Archive for the ‘Military’ Category

Memorial Day

Monday, May 30th, 2016

As I have done before, I’m posting two things for Memorial Day. The first is a poem that Robert Service wrote after World War I:

PILGRIMS

For oh, when the war will be over
We’’ll go and we’’ll look for our dead;
We’’ll go when the bee’’s on the clover,
And the plume of the poppy is red:
We’’ll go when the year’’s at its gayest,
When meadows are laughing with flow’’rs;
And there where the crosses are greyest,
We’’ll seek for the cross that is ours.

For they cry to us: Friends, we are lonely,
A-weary the night and the day;
But come in the blossom-time only,
Come when our graves will be gay:
When daffodils all are a-blowing,
And larks are a-thrilling the skies,
Oh, come with the hearts of you glowing,
And the joy of the Spring in your eyes.

But never, oh, never come sighing,
For ours was the Splendid Release;
And oh, but ’’twas joy in the dying
To know we were winning you Peace!
So come when the valleys are sheening,
And fledged with the promise of grain;
And here where our graves will be greening,
Just smile and be happy again
.

And so, when the war will be over,
We’’ll seek for the Wonderful One;
And maiden will look for her lover,
And mother will look for her son;
And there will be end to our grieving,
And gladness will gleam over loss,
As – glory beyond all believing!
We point …… to a name on a cross.

The second is a link to remind you of those who gave their all for their country, and some of the others that it affects:

A veteran is someone who, at one point, wrote a blank check made payable to ‘The United States of America ‘ for an amount of ‘up to and including their life.’

It is Veteran’s Day

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

There’s not much left of the day, here. I should have set up a draft post yesterday – I only sat down with my laptop a few minutes ago, and don’t have time to do anything substantial in the way of post contents.

In any case, if you know a veteran, thank them. You don’t have to do it on Veteran’s Day, you can do it anytime. Even if they’re embarrassed to hear it (and I know I always feel awkward when someone thanks me for my service), they do appreciate it.

Memorial Day

Monday, May 25th, 2015

Remember, when you think of those who gave their all for their country:

A veteran is someone who, at one point, wrote a blank check made payable to ‘The United States of America ‘ for an amount of ‘up to and including their life.’

The Great Loss

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

It’s the 100th anniversary of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand by Gavrilo Princip, the event that triggered the start of World War I. General Sherman famously said, “War is Hell.” World War I, also known as “The Great War” and “The War to End War,” was particularly hellish.

I’ve seen estimates that up to eighty percent of the young men of that generation in Europe were crippled or lost their lives, between valiant but stupid charges in the trench warfare, the poison gases, the shelling, and the disease. That is incredibly tragic, but the extent of the killing had other effects once the fighting was over – a lot of traditions and knowledge were lost because the people who maintained them either died during the war, or had no-one to pass them on to after the war.

Among the knowledge lost was most of Europe’s martial arts. There were schools and clubs for such things as quarterstaff, rapier, and the like. Japan has had a continuous martial arts tradition, but after the war in Europe, there were either no instructors or no students, because there were too few men left for any of them to have time for such activities. That’s in addition to the fact that not many people overall take such classes, anyway, so there were fewer who had the interest, let alone the time.

There are groups such as ARMA working today to reconstruct some of the knowledge that was lost. It’s slow going, but fascinating.

Now, imagine that four out of five men in their late teens and 20s die in the next few years. What might be lost? Could our society survive both the loss of manpower and the loss of continuity? Are we more or less robust than those earlier societies? Where would vacuums (of power, of people, of whatever) occur, and who would fill them?

And what would that mean for you?

Seventy Years Past

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

It was the 70th anniversary of the Great Escape this week. Technically, the night of the 24th into the 25th for the escape from camp itself.

I have, of course, seen the movie several times. I’ll watch it any time I come across it. I don’t remember if I read the book before or after I’d seen the movie the first time.

A very good story, in either form. If you’re not familiar with the story, the movie is probably more accessible. The book is more in-depth, and more accurate – there are differences. Either one is well worth your time.

It’s Veteran’s Day

Monday, November 11th, 2013

My thanks to all my fellow veterans, even the WooPoos 🙂

It’s Veteran’s Day

Sunday, November 11th, 2012

I’ve put a lot of my service time out of my mind, for various reasons, and I haven’t kept up with my old buddies that much, either. Still, if you’re a veteran, you have my thanks. And my sympathies, given the election results. I remember how things were under Carter, and they have to be worse now.

There are a few dates I try to remember each year

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

One of them is ANZAC Day.

Happy Birthday to …

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

Elvis Presley, who would have been 77 today.

The song of the day is not one of his, though. It’s an old fiddle tune written to commemorate a famous battle.

Time to be the big boss

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

I missed this when it happened, and didn’t know about it until I saw it in the latest issue of my alumni magazine. I knew Jon when we were mids, but haven’t seen him since.

Good to see that some of us are making something of ourselves.