Delores understand what it means to wait for answersanswers that never seem to come. When their son Jason and future daughter-in-law Lindsay were murdered in August 2004, a national manhunt was undertaken to find the killer and bring him to justice. After 2 years of prayer and pursuit, there were still no tangible answers to the painful questions the two hurting families wrestled with. There was only silence.
In such times, we are vulnerable to wrong assumptions and conclusions about life, about God, and about prayer. In Psalm 13, David wrestled with the problem of unanswered prayer. He questioned why the world was so dangerous and pleaded for answers from God.
Its a hard psalm that David sang, and it seems to be one of frustration. Yet, in the end, his doubts and fears turned to trust. Why? Because the circumstances of our struggles cannot diminish the character of God and His care for His children. In verse 5, David turned a corner. From his heart he prayed, But I have trusted in Your mercy; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
In the pain and struggle of living without answers, we can always find comfort in our heavenly Father.
Good to see you, hope all is well with you two.
Mrs alfa6 and I just got back from our annual road trip. We went to Gettysburg, Harper’s Ferry, Antietam and Washington DC. We spent three days in DC where we did some of the usual tourist things and Friday night made it to the DC Chapter Freep at Walter Reed.
All in all we had a good trip
Good luck at the dentist
Wow! My grandfather fought in World War I, down in the trenches. My mother was a member of VFW and I remember as a girl helping her sell poppies to raise money for the VFW.
oh hey! look, a new thread! Mornin’ Feather!We spent Memorial Day weekend at my mother’s and it rained, so we couldn’t cook out like we had planned, but we did have a great visit. BittyGirl wore her special red-white-blue outfit for the occasion. Monday night we had dinner at a friend’s house
Dang electricity keeps going out. I am surprised this post is still in tact.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.