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Celebrating Memorial Day!
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Old 05-29-2010, 11:16 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,113,571 times
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Colorado is a popular place to have a good time on Memorial Day, but we should all take time to remember what Memorial Day is all about. I post this on the Colorado forum because this Pulitzer Prize-winning piece of journalism from the now-defunct Rocky Mountain News says it better than I ever could.

The photoessay is now found here (the link in the story no longer works):

Final Salute Gallery - The Digital Journalist

The story here:

Final Salute : News : The Rocky Mountain News

We Coloradans should be proud that it was our hometown newspaper the put together this great photoessay. Though it is several years old, this photoessay is a timeless reminder of the ultimate sacrifice that we memorialize on Memorial Day.

And, as I posted over on the music forum, this lovely piece by American composer Aaron Copeland is, in my opinion, a perfect match to musically capture the meaning of Memorial Day and it makes wonderful accompaniment to the slide show.


YouTube - Aaron Copland: Concerto for Clarinet, Strings, Harp & Piano (1947/'48) Prima parte
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Old 05-29-2010, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
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Though I've seen this slideshow before, I still find it moving.

I wonder how many Americans stop, even for a minute, to think about what kind of sacrifice it was for any single one of the hundreds of thousands who have fallen--some suffering horribly in the process--over the course of more than 250 years to build and protect this nation for every current and future generation.

It would appear that idiots like the folks at Pier1 and Google don't give it that much thought...the banner ads that are automatically triggered by the words "Memorial Day" are for a sale. That is, I guess, the meaning of Memorial Day for them...an opportunity to sell more Chinese-made bamboo crap. Disgusting.
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Old 05-29-2010, 06:57 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
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I'm from back east, and my most meaningful Memorial Day occurred by accident. I had forgotten it was even Memorial Day...just another holiday. I decided to do a walk down in Washington, D.C. that day, and by mere coincidence ended up at the relatively new World War II Memorial. I had been before, but on this day it was packed with people, and then I realized...of course...Memorial Day. I have to admit there were tears in my eyes as I saw a few WWII vets...mostly in wheel chairs...viewing not just the memorial itself, but also the little private memorials people had made -- usually a photo of their father or grandfather, often with a flower or some other memento attached. There were hundreds of these little private shrines, and they made me think of my own father's serving in Europe during the war...the final push up through Italy, then over into Germany...I thought more that day about his sacrifices than I ever had.

And then there's Colorado. And when I have visited before (moving to CS next week) and go up into the mountains almost anywhere, I honestly do find myself thinking of "America the Beautiful", even though it's not Pike's Peak I may be on -- "spacious skies...amber waves of grain...purple mountains' majesty above the fruited plain...America God shed his grace on thee." It's corny but stirs my heart to think of our great fortune in America, which we often forget was built on the sacrifices of the veterans from colonial days through to the present. God bless them!
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Old 06-01-2010, 09:34 AM
 
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Spirit that made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free

from 'Concord Hymn' - Ralph Waldo Emmerson


I don't take too much for granted anymore, though I used to. I think about the sacrifices my Dad, my uncle, and millions of other people made during those war years. We are indeed lucky to have what we have in this country.
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Old 06-01-2010, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
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I imagine that each one of these brave men and women, now residing on the other side of the veil, are the biggest cheerleaders for humanity to GROW UP and stop the senseless act of war.
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Old 06-01-2010, 04:55 PM
 
20,315 posts, read 37,820,570 times
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TRUE STORY:
When I worked for the Army transportation agency back in the DC area, one of our industry reps had been a conductor on a troop train that was headed to a west coast port of embarkation. It was August, 1945. The train was full of 19-year old soldiers who were assigned to be part of the invasion force to assault mainland Japan. The death toll of this assault was expected to be ferocious and all these guys thought they were going to die. Well, news of V-J came in over a radio and all hell broke loose on the train; those dudes were celebrating and cheering to beat the band...they weren't going to die after all.

My father's B&O RR sent over 16,000 men off to WW-II, with over 400 killed.

One of my RR pals sent me this link to a COLOR video made in Honolulu on V-J Day, man, you gotta see those dudes celebrating, riding around on the fenders of cars and trucks, and breaking out the sauce.

My hat is off to all the veterans of all the wars.
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Old 06-01-2010, 07:57 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,113,571 times
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Great film, Mike. Yes, indeed, it was the greatest generation. V-J Day was probably the high point in this country's history. In the midst of that, this General George Patton quote was, I think, quite foretelling:

Quote:
"For over a thousand years Roman conquerors returning from the wars enjoyed the honor of triumph, a tumultuous parade. In the procession came trumpeteers, musicians and strange animals from conquered territories, together with carts laden with treasure and captured armaments. The conquerors rode in a triumphal chariot, the dazed prisoners walking in chains before him. Sometimes his children robed in white stood with him in the chariot or rode the trace horses. A slave stood behind the conqueror holding a golden crown and whispering in his ear a warning: that all glory is fleeting."
- Gen. George C. Patton
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Old 06-03-2010, 07:35 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 26,271,029 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
A slave stood behind the conqueror holding a golden crown and whispering in his ear a warning: that all glory is fleeting."
We could use one of those on Pennsylvania Avenue every four years.
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