Posts tagged ‘Memorial Day’

Memorial Day- 2015- Respect through the ages

A little over 2 1/2 years ago Lorain Mayor- Chase Ritenauer, Chief of Staff- Derek Feurestein , Ariel Vasquez of the Lorain Utilities Dept. met, along with the parents and family members of three of the young men who had lost their lives for our freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan, on what was then a derelict waste and dumping ground .
swbef

We trudged , and I mean that literally, through bracken, weeds, over fallen trees and mud as Ariel explained his vision for what would become Eric Barnes Heroes Walk.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Ariel explained how each young man would have a tribute garden with a bench , signage and artwork along a path which would meander through what was left of a woods, flower beds and a view of Lorain’s lakefront a priority . The pathway would connect the two areas already in place known as, Settlers’ Watch 2009
http://www.locophotogblog.com/?p=390
and at the opposite end of the site Admiral King Tribute site 2011.
http://www.locophotogblog.com/?p=668
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/eric-barnes-heroes-walk-lorain-county-beautiful/

The plan was ambitious. Ariel and his crew, with the support of the volunteers and donations through Charleston Village Society, would have phase one completed by November 11th-2012.
marks photos
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2012/11/12/dedication-ceremony-eric-barnes-heroes-walk-the-coverage/
As I walked the pathway on Pride Day,
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/05/17/growing-with-pride-day-2015-a-history-of-pride/
I could not credit how far the area had progressed in the months and changing seasons since that walk of vision. The plants grown and tended so beautifully by our volunteer “Constant Gardener- Joe” . Thinking back to that day in 2012 I remembered the look on the faces of the others as we stumbled through the undergrowth – they weren’t so sure themselves this plan would come to fruition!
gavin ryan

Once more this morning, I walked in the sunshine, the blue of the lake sparkling as the waves danced and the wind blew the clouds around an azure sky, with my two grandsons- ages 6 and 3. We were putting out the flags for Memorial Day, a job they hold very dear.
braedynryan

As we went along, making sure each garden and area was recognized, I admonished Gavin telling him to make sure the flags never touched the ground. Being six, the question arose,

WHY?

I didn’t want to confuse them anymore than I usually do with my explanations and this was an important WHY? I said it was

out of respect for the young men and woman who gave their lives for their country, in this case the United States and the flag was very important as it was carried into battle.

But why can’t it touch the ground- NOG?

I knew from my own history- being English- how important the flag was to my father, uncles and grandfathers , they gave their youth and in some cases their limbs and their lives for their own flag. . union Jack

Even from Roman times the “standard” was considered extremely important –

The standard-bearer normally was in close proximity to the unit leader. When the standard ‘fell’, the unit members did not have a visual point to rally around or return and the possibility that the leader had fallen was great. Loss of a standard in battle was considered to be one of the worst things to happen – the Honor of the unit was lost. By the same token, capturing a standard by an opponent was considered to be a tremendous act of courage.

https://legioilynx.wordpress.com/2012/02/28/standard-bearers-of-the-roman-legions/
With England’s long history emblems and flags ( standards) were most important on the field of battle and like the Romans the disappearance of the a standard/ flag on the battle field may well mean the battle was lost.
But I wasn’t absolutely certain about the United States history and the flag not touching the ground– was there another aspect my grandsons should know about?

Once again, the search for a reason – apart from respect as I knew it had to be – sent me to Google. To my surprise, I was brought full circle back to this community of Lorain. As I googled the reasoning, I was directed to a site about the Civil War and my eyes beheld a familiar painting .
gillmore  scan
COPY RIGHT 1890 STORMING OF FORT WAGNER – “CHARGE OF THE 54 MASS(COL) RGT JULY 18TH 1863- (UNION) GENERAL GILLMORE
Yes the Storming of Fort Wagner – the movie Glory – and my dining room companion General Gillmore !!![

Among the troops who assaulted Ft. Wagner was the 54th Massachusetts, a regiment of African-Americans led (as required by regulation) by white commissioned officers. Gillmore had ordered that his forces be integrated and that African-Americans were not to be assigned menial tasks only, such as KP or latrine duty, but instead they were to carry arms into battle. They and their assault on Ft. Wagner were the subject of the 1989 Civil War movie Glory, which starred Morgan Freeman and Matthew Broderick.

I eagerly read the following from that battle :
william_carney

There, also, Sergeant William Carney, who had earlier taken up the National Colors when the color sergeant had been shot, planted the flag and fought off numerous attempts by the Confederates to capture it. Without support, and faced with superior numbers and firepower, the 54th was forced to pull back. Despite two severe wounds, Sergeant Carney carried the colors to the rear. When praised for his bravery, he modestly replied, “I only did my duty; the old flag never touched the ground.” Carney was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions, the first African-American to receive the award.

There was also a poem and later a song from that proud moment coming out from that battle –flag groundres

The next time I walk the path with my grandsons- I will tell them the story of General Gillmore, whose father owned all the land
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/09/17/generally-gillmore-lorain-part-4/
upon which we walk, when we wander through Settlers’ Watch, Eric Barnes Heroes Walk, and Admiral King Tribute Site and how it was the men under his command who “never let the old flag touch the ground”

Who I am by  Christopher D. Ritchey

Who I am by Christopher D. Ritchey

May 22, 2015 at 7:57 pm 2 comments

Memorial Day USA- 2012

design- Christopher D. Ritchey

The origin of Memorial Day
http://www.thememorialdaytribute.com/origin-of-memorial-day.html

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
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_military_casualties_of_war

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 .
http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=116498

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


Artwork Christopher D. Ritchey

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!

May 27, 2012 at 10:49 am 1 comment

The Memory of Memorial- Eric Barnes- The Valiant

Eric Barnes design by Chris Ritchey

I never had the honor of meeting Eric Barnes and neither did my son but we will always have a connection this young man and I .

When Eric Barnes was killed giving his young life , strength and love for his country, freedom and flag. Century Tel ( now Link) wished to pay homage and tribute to this young man of Lorain .

They did and in Settlers’ Watch an eagle soars
http://www.locophotogblog.com/?p=361 once more reminding us of not only the bravery of Eric but of all the young men that gave their very essence so a flag can fly, a child can laugh and a true word spoken without fear.

Eric Barnes ( design ) Christopher D. Ritchey

The very last design work my own son did was to commemorate the bravery of Airman First Class Eric Barnes. A few weeks after completing the design work for Eric’s tribute , Chris died, not laying his life down for his country BUT from the obscenity of cancer .

Who I Am by Chris Ritchey


Chris was extremely proud to do this for Eric and the Barnes family , he loved freedom and was as patriotic as they come. And the truth be known I find a sort of comfort knowing that Chris’ last work was honoring the bravery and selflessness of this young man who like so many others gave and are giving everything for their home. It is fitting I think that one who so admired America and her heroes was able to speak to those ideals in his final work.

Please remember as you enjoy your hot dogs, hamburgers ,apple pies, parades and get togethers those who fought and continue to fight for our freedoms, those that like Eric called Lorain their home as well as all who have given their all no matter their hometown- They are the Valiant …………..
Design by Chris Ritchey

The upcoming three-day weekend has prompted searches on Yahoo! for “when is memorial day,” “what is memorial day,” and “memorial day history.” The day was originally known as “Decoration Day” because the day was dedicated to the Civil War dead, when mourners would decorate gravesites as a remembrance.

The holiday was first widely observed on May 30, 1868, when 5,000 people helped decorate the gravesites of 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried at Arlington National Cemetery. (Some parts of the South still remember members of the Confederate Army with Confederate Memorial Day.)

After World War I, the observances were widened to honor the fallen from all American wars–and in 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday.

Towns across the country now honor military personnel with services, parades, and fireworks. A national moment of remembrance takes place at 3 p.m. At Arlington National Cemetery, headstones are graced with small American flags.

This day is not to be confused with Veterans Day, which is observed on November 11 to honor military veterans, both alive and dead.


SOURCE
http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_upshot/20110526/us_yblog_upshot/the-meaning-of-memorial-day

May 29, 2011 at 9:54 am 1 comment


Categories

Archives

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 230 other followers

October 2021
M T W T F S S
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031