Archive for Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Musings from the Hill, May 28, 2015

May 26, 2015

We honor our Armed Forces on Memorial Day. It is also the day many visit family graves to tidy up the ravages of time.

Long ago when I was a child in New Jersey, we visited a graveyard to plant a few flowers in remembrance of a few-days-old baby brother. No stone marked his passage. In Depression days, care of the living had first priority. We walked gravely around the small plot, carefully avoiding nearby graves.

Family graves were far away in Maine and New Hampshire and ancestors are still honored today in scattered sites because of massacres in the French and Indian wars. We have visited many of them and also those who still lie in honor who died in the American Revolution and the War of 1812. We have viewed ancestors’ grave stones in Virginia and at the site of many who died or were wounded in defense of our country in the battle of Kings Mountain.

My father and a young uncle both fought for our country and survived in World War I. My husband and brothers served our country in Word War II. Will the final “war to end all wars” ever happen?

It is often said “Old men declare wars and young men fight them.” When will we ever learn? The Vietnam War is still today considered a black mark against us. France had been fighting them for years and cautioned us not to engage in a war which surely would end is disaster — their prediction came true.

Remember President George W. Bush landing an aircraft on the deck of a carrier? In celebration of what? A great cost to us and a desolated country left in ruins. When we will ever learn?

European graveyards are over burdened. People are renting or leasing them for burial plots. The days pictured in the movie “Driving Miss Daisy” are over. Scattering ashes in a favorite place is often chosen. The ashes of my deceased husband, my handicapped daughter and I will nourish the trees on my hilltop. A small strip of land along my north property I hope will be so honored.

The April-May issue of AARP magazine has a must read article on Vietnam 1965-1975, the war that changed everything. That war and the Civil War came close to destroying our country. Consult our public library.

I do not understand why we receive constant appeals to help our wounded veterans recover from grievous wounds both mental and physical. They should by right receive all the help needed to restore whatever is necessary for their health and well-being. This is a disgrace. Remember the old saying “There by the grace of fate go I.” Honor those who have made life in the USA better for all of us.

As is frequently quoted on M*ASH, “War is hell” and HawkEye says “I choose Hell to this.” They had to deal with a constant supply of dead and wounded men, women and children every day and night. Many remember Pete Seeger’s song “Where have all the flowers gone? Long time passing. When will we ever learn? When will we ever learn?"


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