Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day Reflections . . . always!

I posted this blog several years ago and feel that is still relevant today, as Memorial Day should be every year. Thank you for your family's service and may God Bless America and all her brave men & women you gave their time and souls to keeping America safe.

Every family has one if not more members of the family who have perished in a war. As Memorial Day is to honor those who lost their life fighting for the freedom we cherish, today’s blog makes this contribution. Here are some facts and information that I am sure you already know but is always good to reminder.   
With the aid of the Internet, you will find a multitude of websites that give detailed information on all the United states Military wars fought, won and lost, offering numbers of when, where and how our brave men and women lost their lives.   
Most of these sites will tell you that Memorial Day started as an event to honor Union soldiers who had died during the American Civil War. It was inspired by the way people in the Southern states honored their dead. After World War I, it was extended to include all men and women, who died in any war or military action.

To brush up on your knowledge of the American Civil War, visit the Library of Congress Civil War collection, which includes more than a thousand photographs.

Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day. The current name for this day did not come into use until after World War II. Decoration Day and then Memorial Day used to be held on May 30, regardless of the day of the week, on which it fell. In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed as part of a move to use federal holidays to create three-day weekends. This meant that Memorial Day holiday has been officially observed on the last Monday in May. However, it took a longer period for all American states to recognize the new date.

Know the difference between Memorial Day and Veteran's Day? Click on

The Remembrance poppy has been used since 1920 to commemorate soldiers who have died in war. Inspired by the World War I poem, "In Flanders Fields", they were first used by the American Legion to commemorate American soldiers who died in that war (1914–1918). They were then adopted by military veterans' groups in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Small artificial poppies are often worn on clothing for a few weeks until Remembrance Day/Armistice Day (11 November). Poppy wreaths are also often laid at war memorials.

As you create, add to, or make changes to Your Family Museum, make sure you give special attention to those in your family who were in the Military; even those who are currently serving our country. In our family museum, pictures, uniform pieces and souvenirs from Keith’s Naval Reserve Duty are showcased with much pride and respect.  When a visitor comes to our home and is taken to see our museum, I can see the pride in Keith’s eyes has he shares his memories with the guest. In turn, they usually have some memory of theirs to contribute, creating fascinating conversations.

In Our Grandparents Museum there are two albums filled with photos from my side of the family: Uncle Mike & my dad.
Uncle Mike’s military service was in the Army during WW I driving a medic truck in the  fields of France. 
There must have been a time when he visited the city of Paris, because he sent this  post card home.
Among my Uncle's things was this pencil sketch of a battle scene. There is no writing on the back to tell the story behind it. He also had this French sword. Over the years there had been many different stories about it, but the one that rings most true then the others in that since he drove the Medic truck onto the fields to retrieve the dead and wounded soldiers, he apparently found this sword and kept it.
My father, Bill’s military service in the Navy during WW II was as a Aviation Machinist stationed on the Air Craft Carrier Enterprise. When going through his papers, I found a captivating account he wrote about how he survived the Japanese air attack, taking refuge in the lowest deck on the Enterprise. 
From Keith’s side is a photo of his father’s younger brother, Edward B. Goesel, a 20- year old Airman, killed on June 18th 1944, when his B-17 Flying Fortress was shot down over Hamburg, Germany. Missing in action, his remains never were returned home.

As we reflect on this Memorial Day, let us all keep in our hearts the memories we have of our family members, friends and acquaintances that have served and continue to serve our country today.  God Bless them, one and All.



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