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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Memorial Day Weekend 2015

Amid the beginning-of-summer celebrations this Memorial Day, please pause for a few minutes to consider the meaning of this day:

In 1915, inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields,” Moina Michael replied with her own poem:
We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.


  1. Thanks, AOW....very nice post. I love In Flanders Field...it's haunting and appropriate, as is the add-on..."the blood of heroes never dies," which is what I dedicated my post to on Monday.
    God bless all who gave our lives for us and for this country. May She always be worth it.

    1. Z,
      "In Flanders Fields" is one of those poems that should leave the reader sitting quietly.

      I wonder if schools include the poem in the curriculum these days. The poem was required memory work when I was in school.

    2. What a lovely statement "should leave the reader sitting quietly" It certainly should....I'd add "...and lost in contemplation at the sacrifice."

      Oh, I doubt American kids have ever heard this anymore. And you know they don't memorize poetry anymore on the scale it was done in earlier, better school days. As you know, memorization wasn't 'just rote' as the "progressive" educators finally decided; it added to an understanding of the English language, the beauty of rhyme (or no rhyme), the cadence of language, all those things....plus it gave a mind something to focus on other than doing naked Selfies and posting them to your 12 yr old boyfriend's email!

  2. There are a few times a year that I set aside time alone; Memorial Day is one, the anniversaries of lost friends and comrades the rest. I pour a healthy 4-5 drams of a good SMS, and listen to The Green Fields of France. I'm partial to the Dropkick Murphy's rendition.

    In part:

    And I can't help but wonder oh Willy McBride
    Do all those who lie here know why they died
    Did you really believe them when they told you the cause
    Did you really believe that this war would end wars
    Well the suffering, the sorrow, the glory, the shame
    The killing and dying it was all done in vain
    Oh Willy McBride it all happened again
    And again, and again, and again, and again

    Did they beat the drums slowly
    Did they play the fife lowly
    Did they sound the death march as they lowered you down
    Did the band play the last post and chorus
    Did the pipes play the flowers of the forest

    It should be legal to punch anyone who says "happy Memorial Day" while on their way to a BBQ or a store sale.

    1. CI,
      It should be legal to punch anyone who says "happy Memorial Day" while on their way to a BBQ or a store sale.

      I agree!

      When I was growing up, Memorial Day was quite solemn. Before JFK was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, my family and I went to the cemetery to decorate the graves of two family members: one had served on the front lines of World War 1 and the other at Normandy on D-Day. Both came home: but the former was permanently disabled (gassed, shrapnel, and the latter never again slept a night through and died young (age 39, massive coronary).

      In my view, there is nothing more solemn that seeing those grave markers at Arlington National Cemetery -- row after row of markers, seemingly stretching into infinity.

    2. While I agree with In Flanders Fields being a part of every school curriculum....so should a field trip to Arlington National Cemetery....to include the less traveled, but unfortunately well populated, Section 60.

    3. CI,
      I haven't visited Section 60, and I doubt that many of my students have, either.

      But I do know what some of the homeschool families with whom I work have visited Arlington National Cemetery as part of their preparation to write the VFW essays that I assign every year: Voice of Democracy and Patriot's Pen.

      This school term, many of my homeschool students also were greeters for Honor Flights.

    4. I have never understood HAPPY Memorial Day.

    5. This school term, many of my homeschool students also were greeters for Honor Flights.

      As a homeschooling parent.....you know I like this idea. I'm going to have to look into this.

    6. I listened to a talk show Friday where a number of vets called in and said to have a happy Memorial Day is to remember those who sacrificed with gratefulness.

    7. CI,
      Sometimes, no greeters show up! So, departing passengers are "pressed into service." See this recent WaPo article: For one day in D.C., Honor Flight veterans see all they can see. You must read that article!

      My homeschoolers were very moved when they participating in greeting Honor Flights and are planning to greet more Honor Flights.

  3. On this Memorial Day, we should also remember the FOUR Americans who were sacrificed at Benghazi so that Obama could fake having defeated Al Qaeda
    And his accomplice Hillary Clinton....
    Don't ask that Lying Hillary a damned thing; arrest the bitch! The buck stops with her. There should be absolutely no talk of her, possibly, running for president; she should be behind bars, to never see the light of day again

  4. Loved this. "...Peace is the highest aspiration of the American people. We will negotiate for it. Sacrifice for it. We will not surrender for it, now or forever. We are Americans." Ronald Reagan. When men were men and presidents were patriots.

  5. Only goes to show us why we can not trust liberals or Progressives.

  6. This was on the Bennett show yesterday:
    After the War

    1. That's a powerful song, Ed. The kind that has a lot of meaning for a lot of different people. Thank you for sharing it. I mean that sincerely. I don't remember my fallen friends as often as I should....because life seems to get in the way.

      I hate Memorial Day.

    2. I was cutting the grass, keepin Memorial Day in mind, and remembered a guy I had trained with. I don't remember his name, Vaguely his face.
      He was gunned down in Turkey on a street I had walked the year before.

  7. Alan Seeger's "Rendezvous With Death" is another poem I was taught in high school, and it always makes me realize what soldiers face on the battlefield. Alan Seeger was an American volunteer in France during World War I. He was killed in action in 1916.

    I HAVE a rendezvous with Death
    At some disputed barricade,
    When Spring comes back with rustling shade
    And apple-blossoms fill the air—
    I have a rendezvous with Death 5
    When Spring brings back blue days and fair.

    It may be he shall take my hand
    And lead me into his dark land
    And close my eyes and quench my breath—
    It may be I shall pass him still. 10
    I have a rendezvous with Death
    On some scarred slope of battered hill,
    When Spring comes round again this year
    And the first meadow-flowers appear.

    God knows 'twere better to be deep 15
    Pillowed in silk and scented down,
    Where love throbs out in blissful sleep,
    Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,
    Where hushed awakenings are dear...
    But I've a rendezvous with Death 20
    At midnight in some flaming town,
    When Spring trips north again this year,
    And I to my pledged word am true,
    I shall not fail that rendezvous.

    1. Stogie,
      When my homeschoolers read that poem aloud in class -- as the class does when we study American Literature -- every single one of the students always reacts emotionally. "Rendezvous with Death" is such a powerful poem!

    2. AOW, I was so taken with Alan Seeger that I found his diaries online and read them all. He graduated from Harvard in 1910, a good looking young man who served in the French Foreign Legion. There's a plaque in the town where he died that reads "Mort Pour La France." He had a beautiful mind, wrote stunning poetry as well as prose.

    3. Stogie,
      I don't know as much about Alan Seeger as you do. I did, however, read the entry at Wikipedia. That entry jogged my memory about the significance of the poem in JFK's life.

      I also found these details of interest:

      Among his friends [at Harvard] (and afterward) was the American Communist John Reed, though the two had differing ideological views, and his Harvard class also included T.S. Eliot and Walter Lippmann, among others. After graduating in 1910, he moved to Greenwich Village for two years, where he wrote poetry and enjoyed the life of a young bohemian. During his time in Greenwich Village, he attended soirées at the Mlles. Petitpas' boardinghouse (319 West 29th Street), where the presiding genius was the artist and sage John Butler Yeats, father of the poet William Butler Yeats.

  8. Memorial Day was an interesting balance in our house. My mother had strong sentiments about keeping memorials for these sorts of things - Armistice Day, Pearl Harbor Day, Mem.... Uh-oh. I was BORN on Memorial Day, and she always had a birthday party to run. And I wanted to Celebrate! But I also was taught to keep my celebration personal in deference to others.

    Towns held actual memorials of various sorts in those days, and we knew people who attended, so we were kept aware of that other purpose of the day. But I never acquired a solemn reflection for it. Now, I absolutely cannot imagine saying "happy" MD to anyone. In fact, I can imagine what I'd say if someone said that to me. Ed touched it perfectly: gratitude.

  9. AOW, Excellent. I miss being in the company of excellence though I sometimes am, it just isn't enough.

    1. Indeed. And it was a very close run thing. The Turkish troops were pushed to the extremis of death to get there first to hold the high ground and just barely did.

    2. Ducky. The Pogues... Good stuff and great choice.

  10. Just an observation that the libtards (you know who you are) haven't commented.
    They cannot relate?
    They cower in the presence of Truth?
    Accomplishment and Sacrifice make them sick to their stomachs?
    Choice D.

    1. Kid... your insinuations are disgusting. At a time set aside to honor our war dead, you choose to make a blatant political slap.

      And in so doing, you dishonor the service of millions of liberals who have served and died for our country, just because they may disagree with you?

      I hope it made you feel like a patriot.

    2. Kid is a huge patriot, sick like most of us are at the way our country's changed due to liberalism.
      And, you know? He's right...you might actually notice that no liberals had chimed in here on this post today. He was speaking directly to the libs here. He astutely said "You know who you are"...
      I know libs who do not understand sacrifice for our country and our kids are now so indoctrinated by liberals that we are all disgusted;
      Gee, we're sure building strong men when Boy Scouts can't even play with water guns. Think THAT's a conservative idea?

      PATRIOT means a lot more than fighting in a war, by the way.

    3. Not that Kid needs ME to stick up for him, by the way

    4. Kid,
      I have noticed the absence of comments from those on the Left. In fact, the absence of such comments to blog posts such as this one is something that I've noticed ever since I started blogging.

    5. Z,
      Thanks for taking up the gauntlet here! I was busy last night and unable to participate in blogging for a while.

    6. Dave,
      Ahem. Kid is a friend of this blog. His comments are always welcome here.

      Furthermore, it is not your "job" to scold him.

      I find nothing disgusting about what Kid said.

    7. Dave Miller.

      What I said has Not a Single Thing to do with politics. I wish we were still in an environment where democrats honored the rule of politics and we still had a checks and balances system with each side making headway when they were HONESTLY voted into office.

      Those days are Long Gone.

      The democrat party has embraced Communism and islam and as a result have literally declared war on America. They can all go to hell. And anyone who associates with democrats and supports them can go too.

      If you don't realize who and what your party is, you better take some harder looks. I hope you come to your senses because the next democrat majority is going to do the country in if it hasn't already.

      I could add an entire thesis on it but this cuts to the core enough that I assume you'll understand my view on it.

    8. AOW, IMAGINE! The democrats have embraced the two largest threats to the American culture and way of life in the known universe - communism and islam, and these libtard morons are 'good widdit'

      It would be hilarious if it could be defined as humor.

    9. Kid,
      It doesn't even qualify as dark humor.

      I can think of what it does qualify as, but my comment is not printable according to this blog's parameters for commenting.

  11. Yes, Z. Men without chests don't fully understand or celebrate the virtues and sacrifices of those who have them.

  12. Rolling Thunder today! Mr. AOW and I hope to see them as they roar through near our house, which is close to a major artery leading into D.C. In fact, Mr. AOW is going to a nearby overpass to wave at them -- and to wave a flag that attaches to his scooter.

  13. AOW... I'm not saying, ahem, that Kid is not a friend of this blog at all. And Z, I'm not arguing that no libs commented. But to make the leap that a lack of response somehow defines one's patriotism, honor towards sacrifice or respect for the military is ridiculous.

    And at the end of the day, his comment is still political and meant to be devisive at a time when America should come together to honor our dead. As each sees fit.

    Some may choose to do so in public forums, others may choose to do so in private ways. And yes, some may choose not to do anything. To each his own, unless someone insults me for not doing it the "correct" way.

    1. Do you understand that blogs and the comments are often MUCH more pointed and hyperbolic than normal writing or conversations?
      EVERY commenter does this, left and right.
      Kid made a point. We don't have pages to explain, massage, articulate as well as we can in a 'larger box'..
      Please don't tell anybody what Kid's comment is "meant to be".
      Sorry you felt so defensive.....and I don't mean that to insult; I mean it sincerely.
      I hope your Memorial Day is spent in remembrance, appreciation and some prayer, as our soldiers deserve.

    2. Dave Miller, If you mean come together with libtards, you can forget it. As I said, it is clear the libtards are at war with America which I define as its Constitution and all of its values that have created the greatest nation and greatest standard of living for anyone in the world ever.

      No Conservative will ever see the liberal point of view because it worships failure. Liberal programs have never resulted in a positive ROI and have resulted in majorly negative ROI. Every life sucking problem today in America came from a democrat administration.

      I'm not talking about partriotism, honor towards sacrifice, or respect for the military, I'm saying posts like this make them turn their heads sideways and make weird noises like a beagle seeing a squirrel for the first time. They cannot relate. They have nothing to say. Duck helped make my point by commenting "this is a serious comment". lol

  14. Z, I would totally agree with you on patriot. However I learned over the years that there are significant numbers of both current and former members of the military that do not believe that. To them, the only true patriots are those who take up arms for the cause of freedom.

    1. Give us a break Dave, we've read your gibberish....now just go away now. Mexico Calls!

  15. What AOW and Z don't seem to understand (kid is pathological) is that anything posted rgardless of content would be contentious to several regulars here and it should be avoided out of respect for the topic.

    1. I'm hoping that your comments might, in the future, show some respect for the topic and the fact that those not agreeing with you still deserve respect.

  16. And I would bet just sbout anything that neither Dave Miller, or the other 2 loud mouthed Liberal's have NEVER spent ONE day in the Military.

  17. What's wrong with you people?
    Don't you understand?

    These so-called Liberals are embarrassed by such overt displays of patriotism. Someone might confuse "anti-war" agitprop with acceptance of American exceptionalism. Its hard to honor a fallen veteran without giving the outward appearance of tacit approval of an "Imperalist" nation.

  18. Warren said "Its hard to honor a fallen veteran without giving the outward appearance of tacit approval of an "Imperalist" nation."

    He just said everything most of us Conservatives were trying to say above....or I was, anyway; only far more succinctly and easy to grasp.
    This nails it. Thanks, Warren.

  19. Dave must be talking about such liberal patriots as Howard Zinn and Timothy McVeigh.

  20. From today's lead story in the print edition of the WaPo...

    Americans gave their lives to defeat the Nazis. The Dutch have never forgotten.

    MARGRATEN, Netherlands — They haven’t forgotten. For 70 years, the Dutch have come to a verdant U.S. cemetery outside this small village to care for the graves of Americans killed in World War II.

    On Sunday, they came again, bearing Memorial Day bouquets for men and women they never knew, but whose 8,300 headstones the people of the Netherlands have adopted as their own.

    For the American relatives of the fallen, it was an outpouring of gratitude almost as stunning as the rows of white marble crosses and Jewish Stars of David at the Netherlands American Cemetery. Each grave has been adopted by a Dutch or, in some cases, Belgian or German family, as well as local schools, companies and military organizations. More than 100 people are on a waiting list to become caretakers. ...

    1. This is an amazing story. Thanks for sharing it.

  21. Dave's Memorial Day is spent by praying for the Mexicans who were killed In 1847 at the Mexican- American War.

  22. On this Memorial Day, most to us Americans spend the day by giving thanks to those who have shown their devotion to this Great Country by giving service and paying the ultimate sacrifice.... some gave service and some GAVE ALL, and I would like to thank them ALL.
    Although it is natural for us Americans to want to spend the holidays by running to the nearest Mall and taking advantage of the Big Sales. However, Memorial Day is not just another holiday where us workers get a three-day weekend or a day when all the stores run sales and we who want to go shopping, spend the day doing just that! But this Holiday is more that just that, it is a day set aside to honor the ultimate sacrifice of those who have fought to defend our nation and leave their loved ones to go across the seas to take the necessary military action in foreign lands to defend our rights and the rights and lives of our fellow man. . We of course also honor those who suffered wounds and returned home, in ways that left them with wounds that can never be recovered. That’s why we need to remind ourselves that Memorial Day is more, (much more) that a day to search for bargains or to eat another Hot Dog fresh off the grill. Sure that’s great also, and I know that it’s great to spend the day at the beach or at a party guzzling down another Beer. But we MUST remember that on Memorial Day, especially on this Memorial Day we MUST devote some time to , at least go to you local Memorial Day parade and honor, those Men and Women, American Servicemen and Service women, and our sons and daughters who gave their lives when our nation called on them to do what was necessary to do.
    As I said, especially today when we wake up almost every morning to worry about the emergence of other world powers who are looking to destroy us and our friends and Allies, who are being threatened and KILLED by this new brand of “Frankenstein Monsters” such as ISIS, Hezbollah, and al Qaeda who threaten, and murder Christians and Jews, only because that are Christians and Jews! Who are next? We’re in a very dangerous situation and we have a President who most of us agree that we can not rely or depend of protecting us. Or is to sympathetic with the Muslims to do what is needed to do. Be it for personal or for religious reasons, and I personally don’t give a dam what his reasons are but when it comes to Islam, he has said that “The sweetest sound I know is the Muslim call to prayer” Is he still calling these monsters the "Religion of Peace"? Right now the Muslim world is a Cancer , that must be destroyed!
    But Obama has said “We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over the centuries to shape the world including in my own country.”

    Let’s see, talking about Memorial Day, back in the day when Men were Men and not Girly Men...like after Pearl Harbor was bombed, or more recently when the World Trade Towers was bombed on September the 11th, George Bush didn’t have to unite the country, Men and Women rushed to enlist in the Armed Forces to fight and Kill the Bastards that dared to attack this country. For many of these young Americans, that lined up to enlist it was a more of a matter of patriotism, then a matter of national survival! The entire country was reunited again, it wasn’t a case of Republican or Democrat, white or Black, or Asian, it was ALL Americans, including yours truly..
    And that’s why we MUST give our thanks to these Men and Women for their service to our country.
    Meanwhile, to get back to today’s problems we must strengthen our defenses. as well as our military power to strike when needed. Recently we have learned to well what happens when our President retreats from the responsibility to look the other away, and deter our responsibilities. You can NOT just ignore Monsters like ISIS and hope that they’ll go away

    Thank you to all those who have died so that WE could remain free.


  23. The Charge of the Light Brigade


    Half a league, half a league,
    ___ Half a league onward,
    All in the valley of Death
    ___ Rode the six hundred.
    "Forward, the Light Brigade!
    Charge for the guns!" he said:
    Into the valley of Death
    ___ Rode the six hundred.


    "Forward, the Light Brigade!"
    Was there a man dismay'd?
    Not tho' the soldier knew
    ___ Someone had blunder'd:
    Theirs not to make reply,
    Theirs not to reason why,
    Theirs but to do and die:
    Into the valley of Death
    ___ Rode the six hundred.


    Cannon to right of them,
    Cannon to left of them,
    Cannon in front of them
    ___ Volley'd and thunder'd;
    Storm'd at with shot and shell,
    Boldly they rode and well,
    Into the jaws of Death,
    Into the mouth of Hell
    ___ Rode the six hundred.


    Flash'd all their sabres bare,
    Flash'd as they turn'd in air,
    Sabring the gunners there,
    Charging an army, while
    ___ All the world wonder'd:
    Plunged in the battery-smoke
    Right thro' the line they broke;
    Cossack and Russian
    Reel'd from the sabre stroke
    ___ Shatter'd and sunder'd.
    Then they rode back, but not
    ___ Not the six hundred.


    Cannon to right of them,
    Cannon to left of them,
    Cannon behind them
    ___ Volley'd and thunder'd;
    Storm'd at with shot and shell,
    While horse and hero fell,
    They that had fought so well
    Came thro' the jaws of Death
    Back from the mouth of Hell,
    All that was left of them,
    ___ Left of six hundred.


    When can their glory fade?
    O the wild charge they made!
    ___ All the world wondered.
    Honor the charge they made,
    Honor the Light Brigade
    ,___ Noble six hundred.

    ~ Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

  24. ________ DULCE ET DECORUM EST ________

    Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
    Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
    Till on the haunting flares we turned out backs,
    And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
    Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
    But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame, all blind;
    Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
    Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.
    Gas! GAS! Quick, boys! –– An ecstasy of fumbling
    Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
    But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
    And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime. ––
    Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
    As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
    In all my dreams before my helpless sight
    He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
    If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
    Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
    And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
    His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin,
    If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
    Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs
    Bitter as the cud
    Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,––
    My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
    To children ardent for some desperate glory,
    The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
    Pro patria mori.

    ~ Wilfred Owen (1893-1918)

  25. From Stogie's Memorial Day blog post:

    Red poppies are flowers whose seeds can remain dormant for years, and are activated into germination when the earth is broken or turned. When the soldiers in Belgium began burying their dead, there was a lot of freshly turned earth. In a few days the fresh graves were ablaze with the red poppies, as if God Himself had decorated the graves.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I like to think that's exactly what happened! the fields of red poppies through Europe are incredible.

  26. AOW! I couldn't resist coming here and telling you the Yahoo Homepage has a headline that says SUSPICIOUS DEVICE IN D.C. I know it's meant for that pressure cooker that was deactivated by the cops, but ...the when I first saw the headline, I swear I thought immediately of Obama....Man, we could have told them that for the last 6 1/2 years, huh? :0)

    1. Z,
      Yes, I saw that story. Not sure what was going on there: the owner of the vehicle has been charged with driving without a license. I don't know more than that.

      I'm sure that you've heard about this by now: After ‘Chemical Weapons Threat,’ Fighter Jets Accompany NY Bound Air France Plane to JFK, 5 Other JFK Planes Under Security Check

      All of this during Memorial Day Weekend. Hmmmm.....

      Oh, and also see this....CAIR: Muslim Organization Questions if US Troops Should be Honored on Memorial Day.

    2. AOW, I actually talked a month or two ago at GeeeZ about what could happen to our air travel if islamists, or any other crazies, just picked up their phones and called in threats.
      How about ten a day at each major airport? That'd be IT. Complete chaos, havoc.
      And then the cost of completely checking every plane every single flight before they leave?
      And we all know that personnel can't always be trusted.
      This is BAD. And ya, I thought of it being Memorial Day Wknd...this scum hates what we hold dear, don't they. And they'll try so hard to hurt us.
      And our hands are tied...completely tied. Can't be un-PC, can't do collateral damage, can't let the media think we're war mongers because the Left will screech. Can't even call it for what it IS;
      The fun really never stops, AOW.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. Actually, terrorists don't want you to know a bomb is on the plane.

      I'm curious what you would consider collateral damage?
      Cripple the ISIS commercial airliners?

    5. Z,
      I actually talked a month or two ago at GeeeZ about what could happen to our air travel if islamists, or any other crazies, just picked up their phones and called in threats.
      How about ten a day at each major airport? That'd be IT. Complete chaos, havoc.

      I've been thinking about all those phone calls yesterday. Certainly, they could have been a hoax -- or some nutjob who was enjoying watching the scrambling at JFK.

      The calls could also have been some sort of signal to activate terrorist cells here in the United States and throughout the West.

  27. AOW! I couldn't resist coming here and telling you the Yahoo Homepage has a headline that says SUSPICIOUS DEVICE IN D.C. I know it's meant for that pressure cooker that was deactivated by the cops, but ...the when I first saw the headline, I swear I thought immediately of Obama....Man, we could have told them that for the last 6 1/2 years, huh? :0)

  28. I love that video story... a true from the heart tribute to our fallen. I miss him dearly.


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