Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Memorial Day passed without a blog entry in the Journal about those who have served and died for our Country. Memorial Day also unofficially ushers in summer and it has entered with a blast of heat this year.

I’m sure glad we have Memorial Day to remind us of our past wars and those who died in the service of our country. It seems like we are making an exerted effort to forget some of the wars and as the history books are rewritten some may be forgotten altogether.

There is a “politically correct” effort to squelch the Confederacy in the Civil War. It was our most costly war in terms of lives. 618,000 soldiers died in that conflict and 258,000 were Confederates. History books will probably record the Confederates as enemy deaths and not count them among the Americans.

We have been made to feel guilty about the dropping of the atomic bomb on Japan and the Japanese American internment camps in WWII, so Japan will probably not be mentioned in the history books about their role in WWII. Iran doesn’t believe the holocaust existed, so to avoid risking our relationship with the Muslims, Germany’s role in the war may also be forgotten.

I served during the Viet Nam conflict and that skirmish has also been erased from the memory banks of American history because we lost and folks like Jane Fonda thought we were wrong. I know a large number of people who served in that war and also several who died, were wounded and even captured. They suffered as much as anyone else who has served through the years.

WWI is all but forgotten. I had an uncle who died in that war. That occurred long before I was born, but I have his last letter that serves as a reminder of his life. He died on October 27, 1918 from poison gas used by the Germans and is buried at Plot C Row 15 Grave 11 at St. Mihiel American Cemetery, Thiaucourt, France. The cemetery is pictured above. John Henry Welch was almost literate, but the last sentence of his last letter pretty much sums up the fears and uncertainly of the soldier facing battle. He said, “ I will see you all again someday. I am going to live in hopes anyway.” He was killed a short time later.

Meanwhile, another Memorial Day has come and gone and summer is definitely here and keeping me on the porch. I’m just thankful that I have the freedom to sit on the porch and write what I like on the blog because of people like John Henry Welch.


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