American Patriots Yesterday and Today

American flag posted at Gerald BH Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery
And Glory guards with solemn round (THEODORE O’HARA)

 

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.

 

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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.

Undated photo of Henry Johnson Photo: HAND OUT / j=0321_henryjohnson
ARMY SGT HENRY JOHNSON,

  It is amazing to me that it has taken the Unites States of America so long to recognize the valor of its own Patriot.  France recognized Henry Johnson’s sacrifice years ago with the Cross of War.

 

These  photos were published by the Times Union in Augaust of 2014 as part of a collection of photos featuring the Battle of Henry Johnson statue in Washingon Park , Albany , NY. Continue reading

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Well, it is beautiful in the North East United states.  After a long winter the barren trees have just decided to POP with color.  Rolling over the hills of Massachusetts and eastern New York along the I90 corridor is a sight to see. As I drift north and west from the Springfield, MA area, heading toward home which is north of Albany, NY, just outside of Saratoga Springs.  This is as good a place as any to start my story.

Yesterday morning’s papers announced that in our entire country, all of the military bases and police departments are at Force Protection Bravo.  We are on high alert for terrorist threat.  I wonder what it was called in colonial times?   There probably was no term, because there was not much of an early warning system in place.  It would not have mattered if was an Indian threat or a British threat; the fastest way to carry a message was a runner or at best a rider.

The Saratoga Area is rich in military history for both the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War.  The area is famous for Fort Ticonderoga and Fort William Henry and the battle of Saratoga.  I have to wonder what those patriots would have thought about today’s terror threat?  Those Patriots fought so that we could have freedom of religion. They thought so that no one religion should ever be forced upon us.   I wonder if they would ever have imagined that we would be fighting for the same thing all over again.  This time it is not an overbearing Mother country, but a multitude of radicals that have contorted the basis of their own religion in order to justify eradication anyone that does not support their cause. Continue reading

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