Posts filed under ‘history’
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A yellowing, crumbling to the touch, page of a newspaper from May 1894 took me on a journey once more into the lives of my neighbors of the 1800’s. This small neighborhood, poised to become the 10th largest city in the state, full of promise , steel and manufacturing. One of her ‘great names”,( George Wickens) tinged with scandal was found in the words of that newspaper cutting from another neighbor, after she passed- whose family had been part of the birthing of a city. https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/generally-gillmore-the-last-post-lorain-part-12/
Mayor George Wickens, had been pilloried in the press, small paragraphs recounting his troubles in various news print around the state. But what of Mida Pershing. “no spring chicken” according to George at the ripe old age of 26- earning a living through secretarial work, and then “unceremoniously imposed upon” by her boss, George. George Wickens, a pillar and strength of a fledgling city!
I have to think Mida must have been courageous, principled or very naïve to have taken on Mr. Wicken’s behavior in the public eye. Women of her time just didn’t cross that threshold and make of themselves the subject of gossip, but Mida did. I uncovered some small facts about Mida-
Mida was born in 1868 one of 7 children to George Washington Pershing and Catherine Cline.
Just a note here there are some discrepancies in the two “search for ancestors sites” as to her date of death. I will go with the date on the headstone North Murray Ridge Cemetery , Elyria 1947
making her 79. She married Ray A Eldred (1876 – 1958) in October of 1901. Roy was 8 years her junior. Mida went on to have 5 children apparently – two dying early on
Helen ELDRED b: 15 AUG 1903 Children Nettie K. ELDRED Ralph A. ELDRED b: 5 AUG Walter P. ELDRED Ruth V. ELDRED
You see George Wickens settled the case against him in 1895-
Just what the terms were of that settlement I haven’t been able to find on-line but one would assume the terms were satisfactory to Mida at the time .
Note:If anyone has more information on the case I would love to update the posts.
George was once again asked to resign :
PDF File of the complaint:
Jan 7 1896
George was adamant there was no such wrongdoing with the books for the cemetery account ( see above PDF file)
1896 The Lorain County Reporter
January 11, 1896
- The committee from the Lorain council appointed to investigate the books of Mayor Wickens, reported a shortage of over $250. The committee stated that the result was probably caused by bad book keeping. The mayor made a speech in which he stated that he was a victim of a conspiracy to ruin him. The council by a vote of eight to two requested him to resign his office, which he has thus refused to do. A strong undercurrent of public feeling has been aroused, and many do not hesitate to state that Mayor Wickens is being unmercifully persecuted by his enemies.
George, however, did not give up on Lorain as his full obituary found here on Dan Brady’s site : http://danielebrady.blogspot.com/2012/06/meet-george-wickens-part-1.html
From 1872 for approximately 10 years he was a “contractor”
While engaged in the carpentry business in Lorain, Mr. Wickens built many of the older houses now located on the east side and was the contractor that built the old lighthouse which now stands at the end of the west pier of the river
Lorain’s fist big dig maybe??
NOTE Contacting the Engineering Dept. they have found mention of
” # Y-45 created sometime between 1915-1919, but determined lost in 1923″ but that too would have been AFTER George had died in 1908- The question then becomes IS THERE ANOTHER TUNNEL UNDER THE BLACK RIVER SOMEWHERE?????
From George’s obituary we learn :
He was mayor of the city when the plant of the National Tube company came to Lorain and had in his possession at the time of his death the first piece of steel ever turned out by the plant. In ’97 Mr. Wickens was elected as a member of the council from the second ward and later was a member of the boards of cemetery trustees and water works trustees. He was elected a member of the first board of public service in 1903. At the last municipal election he was again elected to the office of member of the board of public service by a large majority. He was also a member of the board of library trustees.
The trustees of the public library issued a special resolution that was part of that same article. It stated, “Resolved that in the death of Mr. Wickens this Association has lost one of its most useful members. Identified with the earliest efforts to establish a free public library in Lorain, Mr. Wickens gave his time and thought most generously to promote the cause. He was never called upon to assist in the work that he did not promptly respond, often at great inconvenience and sometimes actual loss to himself.
“It should therefore be known to all the people of Lorain that the Public Library as it now stands is in a sense a monument to the public spirit and noble character of George Wickens.”
The Board of Trustees are J.W. Jones, E.M. Pierce, Mrs. J.H. Hills, Mrs. McIlvaine, W.C. Fisher, George Wickens, E.E. Hopkins, and F.A. Rowley.
And so we come full circle back to the History( makers) of Lorain of which he was such an integral part. His story “hopefully” preserved by the Lorain Historical Society who now occupy that self-same Library- The Carnegie Library- I wonder if among the artifacts there is another yellowing piece of paper telling more of his story……………
Again many thanks to Dan Brady, Frank Sipkovsky, Paula Shorf for their research and information……..
Part One https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/11/12/mayor-george-wickens-buried-on-the-back-pages-lorain/
Part Five https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/12/11/mayor-george-wickens-changing-times-lorain/
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Evening Herald 1894
“When in the Mayors office she says he spoke a few words more about embalming and asked her if he should show her his person. She said no and he then asked her to kiss him. She says she sprang to one side of the table. He followed her , caught hold of her and kissed her on the ear. She says she then turned and confronted him and he said something which she does not remember and quickly left the room . He went to dinner and came back within 15 minutes and wanted her to say she thought he meant nothing wrong.
Oh George! had he been breathing in too much embalming fluid vapors, had his ardor cooled like a corpse on the table after leaving the room, perhaps realizing the seriousness of his behavior? In 1894 Lorain such behavior was indeed not accepted in polite society, especially in the puritanical Midwestern US who were desperately clinging to civilization among plank sidewalks, mud filled streets . Women were at a decided disadvantage it would take another 25 years for Mida to even get the right to vote – Democrat or Republican .
Now George was not the only “Republican Mayor” to be held up to the public for whispering naughty naughties to a “city employee” although the more squeamish newspaper ( Plain Dealer) of the 21st century day did not print in detail the intimate conversations of Mayor Craig Foltin and the “sex tapes”( 2003)
From the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Aug. 6, 2003:
The lurid details of a taped conversation that appears to be between Mayor Craig Foltin and a police dispatcher became public yesterday.
Two weeks ago, an anonymous person sent the six-minute tape to City Council President Kenneth Shawver. The tape includes several instances of sexual banteringThe phone rings and the mayor says, “Hey.””You have a great . . .,” a woman says.”Who is this?” the mayor jokes.
The two laugh as they discuss details from a recent night.Foltin also speaks about attending a retirement party, and a meeting with state, county and city officials on improvements to Colorado Avenue and going to court to acquire property from residents.
And a few paragraphs later:
After listening to the tape with a reporter, Foltin said the conversation was from 11/2 years ago, though he never conceded that it was his voice.
Listening to a portion of the tape, Foltin said, “I don’t remember any of those conversations.” After the entire tape was played, he said: “I think it’s tough to tell. I can’t tell if it’s me. What do you think?”
Foltin would not say whether he had dated a police dispatcher. “Right now, I am settled down and engaged to a lovely girl,” he said, declining to identify her. His fiancée does not work for the city, he said.
We at OH-13 are unsure of what the bigger laugh is: is it that he was enjoying a sexual phone conversation with an on-duty police dispatcher, he was too stupid to realize that the POLICE TAPE ALL THE CALLS, or that when presented with the calls, he knew when they were made, but was unsure if he was the one on them? Was he just listening in to calls between a police dispatcher and someone who sounded remarkably like him? Enquiring minds and political junkies want to know, even if Mayor Foltin isn’t sure about the whole deal.
Times don’t seemed to have changed much ( he said, she said , the media said) but to continue with George and Mida:
She [Mida] said she was sick the next day, not having , not having slept any during the night , and told Mr. Wickens she wanted to go back to Mr. Lampman’s
Note: Mr. Lampman was a successful merchant and proprietor of a general merchandize store.He is mentioned in the warrant of May 1894 —(“Did Manford ( meaning Mr Lampman) ever talk like this to you?- Adultery is no sin- God won’t condemn the act; there are other virtues;”)
He [Wickens] said he did not want her to go and asked why she was going . She told him and remained until after he returned from Dayton. She says when she settled up with him she swore at him and told her he had made her hate the Bible . She says he asked her three times to forgive him and she refused.
George really does have himself in hot water and another warrant was issued for assault.
When the officer went to serve the warrants on the Mayor he was found in the office of the store. He seemed much agitated and said he would like a copy to the instrument left with him. The officer refused to leave the affidavit and the Mayor said he would consult his attorney. He has retained E.G Johnson, Q. A Gillmore and C.G Washburn.
George was indicted by the Grand Jury and Lorain *( the village of) was bitterly divided. From the Plain Dealer ( yes! the same newspaper that covered the other Republican Mayor Foltin and the “sex tapes”-in 2003- 108 years later….
In 1895 ( and bringing truth to the reasoning of the writers at the Evening Herald 1894:
Now several months must elapse with the people of Lorain all the time in doubt as to whether their Mayor is a libertine and a wretch of the most loathsome character or a man worthy of respect and esteem.
The village of Lorain “named in 1874″
by the head of the Democratic Party”
NOTE: Once again many thanks to Dan Brady http://danielebrady.blogspot.com/ for his help
To be continued……….
Oh dear! Poor George when we left him last had not learned his lesson it seems. I can’t find much about Mida Pershing and will share what has been found at the end of this series. But George on the 26th of May 1894 continued on his conversation with Mida- would that he hadn’t.
But let us look at the man, what he built, and that which survives him . Part of the legacy he leaves today including the name that still rings through the centuries Wickens, Herzer, Cook and Baptista
Note: George Wickens had various business apart from being the Mayor of Lorain – he had a furniture store , he was the owner and director of a funeral home and you can find the pdf of his story and his business below. Thanks to Paula Shorf( one of the authors of Lorain: The Real Postcards of Willis Leiter) http://www.arcadiapublishing.com/9781467111331/Lorain-The-Real-Photo-Postcards-of-Willis-Leiter for the information:
234.The Wickens Company
George arrived in Lorain in 1873 and this is what met his eye
The caption from the Wickens’ Booklet reads
” North Broadway is seen from the east side of the river- practically the whole town is shown. There is no bridge, the old plank bridge having been washed out by the freshet. Steve Moore’s ferry is carrying a horse and rider across. William Jones’ old shipyard on North Broadway is seem filled of lumber and here, in the picture, H.D. Root has just launched the steamer “Charles Hecock”
George started his first “shop” store on West Erie in the Bowen Hall in 1882
George with his three children and then onto Broadway – a building that modern day Lorainites will be sure to recognize
then and now
George also had other properties
In his business life Mr. Wickens has been most successful and in the last twenty-five years has built up one of the most extensive furniture businesses in this section of the state. In 1900 he erected the three story business block on Broadway now occupied by the Boston Store. In the spring of 1899 a branch store was opened on Tenth avenue. In 1904 the five-story building in which the business in now located was erected, the store opening for business on December 13, ’95. The Parkside Chapel, identified with the undertaking business of Wickens and Ransom, was erected in 1903.”
http://danielebrady.blogspot.com/2012/06/meet-george-wickens-part-1.html His funeral home – Parkside Chapel
Regular readers please note: in the above narrative from the History of the Western Reserve Part three – what is now known as Veterans’ Park , the little park from whence this community was platted in 1834 WAS at ONE time also known as GIL(L)MORE PARK https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/generally-gillmore-the-last-post-lorain-part-12/ So we can add that to its series of names https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/veterans-memorial-park-fini/
The Parkside Chapel was next door to his residence, which ironically, segued into the building we know today as Walter Frey Funeral Home – sitting next to the Lorain City Hall.
But back to George and Mida- George had added to his many talents by graduating from the Clark School of Embalming in 1888- ( Note embalming became popular in the Civil War http://www.civilwarundertaker.net/history.htm
Dr. Richard Burr, an embalming surgeon, is performing the embalming process on a soldier recovered from the battlefield. During the early years of the American Civil War, a new profession began to emerge.
It was Georges discussion with Mida and the sharing of his texts ( in the old-fashioned sense of the word) that was his the beginning of his public disgrace.
Evening Herald 1894
On May 26th 1894 she said he showed her , when they were alone, a book on embalming, showing her a picture of a nude man. She said he told her something about how to keep from having children . This was down in the office and he asked her to follow him up into the Mayor’s office and she did so praying the Lord to give her strength……….
To Be continued
Part Two https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/mayor-george-wickens-yellowing-journalism-lorain/
It has seemingly become increasingly difficult for those of us in the general popuation to trust those in public office and especially the 4th establishment – the slanted prime talking heads news and so called editors. Editorials that can sway the local populace thinking because editors, especially, are thought to be “above” agendas, educated intelligent, and respected in their position of “power of the press”. They can and do hold sway over the thinking of a community. In this local community , our local paper- Morning Journal- has, on occasion, used that power if not always wisely – too well.
They, tend to denigrate the naysayers in this community on more than one occasion in which I have personally been involved . Morning Journal Editor- John Cole- now deceased ( who named this blog – due to his insistence of calling me “that woman” when we came out against the building of condos that he, Foltin, Prudoff and Veard wanted in Lorains historic greenspace.
The new editor Daryl Tucker of the Morning Journal once again, in relationship to a piece of legislation coming before a council committee tomorrow night, has his “naysay say” editorial …..( I won’t link to the editorial you can find it.)
“However, since the legislation was published Nov. 13, we have heard — and Fowler — rumors from naysayers and those who are stuck in the past that the administration will allow strip clubs downtown
Oh those terrible naysayers !!!!!!! Also known as those that might have a differing opinion, denigrated to “historically past thinking”.
( Sorry DT so-called forward thinking hasn’t gotten us anything downtown but 60 percent empty dilapidated buildings.
Maybe a look into the past where a community sprang from 40 acres, rebuilt itself after a tornado and try to tap into that “ownership of Lorain” might be worth that look. And remembering the “past” may have stopped the local newly built school facing the difficulties they are experiencing today yup – the past will come back to bite you!
However, I digress. I seem to remember, the previous editor but one, John Cole and “naysayers” and that self-same paper ( “historically the great, great-grandchild of the Evening Herald) which pilloried poor old George Wickens. The offspring paper of that paper Morning Journal and editor John Cole being used by Mayor Foltin- being used to Squash the naysayers ! a devious plot indeed!
John Cole, longtime editor of the local newspaper.
“I feel he should be briefed early (even in the next week or two) with the understanding that we are in very early stages and he will be the first to know if anything happens and when it becomes public,” Foltin wrote Oct. 11 in an e-mail to Casey. “He can personally squash any naysaying and ensure broad community support.”
March 6 2005 Cleveland Plain Dealer
Full article found here
Foltin Cole and Casino
Oh yes the media once again labelling those who dare have an opinion and listening to rumor and innuendo and of course using the “power of the press”
Historically not much has changed since George’s Day in Lorain. He too had his reputation sullied in the press of Lorain . And I will put up once again in fairness his denial since he is now “history”
Apparently one of the cases coming before the newly sworn in Mayor on his docket ( which was taken care of by Miss Pershing ) was of a young girl who had gone deeply into sin and Mayor Wickens claiming as Miss Pershing was no spring chicken” to take on some missionary work for the girl.
*** It looks like the girl in question was Lorain’s version of a prostitute
The docket was in all likelihood a description of what had occurred with the young woman’s “criminal offence”
As Mayor Wickens signed the completed Docket he looked up at Miss Pershing and stated:
“Mida, do you know that such things were more free, society would be in a better condition than it is today”
Miss Pershing expressed surprise at this and the Mayor said
“Well it is a fact”
The next day he spoke of the girl again , saying she got a quarter for staying all night with that man, and said
“half of the church people and preachers are doing the same thing, and they take it that if God justified Abraham , they have the same right……
And this is where George got tangled in the “sexual harassment and obscenity” of the day………
To be continued
According to the “History of the First Methodist Church” Geo Wickens – History of The First Methodist Church 1856-1956, lorain
he had fiery red hair, long red moustache, bushy brows and an infectious grin indicated that things had to move fast when he took charge……..
George Wickens became Mayor when he was 42 -April 1894 and was immediately caught up in scandal.
“The Mayor’s Trouble” Within the past 24 hours a matter involving the good name of the Mayor of Lorain has arisen which the public will learn of with feelings of the keenest regret and deepest humiliation” Evening Herald June 1894
Charges against Mayor Wickens ” were the most serious that could be made” causing him in fact due to the charges against the Mayor caused him to have to withdraw from the church and the Rev. J.F. Smith has informed him [Wickens] that his services as Superintendent of the Methodist Sunday School will be no longer permitted
Whatever did George do- murder?? rape? incest? blackmail to be “thus pilloried without a trial”. The newspaper Evening Herald calling for him to be disgraced and his behavior disgusting or is this the politics of the day a Republican and Democrat go around in 1894.
Now George Wickens admits to being indiscreet but that the woman in question [Mida Pershing] magnified the “troubles” “the so-called scandalous story”
It seems, according to the report of the day, George Wickens hired a Miss Mida Pershing as a bookeeper for his business.[Wickens and Wilkins]- she stated that her duties were to take of the books and the Mayor’s docket.
Within a few weeks Mida resigned her position. and what followed according to the Evening Herald –
it soon became whispered about there was a scandalous story to tell. It was related at first to a very few confidential friends, but soon spread , as was to be expected, like fire to an oil refinery……..
…..”interest in the scandalous story of the alleged improper conduct of Mayor Wickens toward Miss Mida Pershing, his bookkeeper, grows rather than diminishes with each succeeding day. Monday am at about 10 o’clock Mayor Wickens was formally charged under arrest on the charges od using obscene language in the presence of a female and of committing an assault.
When you read the full report by the Evening Herald , the article tries to set the tone of unbiased reporting, talking of letting the people make up their own minds whilst gleefully latching on and using the inflammatory language of the time to “sway public opinion whilst seeming “reporting the news even with the lead in
“The Evening Herald refers to the subject with the greatest reluctance but it seems best to state the facts and allow the people to form their own conclusions”
Ah seems history continues to repeat itself…………
To Be Continued………..
When I wrote about “Veterans Park” and its over 200-year-old history as the first public square of the little settlement on the Black River and the birthplace of what became Lorain, I touched upon an Englishman- George Wickens . George Wickens , Lorain businessman, a man held in high esteem and the namesake of Wickens’ Place the little lane that runs parallel to what is now Veterans Park.
In that post you will find links to a series on George Wickens by Dan Brady of Brady’s Bunch of Lorain County Nostalgia http://danielebrady.blogspot.com/search?q=Wickens. The obituarys in the newspaper reports of the time extolls the leadership, the abilities and much-loved regard for this native son of England who made Lorain his home.
Mr. Wickens, whose death(19th March 1908) came as a great shock, was one of Lorain’s most highly respected and prominent men and his demise is mourned by all. In his death the city loses a man who took a great interest in all things pertaining to the welfare of the city and her citizens and whose place Lorain will be unable to fill.
His funeral was almost one of “state” for that time.
and the fact like Captain Thomas Wilford
and myself, we were transplants from England who ended up here on the shores of Lake Erie. Coupled with the fact, although generations apart, we trod the same streets, saw the same homes ( well most of them) in this Lorain’s oldest neighborhood.
Yes! George was by all accounts beloved, admired and a shining example to his community. So it came as a bit of a shock when looking through the artifacts from Peggy Gillmore
I found a crumbling yellow newspaper article- The Evening Herald June 16th 1894. Titled:
DOUBT IN THE MINDS OF THE PEOPLE OF LORAIN AS TO THE CHARACTER OF THEIR MAYOR. the almost full page article continued to list the “shame and the accusations”
I was fascinated by the article as to the thinking and what was acceptable at the time and a few quotes from George that made me chuckle and remember the English aren’t exactly without a sense of humour. I believe this “case of a woman’s accusation” and indeed one other accusation where he was publicly vilified in the press- having experienced that myself on occasion ;) needed to be explored further. ( Republicans and Democrats having at it in 1894 )
My problem was trying to find the outcome of the cases pending against George. Thanks to Paula Shorf and with special appreciation to Dan Brady it has taken many weeks but I am able to say George came out of both his reputation intact, although his regard for others substantially damaged ( as well as the politics of the day). But as always with these things just a paragraph buried in the back told the rest of the tale. So before giving “airing” to his supposed actions I will quote George from the article itself
Note George Wickens became Mayor of Lorain in April 1894 , just two months prior to the scandal!
” A statement from the Mayor”
Lorain, O., June 16th 1894
To The Evening Herald
Inasmuch as you have printed certain rumours affecting my character as a man and as a citizen, I ask the privilege of saying to the public through your columns, that, while I am not informed as to the specifications of such charges, I deny generally and specifically each and every one of them, reflecting in the least degree upon my character as a citizen, and honour as a man, and ask the public to withhold judgement until the truth shall be known.
Yours Respectfully Geo. Wickens
My respect for George has risen two-fold – one he had the courage to take on the media of this town – maybe that is also an English trait ;)
Title: The Evening herald. : (Lorain, Ohio) 1894-1901 Place of publication:Lorain, OhioGeographic coverage:Lorain, Lorain, Ohio | View more titles from this: City County, State
Publisher:Frederick A. RowleyDates of publication:1894-1901Description:Vol. 1, no. 1 (May 22, 1894)-v. 7, no. 287 (May 4, 1901).
Frequency:Daily (except Sun.) Language:English
Editors: Rowley & I.H. Griswold, 1895-1899.
LCCN:sn 84028328OCLC:10922716 Succeeding Titles:The Lorain times-herald. (Lorain, Ohio) 1901-1932
and then the Lorain Times became the Lorain Journal and The Journal and then the Morning Journal..
Oh! for goodness sakes looks like over a hundred year later George and I fought for the same park, the same neighborhood and took on the same “newspaper” – How is that for history repeating itself- “an Englishman cometh indeed!
Two – He also it seems had similar penchant for run on sentences ( guilty as charged!)
To Be Continued ……
Tower of London Poppies
Scarlet corn poppies (popaver rhoeas) grow naturally in conditions of disturbed earth throughout Western Europe. The destruction brought by the Napoleonic wars of the early 19th Century transformed bare land into fields of blood red poppies, growing around the bodies of the fallen soldiers.
In late 1914, the fields of Northern France and Flanders were once again ripped open as World War One raged through Europe’s heart. Once the conflict was over the poppy was one of the only plants to grow on the otherwise barren battlefields.http://www.bbc.co.uk/remembrance/how/poppy.shtml
For the past months a huge army of volunteers planted ceramic poppies around the Tower of London. Created by ceramic artist Paul Cummins, with setting by stage designer Tom Piper, 888,246 ceramic poppies progressively fill the Tower’s famous moat.
Every evening the “Last Post” was played. Americans have not embraced the poppy here in the USA. The poppy may not have been recognized with its significance but the “Last Post” has certainly made an impact and is played reverently throughout the nations. Armistice Day 11-11-11 was the thought of King George the V. Exactly a year after the guns of World War 1 fell silent 1919 he prounounced:
‘I believe,’ he had announced, ‘that my people in every part of the Empire fervently wish to perpetuate the memory of the Great Deliverance, and those who laid down their lives to achieve it.’
He suggested that ‘at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, there may be, for the brief space of two minutes, a complete suspension of all our normal activities’.
The parade ended with a bagpipe lament and the playing of the Last Post on a solo bugle. The use of the humble, functional bugle — rather than a cavalry call proclaimed with ceremonial splendour by state trumpeters — was a poignant, heartrending lament for the hundreds of thousands of ordinary husbands, sons and fathers for whom the nation grieved.
During World War I the Last Post took on a new significance, with a bugler standing over every grave and playing the haunting melody at the start and end of each day
Although the origins of its haunting melody are unknown, the Last Post had been used since the beginning of the 18th century in Army camps to mark the ending of the day and the sealing of perimeter fences. In hostelries and brothels, it was sounded to alert Army personnel that they should return to their headquarters.
During the previous 50 years or so, however — and particularly during World War I — the tune had taken on a new significance. No longer just a military signal, it had become a powerful symbol for the ending of a life, rather than the literal close of a day.
During the Battle of the Somme, a tradition arose that the dead were buried at the beginning and end of each day. Morning and evening, a bugler would stand over every grave, playing the Last Post……….
………..That first Armistice Day commemoration in 1919 would complete the melody’s transformation from practical signal into the unique, almost sacred, symbol it has become for both army personnel and civilians today.
On November the 11th here in the USA Veterans Posts and organizations will be honouring the fallen for all the wars, the Last Post will be played , eyes will fill with tears and honor will be given to those who have died and given young lives for us, including the young unknown soldier from World War One who wrote the poem before he went over the top ( of the trenches)into ” no mans land “.
and whose words now touch millions 100 years later:
Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red
By Anon – Unknown Soldier
The blood swept lands and seas of red,
Where angels dare to tread.
As I put my hand to reach,
As God cried a tear of pain as the angels fell,
Again and again.
As the tears of mine fell to the ground,
To sleep with the flowers of red,
As any be dead.
My children see and work through fields
of my own with corn and wheat,
Blessed by love so far from pain of my resting
Fields so far from my love.
It be time to put my hand up and end this pain
Of living hell, to see the people around me
Fall someone angel as the mist falls around,
And the rain so thick with black
thunder I hear
Over the clouds, to sleep forever and kiss
The flower of my people gone before time
To sleep and cry no more.
I put my hand up and see the land of red,
This is my time to go over,
I may not come back So sleep, kiss the boys for me.