Or "Rednecks, Forgotten images and Remembering Why"
by Uncle Hiram
Sometimes as the years slip away, we forget what a holiday was supposed to mean. Now days when most folks think of Memorial Day they conjure up visions of picnics at the lake, home town baseball tournaments, white sales at the local department store, a long weekend or a big sale at the local Ford house. Personally I find that very sad but that is the way things are. BUT, as Genealogists, people who are tracing their family history, we should see something different. Maybe I am a throwback or an old fogey like my kids keep saying I am.
When I think of Memorial Day, I see farmers, silversmiths and back woodsmen clad only in rags and hope enduring that bitter Valley Forge winter. I see those same ragged soldiers forcing the strongest army in the world to surrender, giving birth to a dream.
I see 15 year old boys going to sea in "Old Ironsides," Dolly Madison fleeing a burning White House with precious American artifacts in her arms. I see simple hillbillies from Tennessee sneaking through the swamps of Louisiana with Andrew Jackson to remind the British that every American counts.
I see men of almost mythical proportion named Crocket, Bowie, Travis and Gonzales marching into an old crumbling Spanish mission. 183 Americans stayed in that old mission, knowing that certain death awaited them but hoping they could buy enough time for Texas to become a part of that dream.
I see a nation torn asunder, half wearing blue and half wearing gray, in a four year nightmare as we grappled with each other to determine the full meaning of that dream. I see freedmen, the sons of slaves and former slaves donning the Union blue in order to insure their piece of the dream.
I see the Seventh Calvary riding into the pages of American folklore in a lonely wind swept valley known as the Little Big Horn. I see Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders storming up San Juan hill and into American mythology.
I hear that old song "Over There, Over There, Send the word Over there the Yanks are coming" as American soldiers reinforce the faltering allies of World War I, the war to end all wars.
I see a peaceful Sunday morning in December shattered by the sound of a Japanese sneak attack. I see Kansas farmboys, Cowboys from Texas and the blue bloods of Boston rising enmasse, putting on a uniform and marching off to Europe and Asia to protect that dream. I see thousands of simple common John Doe's paying the ultimate price on the sands of North Africa, the beaches of Normandy, the fields of Flanders and the blood soaked rocks of Iwo Jima to insure the survival of our precious dream.
I see the nightmares that were the frozen Chosen, the Mei Cong Delta, the Tet offensive, the barracks in Lebanon and the bloody Balkans.
When I think of Memorial Day, I think of the unimaginably high price paid for our freedom. I thank God for those millions of hometown heroes that laid down their lives to ensure that the American Dream would continue to live. Take a few minutes this Memorial Day to think of the price paid for your freedom.
Thank you for listening to me rant for a few minutes.
Now, It is my pleasure to announce the Site of the Month winners for May 2001.
The County Site of the Month for May 2001:
Marin County, California http://www.rootsweb.com/~camarin/
The Home Page of the Month for May 2001:
Womack on Line http://www.womackonline.co.uk/index.html
The Misc. Site of the Month for May 2001
Congratulations to one and all.
- Adios and Keep Smiling!
- Bill Hocutt (Uncle Hiram)