As the fall approaches and the leaves begin to change from green to hues of yellow, orange, and red, I begin to look forward to my weekend trips to Bennington, Vermont. I make at least one trip to Bennington every fall, but will go as many weekends as my schedule allows. There’s something to be said about the serenity of the Vermont autumn.
Besides its aesthetic beauty, Bennington holds a special space in my heart. During my weekend trips, I always make a point to visit the statue of Seth Warner, a distant relative of mine who fought for the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Seth Warner was a vital figure for the establishment of Vermont State, and I take pride in being related to such a figure. After Warner achieved the status of colonel and returned to Roxbury, he applied for a grant in order to create the state of Vermont. Unfortunately, due to long delays, Warner had been dead for four years when the grant, called the Warner’s grant, finally went through. To honor him, the Bennington Battle Monument in Bennington, Vermont included a sculpture of Warner.
Warner’s statue sits tall and proud at the Bennington Battle Monument site. He is portrayed with an aura of victory and pride inspired by his position in the Revolutionary War. As years have gone by, my only concern has been the amount of trees surrounding the monument. I would hate for the statue to get damaged in a storm by falling branches or trees that are dying, diseased, or dead and no longer contributing positively to the gorgeous site. The surrounding foliage is mostly beautiful, but the dying trees do not do any good for the surrounding area. I have even considered contacting the town with the name of a great tree removal service I have worked with before and suggesting taking care of a potential problem before it happens. (click here for tree service info)
Despite this concern, I am lucky to be unlike many of my peers, who are suffering from the end-of-summer blues as Labor Day weekend has come and gone. Why would I be? I have the picturesque Bennington Vermont waiting for me.
As Memorial Day moves nearer, I reflect on the loss of my Grandfather. He served in the Navy in World War II and in the Air Force during the Korean conflict. He was someone we all looked up to and respected him not only as our Grandfather but as a Patriot that had risked all for family and country. My father revered his wife’s father on a different level. Their bond was something that could only be shared by those who had experienced that same type of bond with comrades under harrowing circumstances.
It was not possible to visit my Grandfather’s grave just one year after we laid him to rest. I decided the next best thing to do was to visit some of his comrades, so I made the short trip to the Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery. The quiet expanses of lawn dotted with rows and rows of matching tombstones. The limousine in the distance reminded me of a conversation concerning military funerals that I had with a friend that drives limousines for Saratoga Luxury Limo. I saw him shortly after my Grandfather died. Based on what he told me about the number of trips he is hired to make to the cemetery each month, it was hard to wrap my head around the enormity of military funerals that take place daily all over our country, not only at military cemeteries, bur private cemeteries as well.
With the insanity of the primaries taking over the minds and media of our nation, I wanted to step back and explore a bit of America’s early history. Visiting the Schulyer Mansion was the perfect place to do this. The mansion brought me back to the roots of America: the Revolutionary War general Philip J. Schuyler, who later became a U.S. Senator and a business entrepreneur, owned the mansion. He lived there with his wife Catharine Van Rensselaer. Eight children were brought up in this gorgeous mansion, adorned with countless windows to let the sun flow in.
The Georgian-style, brick mansion overlooks the Hudson River It was originally situated on an 80-acre area of land, complete with an orchard, garden, and working farm. Personally, I find the most fascinating fact of the mansion is that Elizabeth Schuyler married Alexander Hamilton on the property. I have become quite the Hamilton buff thanks to the Broadway play and Grammy award-winning “Hamilton.” Continue reading “Philip J. Schuyler – An Election Time Opportunity To Reflect”→
We don’t think of ourselves as a third world country.
Today we are a powerful nation, with a heritage and a capable military. We are vastly removed from a time when our borders were fluid boundaries shared by other governments with interests here. We do not live under the thumb of a mother colony or nation like England.
To the British they must have seen us as an outpost.
They had been to war with us decades before the revolution during the French Indian War. They had witnessed what they thought was an incompetent commander in the likes of George Washington, fumble his way through his tour. The idea that this was now our supreme commander must have made the British laugh.Continue reading “The Birth of Patriotism”→
As I prepare for Veterans Day this year, my heart is a little heavy. I have always been a huge supporter of the holiday and I truly believe in its meaning but there has always been a piece of me that has always felt a little snubbed. No I haven’t served and I am not a veteran but my dad served twenty plus years in the Navy making me a Navy brat. Since I was an infant the Navy life was all I knew. At just two months old I was already on the move. Wrapped in my baby blanket, nestled in my mother’s arms, I was a board my first plane on my way to Guam. From that moment on I could sleep anywhere and my family was always on the move. I was not in the Navy but my family and I were a part of it, whether we wanted to be or not. Continue reading “Veterans Day, Our Heroes Seen and Unseen”→
As the summer begins and the snow and cold has finally disappeared
(for now), I am excited to spend more of my free time outside, in Schuylerville. Walking through the village, I often enjoy stopping in art galleries and appreciating the local talent. I’ll sometimes walk with my parents and take them out to lunch or dinner, when they actually let me pay. I see kids with their families, reminding much of myself not so many years ago, running over the footbridge of Fish Creek, seeing what wildlife they can spot. I listen to these same children talking about designs and strategies for the homemade boat race held every year in August and coming up quickly. The liveliness of the town is especially vibrant under the summer sun, and is my personal favorite time to be a young person born and raised and still living in Saratoga County.
In my last post I neglected to go into detail about the Harlem Hellfighters, a New York National Guard Unit comprised entirely of black recruits. I have attached a History Channel video clip tells their story and story of Henry Johnson. This pre civil rights era is truly a black eye in America’s History. June 2, 2015 it will be made right==better late than never.