8 comments

  1. God Bless all those who served and those who serve now.

    My Dad related to us that his earliest memory was watching the WWI troops parade home in NYC. Just one hop to reach back 100 years. He would later serve in Europe during WWII.

  2. He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
    Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam’d,
    And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
    He that shall live this day, and see old age,
    Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
    And say “To-morrow is Saint Crispian.”
    Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
    And say “These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.”
    Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
    But he’ll remember, with advantages,
    What feats he did that day.

    We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
    For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
    Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
    This day shall gentle his condition;
    And gentlemen in England now a-bed
    Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
    And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
    That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

    Henry V, act IV, scene iii

    Remembering and honoring the feats that they did. God bless all of my brothers and sisters who served.

  3. I look at these pictures and wonder how so few even know a veteran these days. Both grandparents, dad and all my uncles, nearly all my friends (save a few who were 4F from football injuries) and I all served. From the next generation, I know only a pair of my cousin’s kids and my son-in-law.

    I miss the country I grew up in.

    1. I have one as a friend, and I know several in the company I work with. But definitely, very few nowadays can say the same.
      Is that first picture of soldiers about to ship out to the Philippines for the insurrection or to France? I thought those style hats for the troops was specifically for the Spanish-American War and the insurrection. The rifles look kind of like M1903’s but it’s hard to tell.
      And is the third picture at Tarawa? It took almost a year for film footage of that battle to be released to the public.
      As my dad asked me when I was ten years old and showed him my GI Joes, “Do you think there’s any glory there?” And he never experienced shots in anger. He was a carpenter in the Seabees and built barracks in Trinidad for the ATC air strip there. Wisdom comes with age, even if the lesson is not learned firsthand.

  4. Kim,
    I recall reading the column about your grandfather’s service in the First World War that you posted in years past. I’m raising a glass tonight in honor of your grandfather and all like him. Thank God they were willing to give so much on our behalf.
    Chadd Newman
    Saint Petersburg, FL

  5. The second one, the guy in the rear is a bad-ass.

    “Don’t need a helmet and got time for a smoke.”

  6. And we never treat them as they earned.

    The Last of the Light Brigade
    1891

    There were thirty million English who talked of England’s might,
    There were twenty broken troopers who lacked a bed for the night.
    They had neither food nor money, they had neither service nor trade;
    They were only shiftless soldiers, the last of the Light Brigade.

    They felt that life was fleeting; they knew not that art was long,
    That though they were dying of famine, they lived in deathless song.
    They asked for a little money to keep the wolf from the door;
    And the thirty million English sent twenty pounds and four!

    They laid their heads together that were scarred and lined and grey;
    Keen were the Russian sabres, but want was keener than they;
    And an old Troop-Sergeant muttered, “Let us go to the man who writes
    The things on Balaclava the kiddies at school recites.”

    They went without bands or colours, a regiment ten-file strong,
    To look for the Master-singer who had crowned them all in his song;
    And, waiting his servant’s order, by the garden gate they stayed,
    A desolate little cluster, the last of the Light Brigade.

    They strove to stand to attention, to straighten the toil-bowed back;
    They drilled on an empty stomach, the loose-knit files fell slack;
    With stooping of weary shoulders, in garments tattered and frayed,
    They shambled into his presence, the last of the Light Brigade.

    The old Troop-Sergeant was spokesman, and “Beggin’ your pardon,” he said,
    “You wrote o’ the Light Brigade, sir. Here’s all that isn’t dead.
    An’ it’s all come true what you wrote, sir, regardin’ the mouth of hell;
    For we’re all of us nigh to the workhouse, an’ we thought we’d call an’ tell.

    “No, thank you, we don’t want food, sir; but couldn’t you take an’ write
    A sort of ‘to be continued’ and ‘see next page’ o’the fight?
    We think that someone has blundered, an’ couldn’t you tell’em how?
    You wrote we were heroes once, sir. Please, write we are starving now.”

    The poor little army departed, limping and lean and forlorn.
    And the heart of the Master-singer grew hot with “the sconrn of scorn.”
    And he wrote for them wonderful verses that swept the land like flame,
    Till the fatted souls of the English were scourged with the thing called Shame.

    O thirty million English that babble of England’s might,
    Behold there are twenty heroes who lack their food to-night;
    Our children’s children are lisping to “honour the charge they made –”
    And we leave to the streets and the workhouse the charge of the Light Brigade!

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