Memorial Day 2016

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The Things That Make a Soldier Great


    The things that make a soldier great and send him out to die,
    To face the flaming cannon's mouth, nor ever question why,
    Are lilacs by a little porch, the row of tulips red,
    The peonies and pansies, too, the old petunia bed,
    The grass plot where his children play, the roses on the wall:
    'Tis these that make a soldier great. He's fighting for them all.

    'Tis not the pomp and pride of kings that make a soldier brave;
    'Tis not allegiance to the flag that over him may wave;
    For soldiers never fight so well on land or on the foam
    As when behind the cause they see the little place called home.
    Endanger but that humble street whereon his children run--
    You make a soldier of the man who never bore a gun.

    What is it through the battle smoke the valiant soldier sees?
    The little garden far away, the budding apple trees,
    The little patch of ground back there, the children at their play,
    Perhaps a tiny mound behind the simple church of gray.
    The golden thread of courage isn't linked to castle dome
    But to the spot, where'er it be--the humble spot called home.

    And now the lilacs bud again and all is lovely there,
    And homesick soldiers far away know spring is in the air;
    The tulips come to bloom again, the grass once more is green,
    And every man can see the spot where all his joys have been.
    He sees his children smile at him, he hears the bugle call,
    And only death can stop him now--he's fighting for them all.

by: Edgar A, Guest

31 May 1886, soldiers from John A. Andrew Post 15 of MA & the George G. Meade Post 38 of NY @ the Soldiers & Sailors Monument on Boston Common - pix by: Elmer Chickering, courtesy of Boston Public Library

31 May 1886, soldiers from John A. Andrew Post 15 of MA & the George G. Meade Post 38 of NY @ the Soldiers & Sailors Monument on Boston Common – pix by: Elmer Chickering, courtesy of Boston Public Library

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Memorial Day Image

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 *** PLEASE READ***

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Following is the estimate of the total number of Americans KIA since the Civil War:

  • In the Civil War 620,000 Americans died
  • The First World War cost the lives of 116,516 U.S soldiers
  • In the Second World War 405,399 Americans died
  • In the Korean War 36,574 Americans died
  • 58,220 American soldiers were killed in Vietnam War
  • In Operation Desert Storm 383 Americans died.
  • 4,424 Americans died in the Operation Iraqi Freedom.
  • In Operation New Dawn 73 U.S Army personnel were killed
  • 2,349 Americans perished in the Operation Enduring Freedom.

For Remembrances Days in other countries…

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Click on images to enlarge.

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Farewell Salutes – 

KIA on Tarawa and buried in grave “D” of the East Division Cemetery.  Almost all were from A and B companies and are still listed as missing.  Located through Missing Marines.com

Athon, Frank L; # 27 shrapnel wound head
Baumbach, Elden; bayonet wound chest
Bayens, John Richard; #3 shrapnel head and chest$(KGrHqJ,!q!FBZQt+)FIBQf-bW24Mw~~60_35
Cruz, Jacob; #29 gun shot wounds head
Dekker, Howard R; #1 gunshot wounds head and chest
Fahy, John M; # 28 gunshot wounds, head
Fricks, Hugh D; #20 gunshot wounds head and chest
Galland, Mervin D; # 25 gunshot wound, chest
Gillen, John E; #6 gunshot wound right chest, shrapnel
Hancock, J.L.: #15 shrapnel, head
Hatch, Robert J; #10 gunshot wound, groin
Hayden, Harold W; #22 gun shot wounds, head
Hill, Jack; #30 shrapnel, chest, groin
Hoffman, John W; #19 gunshot wound chest
Jenks, Robert D; #23 shrapnel head and chest
Johnson, Thomas F; #17 shrapnel, chest
Likens, Kenneth W; #12 shrapnel, head, chest buried 11-23-43
Livermore, Joseph R; #9 bayonet wound, throat, buried 11-23-43
Mccall, Quentin; #5 gunshot wound, head
Miller, Charles D; #11 gunshot wound, head, chest
Morris, Jerome B; #7 shrapnel, chest, buried 11-23-43
Resser, George R; #2 gunshot wounds, head
Stambaugh, Jack R; #14 gunshot wounds, chest, groin, saber wound throat
Stoddard, Donald D; #18 shrapnel, head
Summers, Arthur B; #21 gunshot wounds, head, chest
Tuhey, Raymond J; #24 gunshot wound head
VanZandt, Jack Bensen; #4 gunshot wound, head
Wallace, Charles E; #16 gunshot wound, head, chest, buried grid location: KN-283072-D-2
White, Glenn F; #26 shrapnel, head, chest buried 11-23-43
Whitaker, Channing

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on May 30, 2016, in Current News, Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 159 Comments.

  1. Well Jesus GP, you really just said it all here with this post about what it is all about. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not a poetry person but this is a nice one! I saw something useful on social media recently which explained the difference between Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Armed Forces Day – it’s all common sense really but I guess a lot of people get them muddled.

    Liked by 1 person

    • And… a lot of people don’t care about anything but the 3 days off work. Their complacency about it all, their narcissism, causes this lack of interest in the difference. I’m happy to know you are not one of those people, Hayley!

      Like

  3. Beautiful poem. Spot on. That’s what soldiers do fight for.

    We’ve lost a lot of soldiers over the years. RIP

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi GP, here is the link to my story about my Dad the paratrooper…enjoy!
    https://onceuponahotflash.com/2015/05/03/for-the-love-of-a-uniform-writing-101/

    Like

  5. A moving post for Memorial Day. I especially like the reminder, or tips, for honoring Memorial Day.

    Like

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