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Saturday, May 28, 2011

To All Who Have Served...

“The moon gives you light,
And the bugles and the drums give you music,
And my heart, O my soldiers, my veterans,
My heart gives you love.”
From A Dirge for Two Veterans by Walt Whitman

On Memorial Day this year, I would like to give thanks to all of the soldiers who created and defended this great republic. I would, also, like to thank the people who stayed behind and kept the home fires burning, during times of wars and conflicts.
At the beginning of World War II, my father tried to enlist, but was refused. He had a blind spot in one eye and was not eligible. However, he more than did his part for the war effort. He was the local manager of a utility company in a small Georgia town and during the war, he was responsible for everything there. He sold appliances, repaired appliances, located trouble with any power lines and fixed them, when necessary. He and my mother ran the entire operation and my father’s health suffered from the strain. He, eventually, had to be hospitalized for exhaustion. To all of the people who helped with our wars at home and the ones who sacrificed in so many other ways, I say, “Thank you”.
I appreciate my husband’s uncle who was held captive by the Germans for most of the World War II. Many thanks to my brother who was a military advisor in Vietnam. I am grateful for the sacrifices made by two of my ancestors in the Revolutionary War and for the service of my husband's brother-in-law in Iraq with the National Guard. I would, also, like to thank my uncle, Jack, whom I never knew. He was a doughboy in World War I and lied about his age, so that he could enlist early. Today, I will close my blog with a poem written by an American doctor in France who treated my uncle, after he was wounded “over there”. Apologies for the mistakes in grammar and punctuation, but I am copying it just as it was written.

A World War I “Doughboy”

A celebration is in order to honor all of the brave men and women who have served in the military. Our family celebration will be a southern “fish fry”. We will fry tilapia and catfish - that most southern fish of all. Here is the table where we will dine:

Lots of flags for waving

Stars and stripes

Uncle Sam will pay a visit to join in the celebration.

Red, white and blue everywhere!

Hope you all have a wonderful and safe Memorial Day week-end!

We placed him by the window cause
He was used to good fresh air
And was badly shrapenelled up and
broken boned for fair.
But he smiled right through the bandage as he eyed the Thomas Splint.
That is, he eyed it with one eye and
at that he had to squint.
He never asked for favors what was-was
good enough. Why he took the
Dakin treatment
As tho’ he liked the stuff
And when some sorely stricken
had gave way and raised a din,
He’d call out through his cotton
gauzes, “Don’t give up old man, dig in.
Don’t lose your nerve ole timer
Don’t let go of your grip
You can jump a dam a sight faster
Than you can climb on the ship
We’ve some hunting yet to do as soon
As we’re both well
So when the game gets rough old pal
Just stick in spite of hell.”
He’s been evacuated now but
I’ll say this for his cot
It never held a gamer boy
with a tougher up hell lot.

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  1. What a pretty tablescape. It is perfect for this holiday. Love the red check cloth with all of your dishes. Wonderful document to go with the post,so fitting. Thanks for linking it up to HSH~

  2. I am visiting from the Tablescaper, Seasonal Sundays. This is a wonderful and poignant post. I think we who have parents from the "Greatest Generation" are very blessed.
    Enjoy the rest of today! xo,

  3. Your patriotic table is full of American spirit. It would be a treat to dine at this table! Thank you for sharing the poem. Our generation needs to help the younger generations remember all that was sacrificed by those before us.
    Enjoy your Memorial Day gathering! ~ Sarah

  4. I have the same star plates! I love your table, it is perfectly patriotic:):) XO, Pinky

  5. Your table is a fitting tribute. You're so fortunate to have that tribute to your uncle.

    - The Tablescaper


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