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George Schneider , a relatively young man, passed away in his home, one of the hundreds he owned in Lorain and Elyria.
He was , according to Kent Sutton during a recent discussion with me
“really nice guy”
. Friends have extolled his virtues and contributions to the German culture .
I never personally met George . I only know George from my neighborhood through his properties, which leave a lot to be desired. I have written about George extensively over the years – Go to the search box in the right hand corner of this page and type in George Schneider.
George has left Lorain a legacy, a legacy of properties that are for the most part in poor shape.
George’s unexpected passing reminds us of the death of Lewis Strnad .
when I was the volunteer Mainstreet Lorain Director, on occasion. He too, seemed like a nice guy. However, he was also a multi property owner and we are STILL dealing with his legacy. He is STILL listed on the Lorain County Auditors Site as the owner of over 30 properties 4 YEARS after his death.
One property 138 Washington , a historical property , being Mayor King’s House – I have written about the frustration of getting the garbage picked up etc of this house - which is due to now be demolished –
Finally, after weeks of emails etc.and contact with the city just to remove the trash bags from the outside.
Sent: Friday, May 10, 2013 12:46 PM
Subject: Re: Permission Washington Avenue
On behalf of the estate you have permission to access the property described below for the purposes described below without any liability upon the estate for anything whatsoever.
Shia N. Shapiro
Attorney for the estate of Lewis Strnad.
The issue to me now becomes WHO IS ACCOUNTABLE NOW THE OWNER IS DECEASED. To even get permission for volunteers to go on the property to take away the trash away from 138, Washington , owned by Mr. Strnad’s estate took letters,lawyers and weeks. And still the issues continue.
This house, situated on lot #76 of the original Charleston Village Plat, may date to the decade of the 1860’s ( possibly earlier) It appears on an 1874 map of Charleston Village by R.H. Penfield. The middle section of lot #76 ( on which this house stands) was sold in 1858 and again in 1861 to Julia Porter ( Grantor Julia D Root)
In 1874, Porter sold the property to Henry J. King, a salt water sailor and farmer who immigrated from England at the age of 25. This property remained in the King Family (ED NOTE- Not the King family of Admiral Ernest J King renown) with out-side ownership 1876-1882.
FRANK JOSEPH KING, son of Henry King lived in this house possibly as early as 1876 ( documented from 1891) and remained there until ca 1915.
F.J. KING was elected mayor of Lorain in 1902 and was one of only two Lorain mayors ( ED Note at the time of the survey in 1993) to suceed himself in office. He did so twice and served until 1912
Now Mr. Strnad’s properties were a fraction of the hundreds that George owns and some ,in my opinion, deployable condition. WHAT NOW ?????
GEORGE HAS LEFT LORAIN A LEGACY and I have a feeling a myriad of legal problems as to who will step in the take accountability for these properties. Maybe his business partners
or Lake Erie Landlords Association will step in. Somehow I think George’s Legacy to Lorain is going to be ongoing and frustrating, just as Lew Strnad’s continues to be.
NOTE this research was as of : May 27th 2014 – and can be found in the post
PROPERTY OWNERS AND NUMBER OF PROPERTIES OWNED
GEORGE SCHNEIDER = (Under his own name) = 164
G AND S PROPERTIES = (INCLUDING Jay Metals 1965 E 28th) 3
GNS PROPERTIES = 1
GEORGE (misspelled ) SCHNEIDER= 6
Also affiliated with
REDS ALL AMERICAN RECYCLING = ( David Carter) = 52
DAVID CARTER= 12
Also affiliated with
FGSK PROPERTIES (inc Gustav AND Anna Krause) = 19
GUSTAV KRAUSE = 12
ANNA KRAUSE = 6
TOTAL PROPERTIES FOR THIS GROUPING = 275
As long time readers are aware, a small koi- a Ghost Koi- was slipped into the pond on the last Mother’s Day my son and I shared –
Oh! Chris ! why would you buy another Koi? you know they never survive the winter”
“I needed to get this one and it’s Mother’s Day so you have to accept it “
And the next Mother’s Day was one of pain and cruelty unasked for “notes” from his bride had arrived - Angela Marie (Lombardi Ritchey) Murphy) Angela Murphy Do http://my.clevelandclinic.org/staff_directory/staff_display.aspx?DoctorID=16147
days and nights of water changes medicine but the Ghost Koi continued.
Then came the winter of my nightmares. The extreme cold caused the waterfall, which is made from a concrete like substance, to crack causing the water to leak out of the pond. The temperature was cold enough to freeze the mighty Niagara so even with heaters and aerator the water froze.
The day the concrete falls cracked open we lost nearly half the water in the pond. My husband had to first unfreeze the spickets and hoses in order to fill the pond to a level where the pumps would work. He then had to bypass the falls with piping in order to keep the water flowing, but the pipe would freeze. The pipe then had to insulated with a sleeve like design made out of a sleeping bag. Unfortunately, Shadow took great delight in pulling this off every chance she got.
My husband spent hours trying to keep the pond open in order for the gasses to escape and keep the fish safe. There was many a day he was out there in the 10 below temperature almost willing the water to run and the ice not to form. There were days that found me lying flat on my stomach in the snow chipping away at the ice on the end of the piping so the pump would continue. All for a fish , a fish given on that last Mothers Day.
Spring has come late this year. The pond is usually up and running and the fish awake by late March but it has only been in recent days life has returned to the pond . The water is still murky but a Ghost Koi, larger now than ever before, swims under the water fall once more and reminds me of a another Mother’s Day……..
Friday, was Mother’s Day for me , my mum, Nikki and two little boys went to the “fish” restaurant of choice “Red Lobster”. The boys eagerly watched two lobsters fighting in the tank but ate macaroni and cheese.
Then on to Pandys and Lowes for plants. I am not sure there will be any rhyme or reason to the garden this year as Gavin and Braedyn loved the plant shopping and filling the carts to overflowing. Certainly not paying attention to directions of “sun – full sun – shade partial shade” . Little hands distributing love and flowers , excitement in innocent eyes as they picked up more and more . There should be some interesting plantings this year because each plant was given with love and so couldn’t be put back.
My tears falling once more, my heart in hurt as I remember when a little girl and her brother would look up with the same excitement in their eyes as they gave their Mother’s Day gifts and one Mother’s Day when a small silver fish was slipped into a pond – a ghost of remembrance and a love that grows…
Remembering when? February 2008 ( 5 years ago) Lorain County Photographers Blog did an interview with Bill Desvari ( the infamous Chief Building Inspector – now deceased) part of which touched upon “Occupancy Permits for Rentals”- the whole interview can be found here:
But in part:
At the time of this interview, Bill told me there were 10,340 rental properties in the city of Lorain. Ordinance 126.97 requires housing inspections every 5 years. It’s never be enforced, and at a charge of $50 apiece, why wasn’t it happening, since it could bring in over half a million dollars? Most of the owners live outside the city, and really don’t make too much of an effort to keep up their properties. He went to then-Mayor Craig Foltin about this, and it took 18 months for anything to happen. (Craig’s being a part of the LELA have anything to do with this?-hh)
When the ball finally got rolling, with then-Council-at-Large Tony Krasienko watching close to make sure things ran correctly, two inspectors were able to do 1700 inspections in 2006. But it wasn’t as easy as that. One inspector had health problems, another substance problems. For the most part, in 2006, there was only one inspector working at any given time. And that was made more difficult by the fact that most of the owners were hiding and not responding to inquiries.
The Landlord’s Assoc was asked to provide addresses. The Law director told him they couldn’t fine the people, as it was an infringement of 1st amendment rights. Mark Provenza reviewed it for a long time, and Desvari told him the fine is already in Ord. 1501.99, anything in Chapter 15 can be fined $1000, that it’s been there since 1978. He was not blaming Mark, but it hadn’t been used, and now they’re able to take people to court.
Craig Miller called him ( Desvari) and told him that KENT SUTTON only wanted to do exterior inspections.
Note that woman : Ah HA!!! there is that name again KENT SUTTON in order to jog the readers memory:
****The system is set up to fail, and it needs revamped*** said Bill Desvari ( and coming from him that is a revelation ;)
Truer Words were never spoken!!!!!!
Back to today and 5 years later: The Questions re occupancy
QUESTION – THAT WOMAN
I have, as the property owner , caulked the leaks, done my wiring and plumbing dry walled etc. – put in new fixtures prettied up the property and now I want an occupancy permit for rental.
What is the procedure and who authorizes the occupancy permit? Do they come into the property and inspect? How many rental occupancy permits are there currently in the city of Lorain? How do you keep track of the “rentals”- is there a rental register? For example according to my research there are 10,177 occupied rentals in this city are there the same amount of occupancy permits issued ( taking into account more than one rental in a unit). How many occupancy permits have been issued?
The Building Department oversees and authorizes the occupancy permit. If the Building Department approves of the work after the final inspection, they issue an occupancy permit. As long as the property owner invites the Building Department, they can inspect the inside of the home.
A property is supposed to ask for an occupancy permit as well as require a rental certificate. To try to keep track of rentals, we review the rental certificates we have issued. But, to stay on top of this, the number of employees are just not currently present to review rentals, not just the ones who have applied for a rental certificate.
Of the 3,693 vacant dwellings how does the dept. covering the “occupancy permit” know when any of these are rented?
Unless a rental certificate application is received, the City wouldn’t know if these dwellings are being rented.
Again, with the limited staff, the number of employees do not allow the Building Department to be proactive on this front. The Building Department does try to review any properties with “For Rent” signs or review the paper in order to match homes with rental certificates.
QUESTION THAT WOMAN
Does an occupancy permit cover those who “rent to own?”
I am not entirely sure of an answer on this. As stated previously, an occupancy permit is issued for anyone who applies for a permit with approval. “Rent to Own” is not actually a rental; the “tenant” is actually in the buying process. If the Building Department comes across a property they believe to be a rental, they request the owner provide documentation to show the “rent to own” status.
QUESTION – THAT WOMAN
How often does a landlord need to renew an occupancy permit? – Is it yearly, 5 years etc. or on the basis of new tenant occupying the building?
An occupancy permit last for 3 years, as long as ownership doesn’t change.
How much is an occupancy permit? $50 for rental; $75 for duplex
QUESTION – THAT WOMAN
What IS inspected in order to gain an occupancy permit? For instance mold, structural safety, electrical, plumbing???In depth please.
If it is rental, the inspectors follow the International Property Maintenance Code. I am sorry I cannot provide a more detailed answer.
FOLLOW UP QUESTION – THAT WOMAN
In the city of Lorain when and if a landlord asks for an occupancy permit – what is looked at by an inspector ( I know it has to meet the International property maintenance code) but if an inspector goes into the dwelling does he look at structure, electrical, plumbing to see if that meets the code- what do they “inspect” floor boards, roof plumbing what items on the check list are looked at to see if a dwelling meets the minimum code ?????
Not every inspector is certified in all areas. For example, our Electrical Inspector does not have the certification to inspect other types of work. However, for property maintenance code, the inspectors have a general checklist of what they inspect. I have attached the “Exterior Checklist” and the “Interior Checklist” for your review.
NOTE… INTERIOR INSPECTION CHECKLIST PDF FILE FOUND HERE
QUESTION THAT WOMAN
If a tenant calls for an inspection of the home is it accurate to say the inspector can only inspect the “complaint” for instance if it is the wiring that is an issue can they cite for rotting floor boards?
For a rental, the inspectors can cite for other concerns visible to the inspector. Typically, the tenant will point all the complaints to the inspector.
QUESTION THAT WOMAN
Is there a point of sale inspection in Lorain – if not why not- and is there any legal reason there cannot be a “point of deed transfer inspection” to negate the property from changing hands within a group or family to get around any point of sale inspection.
THE CITY ANSWERS
Not currently. Point of sale is used in other cities. As to my knowledge, no point of sale ordinances have been overturned.
QUESTION THAT WOMAN
PHOTO TAKEN MARCH 19TH 2011
Also re the question of blue tarps as roofs- is there any time limit as to how long a temporary roof fix is allowed? For example the one property on 329 Hamilton has had the temporary fix for 3 years-(NOTE: I wrote about this particular property in March 2011
Hurricane Sandy blew most of it away and they have now put up a new blue tarp- What are the rues if any for temporary fixes and does anyone inspect those temporary fixes as to times?
TODAY ‘S PHOTO JANUARY 30TH 2013
THE CITY ANSWERS
When the Building Department sees these types of homes, they send a notice to the property owner requesting the anticipated fix to the roof.
Ah that explains it : Driving Blind a probability????? Maybe the city could use some help? I know a judge that must not be seeing his handiwork as he tootles along in Lorain passing by another of George Schneider properties
Does the good judge ever drive past 1965 E 28th Street and wonder if the Building Dept and the City of Lorain will come before his court again with 1965 E 28th Street ?
and now it seems we have inspectors “Oblivious to the BLUES”- to be continued _ LORAIN IS FEEDING UPON ITSELF
Illustration Cat Scott SOURCE
In Search of my Son Part 18
Once again a week in August – a time past of celebration – the happiness of a wedding anniversary , your birthday and then mine used to cause your father such consternation ( a lot of money outgoing all in one week :).) As you grew, we started to combine the celebrations , after all, we “shared your birth” – you , I and your dad as had watched as his son was brought into the world that August day.
But that next day , whilst your Nana was being picked up from the airport and everyone was busy preparing for our homecoming, Nikki wanting to meet her little brother was all excitement – you and I had a quiet time in the hospital room – a time to bond.
I held you , propped up on my knees, looking at your little face, all red and blotchy, little finger nails so perfect and I made the promises mothers make- I talked to you of life , your big sister and how I would never let you down , I would do everything I could to keep you safe and give you happiness. I was so grateful for the gift of your life. I can remember every word I spoke to you that morning and then Dr. Shotz telling me as long as my mother would be at home with me we could leave and start our lives as mother and son and take home MY birthday gift – YOU!
Your last birthday on this planet – saw my failure – I did try but I couldn’t keep my promises made on your “birth – day.
I sat in the Cleveland Clinic waiting room, which reminded me of an airport waiting area – the big electronic sign boards telling of the status of patients and their respective surgeries – holding patterns – landed – in flight or in this case – recovery – in operating room etc. It made me feel quite ill at the cold technology announcing “status” of those under the knife in the same way planes landed at Hopkins Airport.
I sat trapped having to listening to what I considered inane comments , stupidity and selfishness of thinking by your bride’s vacuous grandmother and her brood http://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2011/09/03/september-3rd-war-movin-on-hell-truly-is-other-people-chris-ritchey/ who had decided to “surprise us” ( although I know your “bride” wasn’t surprised )
My whole being was fraught with worry that morning , my insides were shaking and sick with fear, what would they find? My son going under a surgeon’s knife – cutting into your neck to see if the obscenity of the curable cancer had once again beaten the ” treatment”.. I just wanted to go somewhere quiet away from chatter with my thoughts. I didn’t want to be polite. I just wanted peace.
They coffee clutched the time away with their frivolous discussions of fashions, cake , birthdays and celebrations seemingly without thought of how this would affect those that did truly love you ). If there ever was a time where I heard my own grandmother’s voice it was then ” Remember Loraine, breeding will out”
I wanted to scream and shake them as the grandmother decided it would be a good time for a betting game- we were all supposed to pick a time from the time your name came on the big board informing us you were now in the operating room as to how long it would take for you to be under the knife and the time of the surgery .
“Angela it isn’t fair though you can’t be part of this as being a doctor you would know the answer – giggle, giggle, giggle” Lisa what do you say? Frank? 45 minutes, 55? an hour?
and so it went.
Nikki had excused herself and I was left alone with them. I ignored the game as best I could and tried to ignore them, all the while wishing they were somewhere else – anywhere but there, but the puerile woman would not shut up –
Come on Loraine you must have a guess, join in – otherwise you won’t win! Angela , do we have time to go to the cafeteria – Loraine isn’t it your birthday too in a couple of days – it is Chris’ today isn’t it – will you have a party, what kind of cake, will your mother be baking one or two?
I wanted to reach across the arm of the chair , as she prattled, joined by her granddaughters, and throttle her. I wanted to scream at them
Shut Up! are you all so damned insensitive you can’t see your imbecilic diatribe is ripping me apart, I don’t care about your nonsensical games , I am in torment that my son will die- can’t you see our pain you stupid,selfish people?
I kept quiet for my son’s sake. I felt like I was being swept away and immersed into a mindless black comedy. Shades of things to come, as your next birthday they placed cake and balloons on your grave.
I could stand it no longer and went outside where I vomited the choking bile into a gutter, floods of tears, held back for hours , exploded from me. Nikki came to find me and we sat away from the “prattlers” until the announcement to meet with the Dr.
As much as I try I cannot get your last birthday out of my head as the surgeon confirmed that the cancer was back- a gift of death on your birthday I had Nikki take me home – I knew that if you saw my face as you came round in the recovery room- you would know things were bad and I couldn’t bring you that pain on your birthday and I knew I couldn’t hide the horror from you ! Guilt swept over me as I also knew that by me not being there when you woke up would also cause you concern- I only hoped the excuse Nikki had to get back to feed Gavin would be plausible.I just couldn’t let you see what I know was written on my face.
I have, since you died, tried other ways to remember the day of your birth and to give Gavin, and now Braedyn, a present – a Chris – miss present so once again there will be joy, laughter and good memories associated with your special day. I try temper the memory of your last birthday and those uninvited purveyors of self with the happy laughter and giggles of your nephews.
This year, “Transformers” is the toy of the moment” Oh! how you loved that show and the robots when you were little – drove us crazy with them- and now Gavin has discovered “Transformers” and his mum will be plagued with Optimus Prime .
Nikki, will send another donation to your scholarship fund at LCCC to continue the remembering of you and your life – and I will try to make it through another
birth- day and try my very best to replace the awful memories of memories of that last birthday.
LORAIN COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE LEADERSHIP AWARD- CHRIS RITCHEY
Debra L. Richter
Alumni and Scholarship Coordinator
Lorain County Community College Foundation
1005 N. Abbe Road
Elyria, OH 44035
440.366.7758 – Office
440.366.4078 – Fax
The Journey- In search of My son continues
Part One - In search of my son- In search of me
Part Two – Tourjours Moi-Always Me
Part Three - Always Me – Always Chris
Part Four - In search of My Son-
Chris Ritchey – Thanks
Part Five - Dark Humour- Shedding a Light
Part Six - The Unfinished Portrait
Part Seven- The Unfinished Portrait- The Artists
(2) Part Two – Who Are We Really?
Part Eight- When Premonition Becomes Hindsight
Part Nine- When Premonition Becomes Hindsight – Part Two
Part Ten (a) – There is an “I” in Death
Part Ten (b)- I didn’t know my son- Chris Ritchey
Part Eleven- Unfinished Portrait the Artistic Gene
Part Twelve- Unfinished Portrait- the Artistic Gene- Part Two
Part Thirteen- A Place of Echoes
Part Fourteen – An Absence of Laughter
Part 15 - Who I am , the artist speaks
Part 16- The Lowest Ebb- I knew my son- Chris Ritchey
Part 17 - The Journey Continues- I long for Laughter- Chris Ritchey
Disclaimer : These events are as I perceived them to be and are witnesssed and documented .
During the History Mystery of the Wurmser House we came across a few inconsistencies.
There are a couple of explanations as to how an older house arrived in a neighborhood after a tornado leveled the one that was standing there.
1. The Ohio Historic Inventory people got it completely wrong and the current house was built after the tornado.
2. The possibility of building inventory being scarce after the tornado , pieces parts from an older home being used in a “new build” – as happened in my old house- thus throwing off the Ohio Historic Inventory people. Thus leading to the fact that Mr. Wurmser may have indeed designed this current home utilizing what was available ?
3. An older house was moved to the site and renovated.
1834 Plat Map for the village of “Mouth of Black River”.
The first known registered survey for what was, 40 years later, to become the City of Lorain, Ohio. After the death of pioneer John S. Reid, the remainder of his land near the little village, was plotted into additional village lots by his son Conrad Reid and his sons-in-laws Daniel T. Baldwin, Quartus Gillmore, and Barna Meeker. They renamed the village “Charleston” in 1836, although shortly later it was known as simply “Black River village” until it was finally named Lorain in 1874. [Note the names of the streets, some of which were added in at a much later date. "Lake Street" should not be confused with Lake Road, which is "Main Street"/"West Erie" on this map.]
About the time of this 1834 survey, the following businesses were recorded in operation within the village: merchants Wm. Jones, and Gates and Green, and W.E. Fitch; blacksmith A.T. Jones; shoemaker E. Miller; tailor Thomas Brown; and the “Reid House” hotel/tavern run by Barna Meeker (it may have been in the same structure built by John S. Reid which served as a blockhouse during the War of 1812).
From the “History of the First Methodist Church” 1856-1956
In 1842, a house belonging to Daniel Baldwin and his wife was moved over to lot 108 on the original village plat and made over into a church building. The house was said to have been originally the house and shoe-shop of Jacob Vedder, but more interesting than who owned or used that building would be the name of the person who actually built it , for that first move was the beginning of a long odyssey that only an exceedingly well-built structure could have survived.
Moving of a house by team of oxen- please see this website for information on “moving” the homesteads-http://downeastdilettante.wordpress.com/2010/01/
The first move was accomplished by the help of Ed Porter’s ox team and the brain and muscle of Cochran, Baldwin, William H Root and A.R. Fitzgerald…
This house to be church was moved from the Hollow to lot 108- and the Hollow was the place where in 1956 the Lorain City Hall parking lot was then located. ( the low spot with now City Hall location being the “Hill” .
ED Note Dan Brady did a 7 part series on Lorain City Hall (s) check it out
As for the little church, apparently many repairs had to be made , parts of the floor and underpinning , belfry , windows lengthened – made to look more churchly and general straightening needed attention.
After a few years the Methodists decided they needed a new substantial Brick church
so the little travelling (presumably wooden) church was moved again
“put on the skids and moved to lot 205 ( corner of Duane (4th St) and Washington Ave which was designated on the original town plat as reserved for a “Meeting House”
The moving was described by Mr. Quartus Gilmore Jr. one of the township trustees. Among other things he said when they got the building as far as Edmund Gilmore’s house , along the west side of the town square (Washington Park) [ now Veterans Park] that they bogged down in the mud and left the building where it was until the road became passable- I wonder what the families along that row- top residential – were saying!
The next move for this little building was that of a school and it was moved to Lot 206. The apparently according to the History of the Methodist and “eccentric Englishman: ( Oh! dear another one) :)
Mr. Joseph Moysey who knew how to live on a little and save much ( something the City of Lorain could emulate) moved it south on Washington avenue and set it up on a lot between 1st and 2nd Avenue ( 8th and 9th street) with the long side facing the street. He divided it into a two family house-
ED NOTE: the birth of the duplex???? in Lorain perhaps and history repeating itself— and to think it was a Englishman SIGH!!!!
The writer can remember that house looking as though it had served its time . But five moves had done something to a rather unimportant building. It looked cold around the edges, but there must have been some warm feelings generated inside
This is not the only Moving that has gone on in this community – to be continued
ED NOTE: For information on the PORTERS- Maureen Smith wrote a three part series for this blog:
Introducing the Porters
THE PORTERS ( cont.) by Maureen Smith
More on the Porters
Many cities in the North and the South claim to be the first to celebrate Memorial Day in 1866 but Congress and President Lyndon Johnson officially declared Waterloo in New York as the ‘birthplace’ of Memorial Day in 1966. It was said that on May 5, 1866, a ceremony was held here to honor local soldiers and sailors who fought in the Civil War, businesses were closed for the day and residents furled flags at half-mast. It was said to be the first formal, community-wide and regular event.
How do you memorialize the American dead in her 237 year old history?
Wikipediia does it by listing all the wars since 1775 to the present day
Grand Total 2,489,335 dead or wounded ……. so for every year of the United States existence approximately 10, 504 young people died or were wounded in her name .
The community of the United States of America honors and memorialized those who have died, lost limbs and continue to serve .
ARLINGTON, Va., May 25, 2012 – More than 1,200 soldiers with the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, The Old Guard, gathered at Arlington National Cemetery here yesterday to place miniature American flags on each of its gravesites and niches for the annual “Flags In” ritual that’s been performed just before each Memorial Day for 64 years.
Army Pvt. Aaron Johnson places a small American flag in front of a gravesite headstone during the annual “Flags In” event at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., May 24, 2012. Johnson, assigned to the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, the Army’s “Old Guard,” and his comrades placed flags in front of more than 260,000 gravesite headstones and about 7,300 niches at the cemetery’s columbarium.
The Old Guard, at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, is the Army’s ceremonial unit and has honored Americans buried at the cemetery with the Flags In commemoration every year since 1948.
The regiment’s troops placed the flags on nearly 260,000 gravesites and 22,000 niches, in addition to more than 14,000 graves at the U.S. Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., an Army cemetery for residents of the Armed Forces Retirement Home-Washington
Freedom Is Not Free- Kelly Strong
I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Marine saluted it,
and then he stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud,
He’d stand out in any crowd.
I thought how many men like him
Had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers’ tears?
How many pilots’ planes shot down?
How many died at sea?
How many foxholes were soldiers’ graves?
No, freedom isn’t free.
I heard the sound of TAPS one night,
When everything was still
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times
That TAPS had meant “Amen,”
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend.
I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No, freedom isn’t free.
So as we enjoy the day of freedom on this Memorial Day think of young smiling faces whose hearts were afire with patriotism as they gave all they could give!