“Green sods are all their monuments; and yet it tells a nobler history than pillared piles, or the eternal pyramids.” - James Gates Percival
My earliest memories of Memorial Day are watching my father march in a parade with the American Legion. He looked very sharp in his uniform.
When I was a teenager, I marched in Memorial Day parades as a member of two drum corps – the Immaculate Conception Queensmen and the Middlesex County Guardsmen. I remember how silent it became when we entered the cemeteries – just the beat of a single bass drum to keep the entire corps in step.
After my father died, I began marching on Memorial Day again. This time, as a member of the American Legion – a long circle completed.
This year will be different. No parades. No large gatherings at monuments. No readings of veterans’ names at cemeteries.
“As you get older it is harder to have heroes, but it is sort of necessary.” – Ernest Hemingway
The 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, was born on October 27, 1858. When he was only 19, he lost his North Star, when his father died unexpectedly. Roosevelt went on to be a prolific writer, war hero politician, and world adventurer. He was also the father to six children and died at only 60 years old. He became my boyhood hero when I read a library book about him, and now there are 29 different books about him in my office.
"You cannot dream yourself into a character: you must hammer and forge yourself into one." - Henry David Thoreau
I was having breakfast with some fellow veterans on Saturday morning. The previous week, we had shared emails about some modifications to the memorial in the center of town. After several rounds of messages, it was clear an in-person discussion would be better. Plus, who doesn’t like getting together for breakfast?