” Kevin captured a pic of the completed centerpiece for the Revere Beach National Sand Sculpting Festival. What do you think?
This year’s event benefits the Wounded Warrior Project and the theme is “Stars and Stripes.” “
” Despite suffering injuries himself, Senior Investigator John Vescio was able to crawl out from under a knocked over gas pump and rescue the driver who crashed into the pump.
Below is a press release from state police describing the incident:
” On June 3, 2014 at approximately 11:00 AM, Senior Investigator John A. Vescio of Troop NYC was fueling his State Police vehicle on the southbound side of the Mobil station on the Hutchinson River Parkway in White Plains, NY.
As he was outside his vehicle he heard a car entering the service area at a high rate of speed. Sr. Inv. Vescio turned just as a Toyota Camry slammed into an Acura on the opposite side of the pump, and then into the pump itself. The pump housing fell on top of the Senior Investigator, who was able to crawl out from under the pump just as the front of the Toyota and the pump caught fire.
Injured himself, he immediately went over to the 69-year-old operator of the Toyota, who was incoherent, and pulled him out of the vehicle to safety. Indications were that the man was having a possible diabetic emergency prior to the collision.
Sr. Inv. Vescio directed others away from the fire and asked a bystander to help in moving the man further away from the scene.
Knowing that he had ammunition in the trunk, Senior Investigator Vescio directed people to get back and asked a bystander to assist in moving the man further away from the scene. Popping noises were heard in the area of the vehicles, but Troop NYC Captain Dominick L. Chiumento advised that the Senior Investigator’s issued weapon and all ammunition was accounted for with none being compromised. The State Police vehicle and equipment in the trunk was heavily damaged in the fire.
Witnesses described the professionalism and focus of Senior Investigator Vescio during the incident. Captain Dominick L. Chiumento, who was at the scene, said, “Despite Senior Investigator Vescio’s own injuries, he remained focused and committed to saving the life of the operator of that Toyota. If not for his swift response, the situation could have turned much worse.”
From Bob Owens:
” Various law enforcement agencies and military units have memorials to those that have fallen in service to their country.
If we ever build such a memorial to concealed carriers who put their lives at risk to save others, the name of Joseph Robert Wilcox, 31, of Las Vegas deserves to be on that wall.
Wilcox was killed yesterday attempting to take down the deranged couple that had just murdered Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Officers Alyn Beck and Igor Soldo at a nearby Cici’s Pizza location. Wilcox apparently spotted the husband as he rushed into Walmart, and tried to take him down:
The Journal Review picks up the story
” Assistant Sheriff Kevin McMahill said it all began when Jerad Miller walked into the pizza parlor and quickly left, returning moments later with Amanda in tow.
“ They walked passed our officers, who were eating lunch in one of the booths, and immediately upon passing them, Jerad Miller pulled a handgun out and shot officer Soldo one time in the back of his head,” McMahill said.
Officer Beck tried to engage the couple, but was shot in the throat before he could pull a trigger, McMahill said. The Millers then shot him several times more.
The suspects pulled the officers from the booth and covered Beck with a Gadsen Flag, a yellow banner with a coiled snake above the words, “Don’t Tread on Me,” and threw a swastika on him. One of them then pinned a note to Soldo’s body that “basically stated that this is the beginning of a revolution,” McMahill said.
The exact contents of the note have not been made public by Metro.
Once the two entered the Wal-Mart, Jerad fired a single shot and repeated his call for revolution.
Wilcox, 31, was near the cash registers when he saw events unfolding. He was armed with gun of his own, and told a friend he was going to do something.
As he moved to confront Jerad Miller, Wilcox passed Amanda, not realizing the two were together. She slipped behind Wilcox and shot him at close range.”
After killing Mr Wilcox the pair attempted to flee through the Walmart and out a back door , only to be thwarted in their attempt by the Vegas cops …
” Within minutes more Metro officers arrived on the scene in response to 911 calls. McMahill said they initially blocked the back door with a patrol car. After J**** M***** shot the door from the inside to open it, a five-officer team entered and exchanged gunfire with the couple.
The shooting raged in the store’s automotive section, spilling oil and antifreeze onto the floor. The two were hiding behind items J**** M***** had stacked around them for protection, but A***** was hit by a bullet during the firefight, McMahill said.
Pinned down by police and blocked from all exits, J**** laid down in front of A*****, and she shot him several times. Then she shot herself in the head.”
God bless Mr Wilcox and those he left behind .
” Sexual deviants may want to think twice before doing anything suspicious at Benefit Park in Seattle. Jesse Brisbin, who is 30 and has been convicted twice of molesting children, recently got himself into A LOT of hot water — with complete strangers — after he tried to kidnap a 6-year-old girl who was playing at the park with her siblings and father. Brisbin approached the child and asked her to leave with him. The smart cookie told him ‘no,’ and even though she resisted, he reportedly grabbed her by the hand and tried to drag her out of the crowded park.
The girl was able to break free from his hold and ran back to her family. And don’t worry — Brisbin didn’t get away with what he did — not by a long shot. Instead, the girl’s father, along with 20 or so total strangers, chased the jerk down, tackled him to the ground, and beat him up.”
Read more at The Stir
Click Picture For Video
” Marine veteran Michael Smith wept Wednesday when he heard about the death of Chester Nez, the last of the original Navajo Code Talkers.
Smith, from Window Rock, who had met Nez several times, described him as a “quiet, humble” Navajo Marine.”
” Smith said that the passing of Nez — the last of the first 29 Navajo men who created a code from their language that stumped the Japanese in World War II — marked the closure of a chapter in the story of a special group of veterans.”
” Nez died Wednesday morning in Albuquerque, where he lived with his son Michael. He was 93. His family said he died of kidney failure.”
” Some of the veterans attending the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings here in France have fascinating stories.
Take George Ciampa, the most vibrant and spry 89-year-old I have ever met. In 1944, he landed in Normandy as a soldier assigned to the 84th Graves Registration Unit. “I spent the next few years going from France to Germany helping to bury people,” he told me. He was involved in setting up the temporary military cemeteries in Normandy that have now become stirring memorials to our fallen dead.
The experience transformed George, and he eventually became a filmmaker celebrating America’s heroes. His website tells the story of the four documentaries he has done on military valor. He is still making films today.”
The money quote from Mr Ciampa expresses how so many of us feel towards the office of Commander-In-Chief and the current occupant .
“It’s not that we don’t want to respect the commander-in-chief,” one told me sadly. “It’s just that he makes it so hard to do so.”
National Review has more
Uploaded on Apr 16, 2009
” President Reagan’s Address at the Ceremony Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Normandy Invasion, D-day at Point-du-Hoc – 6/6/84.
For more information on the ongoing works of President Reagan’s Foundation, visit us at http://www.reaganfoundation.org “
” The planned auction of a skull found at Gettysburg that purportedly was that of a Civil War soldier has been canceled following protests, and officials say the remains have instead been donated by the auction company for burial with honors.
Estate Auction Co. of Hershey had listed the skull for sale at auction Tuesday in Hagerstown, Maryland, drawing protests from the U.S. National Park Service in Gettysburg and others.
The listing was removed from a public auction website and replaced by a statement saying the auction company was donating the skull to the Park Service. “At the auction company’s request, it remains as part of the catalog due to its historical value,” the statement said.”
” I am writing this because last night I heard Fox News’ Harris Faulkner refer to Army SGT Bowe Bergdahl as a local hero. I just listened to Bergdahl’s father refer to his son’s character.
So, we must have a discussion of the truth here. Army SGT Bergdahl was not “captured” by the enemy in 2009. He abandoned his assigned post on his Forward Operating Base (FOB), leaving his weapon. Several U.S. Army Soldiers lost their lives in search for Bergdahl. His disappearance can only be classified as desertion and the media must not be so giddy about a good news story that they don’t tell the truth — which is apparent to many. The allegation of desertion is serious. It is grave because it occurred during a war, during combat operations.”
” The U.S. Army must uphold proper order and discipline and this allegation must be investigated — but the truth is already known. I believe the liberal media will attempt to elevate him to some type of status that will cause the Army not to pursue the right direction under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). We who have served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other combat areas of operation against radical Islamists know they don’t hold our troops — they are savagely and brutally murdered. They exist to kill Americans.
Are we glad that Bergdahl is home? After five years, yes, but there are many unanswered questions that cannot be dismissed because of emotions.”
Col. West has much more to say on the Bergdahl saga here
For more dissent from the media meme that provides Obama with a convenient distraction from the scandals roiling his shaky administration read these additional stories … One must admit , the Bergdahl story has knocked the VA scandal off the front page …
Update: The Daily Mail has identified 6 American GI’s killed in the search for Bowe Bergdahl . The are :
Staff Sergeant Michael Murphrey, 25
Private First Class Matthew Michael Martinek, 20
Second Lieutenant Darryn Andrews, 34
(bottom row, left to right)
Staff Sergeant Clayton Bowen, 29
Staff Sergeant Kurt Curtiss, 27
Private First Class Morris Walker, 23
Here is a link to the Facebook page “Bowe Bergdahl Is Not A Hero” from which the above photo was borrowed .
” A poor man who found $125,000 on the street says he decided to return the cash to make his family proud of him.
Joe Cornell, who said he only had $1 a day to spend on lunch, was working at a Salvation Army store in Fresno, California, when a bag fell from a Brinks security truck into the street in front of him.”
“I picked up the bag,” Cornell told the Fresno Bee . “I saw twenties and hundreds. The whole thing was full of money.
“I started crying and shaking. Everything was going through my mind — the good devil/bad devil thing. What to do? I have a grandbaby due any time, my fourth. I thought, ‘What would I want her to think of me?’ That made up my mind right there.”
” Some may feel that New Yorker Ibrahim King, 36, got what he deserved after he thought it would be “funny” to punch a totally unsuspected 21-year-old girl in the face in an apparent bout of the loathsome “knockout game.” After he punched the girl without warning he was chased down, slammed around, had his dreadlock pulled out of his scalp and forced to apologize by a bystander. Then he was arrested!
Story from the New York Post:
A Brooklyn fare-beater allegedly punched a young woman in the face while apparently playing the “knockout game” in a Manhattan PATH station — and her friend chased him down, put him in a chokehold and forced him to apologize, sources said.
Ibrahim King, 36, allegedly slugged 21-year-old Elizabeth Mejia, breaking her orbital bone, in the Ninth Street station around 3:40 a.m. Sunday
“ He looks at her for a very short moment and then he pulls his right fist back and lunges across the railing and punches her in the face,” said Mejia’s friend Steve Sala.”
More at Rightwing News
Published on May 26, 2013
” Many Americans don’t even know the meaning of Memorial Day, and some don’t even care! Have a look. Mark Dice talks with beach goers in San Diego about this important holiday.”
This video from Mark Dice says all that need be said about the present state of American education , and none of it is good .
Photo shows: Big Duke and Little Duke.
” On his paper route in Glendale, California, Marion and Duke would stop to visit the local firemen at the fire station. The firemen would always say “here comes Big Duke,” referring to the Airedale, “and Little Duke,” referring to Marion Morrison.
The nickname Duke stuck with Marion Morrison/John Wayne for the rest of his life.”
Marion Robert Morrison
JW (family nickname)
6′ 4″ (1.93 m)
” John Wayne (born Marion Morrison) was the son of pharmacist Clyde Morrison and his wife Mary. Clyde developed a lung condition that required him to move his family from Iowa to the warmer climate of southern California, where they tried ranching in the Mojave Desert. Until the ranch failed, Marion and his younger brother Robert E. Morrison swam in an irrigation ditch and rode a horse to school. When the ranch failed, the family moved to Glendale, California, where Marion delivered medicines for his father, sold newspapers and had an Airedale dog named “Duke” (the source of his own nickname). He did well at school both academically and in football. When he narrowly failed admission to Annapolis he went to USC on a football scholarship 1925-7. Tom Mix got him a summer job as a prop man in exchange for football tickets. On the set he became close friends with director John Ford for whom, among others, he began doing bit parts, some billed as John Wayne. His first featured film was Men Without Women (1930). After more than 70 low-budget westerns and adventures, mostly routine, Wayne’s career was stuck in a rut until Ford cast him in Stagecoach (1939), the movie that made him a star. He appeared in nearly 250 movies, many of epic proportions. From 1942-43 he was in a radio series, “The Three Sheets to the Wind”, and in 1944 he helped found the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals, a right-wing political organization, later becoming its President. His conservative political stance was also reflected in The Alamo (1960), which he produced, directed and starred in. His patriotic stand was enshrined in The Green Berets (1968) which he co-directed and starred in. Over the years Wayne was beset with health problems. In September 1964 he had a cancerous left lung removed; in March 1978 there was heart valve replacement surgery; and in January 1979 his stomach was removed. He received the Best Actor nomination for Sands of Iwo Jima (1949) and finally got the Oscar for his role as one-eyed Rooster Cogburn in True Grit (1969). A Congressional Gold Medal was struck in his honor in 1979. He is perhaps best remembered for his parts in Ford’s cavalry trilogy – Fort Apache (1948), She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949) and Rio Grande (1950).”
|Pilar Wayne||(1 November 1954 – 11 June 1979) (his death) 3 children|
|Esperanza Baur||(17 January 1946 – 1 November 1954) (divorced)|
|Josephine Alicia Saenz||(24 June 1933 – 25 December 1945) (divorced) 4 children|
Slow talk and distinctive, gravelly voice
Distinctive cat-like walk
His movies frequently reflected his conservative values
Often starred with Maureen O’Hara
” Holds the record for the actor with the most leading parts – 142. In all but 11 films he played the leading part.
Ranked #16 in Empire (UK) magazine’s “The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time” list. (October 1997)
Born at 1:00pm-CST.
Most published sources refer to Wayne’s birth name as Marion Michael Morrison. His birth certificate, however, gives his original name as Marion Robert Morrison. According to Wayne’s own statements, after the birth of his younger brother in 1911, his parents named the newborn Robert Emmett and changed Wayne’s name from Marion Robert to Marion Michael. It has also been suggested by several of his biographers that Wayne’s parents actually changed his birth name from Marion Robert to Marion Mitchell. In “Duke: The Life and Times of John Wayne” (1985), Donald Shepherd and Robert F. Slatzer state that when Wayne’s younger brother was born, “the Duke’s middle name was changed from Robert to Mitchell. . . . After he gained celebrity, Duke deliberately confused biographers and others by claiming Michael as his middle name, a claim that had no basis in fact.”
His production company, Batjac, was originally to be called Batjak, after the shipping company owned by Luther Adler‘s character in the filmWake of the Red Witch (1948). A secretary’s typo while she was drawing up the papers resulted in it being called Batjac, and Wayne, not wanting to hurt her feelings, kept her spelling of it.
In the comic “Preacher”, his ghost appears in several issues, clothed in his traditional gunfighter outfit, as a mentor to the hero of the series, Jesse Custer.
Great-uncle of boxer/actor Tommy Morrison, aka “The Duke”.
An entry in the logbook of director John Ford‘s yacht “Araner”, during a voyage along the Baja peninsula, made a reference to one of Wayne’s pranks on Ward Bond: “Caught the first mate [Wayne] pissing in [Ward] Bond’s flask this morning – must remember to give him a raise.”
He and his drinking buddy, actor Ward Bond, frequently played practical jokes on each other. In one incident, Bond bet Wayne that they could stand on opposite sides of a newspaper and Wayne wouldn’t be able to hit him. Bond set a sheet of newspaper down in a doorway, Wayne stood on one end, and Bond slammed the door in his face, shouting “Try and hit me now!” Wayne responded by sending his fist through the door, flooring Bond (and winning the bet).
His favorite drink was Sauza Commemorativo Tequila, and he often served it with ice that he had chipped from an iceberg during one of his voyages on his yacht, “The Wild Goose”.
The evening before a shoot he was trying to get some sleep in a Las Vegas hotel. The suite directly below his was that of Frank Sinatra (never a good friend of Wayne), who was having a party. The noise kept Wayne awake, and each time he made a complaining phone call it quieted temporarily but each time eventually grew louder. Wayne at last appeared at Sinatra’s door and told Frank to stop the noise. A Sinatra bodyguard of Wayne’s size approached saying, “Nobody talks to Mr. Sinatra that way.” Wayne looked at the man, turned as though to leave, then backhanded the bodyguard, who fell to the floor, where Wayne knocked him out by crashing a chair on top of him. The party noise stopped.
He was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity.
His spoken album “America: Why I Love Her” became a surprise best-seller and Grammy nominee when it was released in 1973. Reissued on CD in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, it became a best-seller all over again.
Pictured on one of four 25¢ US commemorative postage stamps issued on Friday, March 23rd, 1990 honoring classic films released in 1939. The stamp featured Wayne as The Ringo Kid in Stagecoach (1939). The other films honored were Beau Geste (1939), The Wizard of Oz (1939), and Gone with the Wind (1939).
Upon being cast by Raoul Walsh in Fox’s The Big Trail (1930) the studio decided his name had to be changed. Walsh said he was reading a biography on General “Mad” Anthony Wayne and suggested that name. The studio liked the last name but not the first and decided on “John Wayne” as the final rendition.
He once made a cameo appearance on “The Beverly Hillbillies” (1962). In episode, “The Beverly Hillbillies: The Indians Are Coming (#5.20)”(1967). And when asked how he wanted to be paid, his answer, in return, was “Give me a fifth of bourbon – that’ll square it.”.
In 1973 he was awarded the Gold Medal from the National Football Foundation for his days playing football for Glendale High School and USC.
Arguably Wayne’s worst film, The Conqueror (1956), in which he played Genghis Kahn, was based on a script that director Dick Powell had every intention of throwing into the wastebasket. According to Powell, when he had to leave his office at RKO for a few minutes during a story conference, he returned to find a very enthused Wayne reading the script, which had been in a pile of possible scripts on Powell’s desk, and insisting that this was the movie he wanted to make. As Powell himself summed it up, “Who am I to turn down John Wayne?”.
Among his favorite leisure activities were playing bridge, poker, and chess.
He was buried at Pacific View Cemetery in Corona del Mar, California, (a community within his hometown of Newport Beach). His grave finally received a plaque in 1999.
Inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1974.
Grandfather of actor Brendan Wayne.
Because his on-screen adventures involved the slaying of a slew of Mexicans, Native Americans and Japanese, he has been called a racist by his critics. They believe this was strengthened by a Playboy Magazine interview in which he suggested that blacks were not yet qualified to hold high public office because “discrimination prevented them from receiving the kind of education a political career requires”. Yet all of his three wives were of Latin descent.
He was voted the 5th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
Just on his sheer popularity and his prominent political activism, the Republican party in 1968 supposedly asked him to run for President of the USA, even though he had no previous political experience. He turned them down because he did not believe America would take a movie star running for the President seriously. He did however support Ronald Reagan‘s campaigns for governor of California in 1966 and 1970, as well as his bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 1976.
Wayne was initiated into DeMolay in 1924 at the Glendale Chapter in Glendale California.
Received the DeMolay Legion of Honor in 1970.
He was a Master Mason. In other words, he was a good man who became a member of the Masonic Fraternity.
Pictured on a 37¢ USA commemorative stamp in the Legends of Hollywood series, issued on Thursday, September 9th, 2004. The first-day ceremonies were held at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. “
Happy Birthday John Wayne
” KNOW YOUR HISTORY: Memorial Day was started by former slaves on May, 1, 1865 in Charleston, SC to honor 257 dead Union Soldiers who had been buried in a mass grave in a Confederate prison camp. They dug up the bodies and worked for 2 weeks to give them a proper burial as gratitude for fighting for their freedom. They then held a parade of 10,000 people led by 2,800 Black children where they marched, sang and celebrated.
Thanks to Abstrakt Goldsmith for this nugget of history that most of us never learned in school.”
Claim: Former slaves reburied dead Union prisoners of war in May 1865, thus creating the modern observance of Memorial Day.
TRUE: In May 1865, free blacks in Charleston reburied dead Union prisoners of war and held a cemetery dedication ceremony. UNDETERMINED: The event referenced above is the origin of the modern Memorial Day observance.
” Memorial Day was started by former slaves on May, 1, 1865 in Charleston, SC to honor 257 dead Union Soldiers who had been buried in a mass grave in a Confederate prison camp. They dug up the bodies and worked for 2 weeks to give them a proper burial as gratitude for fighting for their freedom. They then held a parade of 10,000 people led by 2,800 Black children where they marched, sang and celebrated.
Origins: The custom of holding observances (including the laying of flowers on burial sites) to remember and honor those who gave their lives in military service goes back many hundreds, if not thousands, of years. In the United States, that custom has long since been formalized in the creation of Memorial Day (formerly known as Decoration Day), a federal holiday observed on the last Monday in May to remember the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Traditionally, every year the President of the United States (or, in his absence, another high-ranking government official) visits Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day to honor all those Americans who have died in military service to their country by participating in a symbolic wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
In a formal sense, the modern Memorial Day originated with an order issued in 1868 by Maj. Gen. John A. Logan, the commander in chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, for the annual decoration of war graves: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 that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that 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 ceremonies centered around the mourning-draped veranda of the Arlington mansion, once the home of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Various Washington officials, including Gen. and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, presided over the ceremonies. After speeches, children from the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphan Home and members of the GAR made their way through the cemetery, strewing flowers on both Union and Confederate graves, reciting prayers and singing hymns.
Regardless of when Decoration Day (or Memorial Day) may have been officially established, though, debate continues to this day regarding exactly when and where the first observance of this nature was held in the United States. In May 1966 the city of Waterloo, New York, was designated as the “Birthplace of Memorial Day” via a Congressional resolutions and presidential proclamation commemorating a patriotic observance held in that town one hundred years earlier:The story of Memorial Day begins in the summer of 1865, when a prominent local druggist, Henry C. Welles, mentioned to some of his friends at a social gathering that while praising the living veterans of the Civil War it would be well to remember the patriotic dead by placing flowers on their graves. Nothing resulted from this suggestion until he advanced the idea again the following spring to General John B. Murray. Murray, a civil war hero and intensely patriotic, supported the idea wholeheartedly and marshalled veterans’ support. Plans were developed for a more complete celebration by a local citizens’ committee headed by Welles and Murray.
On May 5, 1866, the Village was decorated with flags at half mast, draped with evergreens and mourning black. Veterans, civic societies and residents, led by General Murray, marched to the strains of martial music to the three village cemeteries. There impressive ceremonies were held and soldiers’ graves decorated. One year later, on May 5, 1867, the ceremonies were repeated. In 1868, Waterloo joined with other communities in holding their observance on May 30th, in accordance with General Logan’s orders. It has been held annually ever since.
Waterloo held the first formal, village wide, annual observance of a day dedicated to honoring the war dead. On March 7, 1966, the State of New York recognized Waterloo by a proclamation signed by Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller. This was followed by recognition from Congress of the United States when the House of Representatives and the Senate unanimously passed House Concurrent Resolution 587 on May 17th and May 19th, 1966 respectively. This reads in part as follows: “Resolved that the Congress of the United States, in recognition of the patriotic tradition set in motion one hundred years ago in the Village of Waterloo, NY, does hereby officially recognize Waterloo, New York as the birthplace of Memorial Day…”
On May 26, 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson, signed a Presidential Proclamation recognizing Waterloo as the Birthplace of Memorial Day.
Nonetheless, as the New York Times noted in 2012, dozens of other places still lay claim, based on a variety of criteria, to being the true birthplace of the modern Memorial Day:According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, roughly two dozen places claim to be the primary source of the holiday, an assertion found on plaques, on Web sites and in the dogged avowals of local historians across the country.
Yet each town seems to have different criteria: whether its ceremony was in fact the earliest to honor Civil War dead, or the first one that General Logan heard about, or the first one that conceived of a national, recurring day.
Women in Boalsburg, Pa., which has a claim as the holiday’s birthplace, began decorating graves each year as early as October 1864. In and around Carbondale, Ill., according to the Jackson County Historical Society, there are two markers making such an assertion in two different cemeteries. James H. Ryan, a retired Army colonel, has descended into the Logan archives and come out with a strong case for the town where he lives, Petersburg, Va.
This — readers, please take note — is just a partial and by no means definitive list.
The multiplicity of sites that have claimed Memorial Day birthplace status for themselves are not all in the North; many contenders are Southern cities that were part of the Confederacy during the Civil War:Columbus, Miss., was a hospital town, and in many cases a burial site, for both Union and Confederate casualties of Shiloh, brought in by the trainload. And it was in that Columbus where, at the initiation of four women who met in a 12-gabled house on North Fourth Street, a solemn procession was made to Friendship Cemetery on April 25, 1866.
As the story goes, one of the women spontaneously suggested that they decorate the graves of the Union as well as the Confederate dead, as each grave contained someone’s father, brother or son. A lawyer in Ithaca, N.Y., named Francis Miles Finch read about this reconciliatory gesture and wrote a poem about the ceremony in Columbus, “The Blue and the Gray,” which The Atlantic Monthly published in 1867.
Georgians dispute little of this. But they argue that the procession in the other Columbus was actually inspired by the events in their Columbus.
Professor Richard Gardiner has lived here for only a few years, but he has joined with an accountant named Daniel Bellware, an avid history sleuth originally from Detroit, and together they have written an academic paper making the case for Columbus, Ga.
“The ladies of the South instituted this memorial day,” read The New York Times on June 5, 1868. “They wished to annoy the Yankees; and now the Grand Army of the Republic in retaliation and from no worthier motive, have determined to annoy them by adopting their plan of commemoration.”
In his book Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory, Professor David W. Blight made the case for Charleston, South Carolina, as Memorial Day’s birthplace, as that city was the site of an obscure (possibly suppressed) May 1865 event held at a racetrack turned war prison, during which freedmen properly reburied hundreds of Union dead found there and then held a ceremony to dedicate the cemetery:African Americans founded Decoration Day at the graveyard of 257 Union soldiers labeled “Martyrs of the Race Course,” May 1, 1865, Charleston, South Carolina.
The “First Decoration Day,” as this event came to be recognized in some circles in the North, involved an estimated ten thousand people, most of them black former slaves. During April, twenty-eight black men from one of the local churches built a suitable enclosure for the burial ground at the Race Course. In some ten days, they constructed a fence ten feet high, enclosing the burial ground, and landscaped the graves into neat rows. The wooden fence was whitewashed and an archway was built over the gate to the enclosure. On the arch, painted in black letters, the workmen inscribed “Martyrs of the Race Course.”
At nine o’clock in the morning on May 1, the procession to this special cemetery began as three thousand black schoolchildren (newly enrolled in freedmen’s schools) marched around the Race Course, each with an armload of roses and singing “John Brown’s Body.” The children were followed by three hundred black women representing the Patriotic
Association, a group organized to distribute clothing and other goods among the freed people. The women carried baskets of flowers, wreaths, and crosses to the burial ground. The Mutual Aid Society, a benevolent association of black men, next marched in cadence around the track and into the cemetery, followed by large crowds of white and black citizens.
All dropped their spring blossoms on the graves in a scene recorded by a newspaper correspondent: “when all had left, the holy mounds — the tops, the sides, and the spaces between them — were one mass of flowers, not a speck of earth could be seen; and as the breeze wafted the sweet perfumes from them, outside and beyond … there were few eyes among those who knew the meaning of the ceremony that were not dim with tears of joy.” While the adults marched around the graves, the children were gathered in a nearby grove, where they sang “America,” “We’ll Rally Around the Flag,” and “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
The official dedication ceremony was conducted by the ministers of all the black churches in Charleston. With prayer, the reading of biblical passages, and the singing of spirituals, black Charlestonians gave birth to an American tradition. In so doing, they declared the meaning of the war in the most public way possible — by their labor, their words, their songs, and their solemn parade of roses, lilacs, and marching feet on the old planters’ Race Course.
After the dedication, the crowds gathered at the Race Course grandstand to hear some thirty speeches by Union officers, local black ministers, and abolitionist missionaries. Picnics ensued around the grounds, and in the afternoon, a full brigade of Union infantry, including Colored Troops, marched in double column around the martyrs’ graves and held a drill on the infield of the Race Course. The war was over, and Memorial Day had been founded by African Americans in a ritual of remembrance and consecration.
Although contemporaneous accounts from the Charleston Daily Courier describe and document the 1865 ceremony that took place there, and the event was one the earliest known observances similar to what we would now recognize as Memorial Day, whether it was truly the first such ceremony, and what influence (if any) it might have had on later observances, are still matters of contention. Professor Blight termed it “the first Memorial Day” because it predated most of the other contenders, but he noted he has no evidence that it led to General Logan’s call for a national holiday in 1868: “I’m much more interested in the meaning that’s being conveyed in that incredible ritual than who’s first,” he said.
Last updated: 28 May 2013″
” Cpl. William Kyle Carpenter doesn’t remember much about the day he and a fellow Marine were caught in the blast of a hand grenade in southern Afghanistan while manning a rooftop security post. There was almost no time to react before the explosion tore into him in a searing, angry ball of white light.
Carpenter recalls that he “got right with God” as he was enveloped by the sensation of warm water pouring all over him. It was his own blood.
“ My last few seconds before I lost consciousness,” he said, “I had accepted the fact that . . . I was not going to survive and make it off that rooftop.”
Remarkably, Carpenter did survive, despite horrific wounds. Just as remarkable is how he sustained them — by throwing himself on the grenade in an attempt to save his friend and fellow Marine, Lance Cpl. Nick Eufrazio, from harm.
On Monday, the White House announced that it would award Carpenter, 24, with the Medal of Honor for his actions, making him the second living Marine to receive the nation’s highest award for valor in combat since the Vietnam War. Fourteen other U.S. service members have received the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan.”
” When retired Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Hathcock II died at the age of 57 on Feb. 26, 1999, his legend had long since chiseled its way into the pantheon of Marine Corps history.
He’d served almost 20 years in the Corps, including two tours as a sniper during the Vietnam War. A killer more deadly and silent than Hathcock finally had him in the cross hairs and pulled the trigger, ending his extraordinary life.
The medical term for that stealthy, relentless force is multiple sclerosis, a slow, progressive terminal malady that attacks the central nervous system. MS can cause paralysis, spasms and the loss of coordination and muscle control.”
Carlos Hathcock (1942 – 1999)
” was a US Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant who served as a sniper in the Vietnam War. With 93 confirmed kills, he was the 4th most effective sniper in American history, trailing behind Adelbert F Waldron (109), Charles Mawhinney (103), and Eric R England (98). His exploits, both as a courageous soldier and a sniper, made him a legend in the Marine Corps. Hathcock became a major developer of the United States Marine Corps Sniper training program. Not only was Carlos extremely lethal as a sniper, but he was also a brave marine; he was awarded the Silver Star for his act in 1969 of saving the lives of seven fellow Marines after the amphibious tractor on which they were riding struck a mine. Hathcock was knocked unconscious, but awoke in time to race back through the flames to save his comrades.
Carlos Hathcock was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, on May 20, 1942. Since his parents had separated, he lived with his grandmother in the country where he grew up. At a young age, Carlos learned to use a rifle, which his father had brought from Europe after World War II. Then, he would hunt wild animals to help feed his poor family.In 1959, at the age of 17, Carlos Hathcock joined the Marine Corps. Before being shipped to Vietnam, he showed his natural skills as a marksman on the rifle range at Camp Pendleton where he was undergoing recruit training, winning the Pacific Division rifle championship while he was deployed in Hawaii as a member of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines. In 1966, he was sent to Vietnam and became a sniper after Captain Edward J. Land Jr. had pushed the Marines into raising snipers in every platoon.” ”
” Not all military dogs are suited to combat. Some wither in the heat or become too excited by the sounds of gunfire or explosions, even after they’ve been desensitized to them in training. Some are too loyal, too lazy, or too playful. Each dog is its own particular, sometimes peculiar, universe. Still, certain breeds generally do better than others on the battlefield, such as German shepherds, Labrador retrievers, and especially the Belgian Malinois, which is known for being fearless, driven, and able to handle the heat.
But what works in a given environment may not work in another. History suggests that each battle situation calls for its own breed and tactics. Benjamin Franklin encouraged the use of dogs against the Indians. They “will confound the enemy a good deal,” he wrote, “and be very serviceable. This was the Spanish method of guarding their marches.” (Spanish conquistadores were said to have used bullmastiffs against Native Americans.)”
” During the Second Seminole War, starting in 1835, the U.S. military used Cuban-bred bloodhounds to track Indians in the swamps of Florida. Dogs were said to have guarded soldiers in the Civil War. During World War I both sides used tens of thousands of dogs as messengers. In World War II the U.S. Marines deployed dogs on Pacific islands to sniff out Japanese positions. In Vietnam an estimated 4,000 canines were used to lead jungle patrols, saving numerous lives. (Nevertheless, the military decided to leave many behind when the U.S. pulled out.)”
Read the whole story at National Geographic
” Gold Coast – Three times Formula 1 world champion race driver, Australian, Jack Brabham, has died aged 88 following a long illness. In a statement, Brabham’s son, David, said his father died at home on Australia’s Gold Coast after battling liver disease.
The statement, issued May 19, by the former F1 star’s son, read, “It is a day very sad for us all. My father died peacefully at home this morning at the age of 88. He had an incredible life, fulfilling more dreams than anyone else. “
In a Grand Prix racing career spanning 15 years, during the time when Formula 1 was the most dangerous of sports, with an unenviable record of driver fatalities, Jack Brabham contested 126 Grand Prix races from 1955 to 1970.
In 1979 plain Jack Brabham became Sir Jack Brabham. The Australian was awarded a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II, also head of state of Australia, in recognition of Brabham’s illustrious career and major contribution to motor-sport.”