I have looked at numerous Facebook sites the past week concerning D-Day and KIAs. Under several photos are the words "We will never forget."
I sometimes wonder if it is mostly veterans and their families who "never" forget. Sadly, most only consider their sacrifices when we look at our calendars or complain about a bank or post office being closed on national holidays for veterans. We glance up at flags and mumble, "Wonder why it's at half-mast today?"
Or we don't give it a second thought. Do we no longer instill in our children respect for the flag or the national anthem. I'm saddened that most children and many adults don't pause in their conversations or lower their voices as veterans bring forth the colors at memorial ceremonies.
Veterans don't forget to salute, but so many adults fail to honor our flag, the anthem or "Taps" by placing their hands over their hearts. You may be saying by now, "That's not true." Maybe. Perhaps I've lived too long and don't realize I'm out of step. I even honor the fact that it is an individual's choice whether or not to show their respect. It doesn't matter if I agree or not because those who sacrificed for our freedom died so we might have choices.
My siblings and I were taught to respect veterans (to
See veterans/Page PP4
from the front page
remember the names and deeds of those who sacrificed their lives for us), our elders, and the opinions of others (right or wrong). I was never quite sure what that meant--right or wrong or in whose eyes. It didn't matter. A willow switch was waiting for us if we didn't respect others, even hateful children who visited. My mom "allowed" us to choose the size of the switch she peppered our legs with.
Woe be it to us if we chose one she considered too small. She would shake her head and chose one. "Spare the rod, spoil the child" was not one of my favorite maxims. I believe a good talk might have been as effective. I sometime wonder what my grandparents would think of Facebook, Twitter or visiting some churches or stores today. My mom's favorite saying (or warning) was "If you can't say something good about someone, don't say anything at all."
I'm pretty sure most of our leaders today never had a mother enforce that statement. I've been told that we (old people) live in a different time. And that "things" are different. An opponent in the last council race campaigned that I was "too old." Maybe. I read today that a veteran who parachuted into France in WW II made the jump again this week. He was in his 90s. Perhaps I'll consider that in 15 years. Most likely not. I prefer quiet projects.
Honoring our deceased in cemeteries whose stones read "Gone But Not Forgotten." I'd like to add facts so that they actually are not forgotten. I like that we have, after a century, honored those unknowns in a mass grave with a garden (even if the deer are partial to the tender green leaves therein). I've enjoyed helping with the meals in the park for the guys putting a new roof on hot days for our future community center/museum.
I'd like to catalogue the names and resting spots of some sections at Oakwood which have not been done. I smile when I see our historical homes being restored. I'd like to see lots of flowers around the community center when the work is complete. And a flower garden around the Ky Historical Society's double sided plaque honoring J.W. Million and Prof. Mimms.
I'm not sure most people realize what an honor it is to receive a plaque from the state historical society. I'd like to see a larger dock at the park with a cover against the sun and rain with benches. Too much, you think. Surely not. Projects can't get completed if they aren't begun. So far, the city has not been asked for money for any of my projects. It's usually way past midnight when I write my columns and by then I'm not on a soapbox. Guess it's time to fold up its sides and put it away for the week.
My grandmother, May Byrd, used to tell me she "stumped" for Wm Jennings Bryan in the 1890s before she was of school age. She said females weren't supposed to voice their opinion back then. I seem to remember she voiced hers every chance she had. Maybe it's my DNA.
No story this week, but a listing of facts on a few veterans at Oakwood from the early years about whom you may not be familiar. Christopher Columbus Vance, 34, (1895-1929)WW I pvt, USA Co B 411 Inf; John M. Victory, Jr, 27 (1894-1922) USA WW I, 2nd Lt. 11th Reg; Jubal Vincent, 89 (1844-1934) WW I USA. Ky Inf Co. K; Jewell Sebastian Webb, 57 (1887-1944) WW I.; Patrick Whalen, 92 (Ireland 1824-1916) Confederate veteran; Andrew Jackson Stokes (1837-1907) Civil War vet/color bearer in 11th Tn Confederacy/POW at Rock Island Prison; James E Skeens, 68 (1875-1943) Sp-Am War; John N. Shaver, 31 (1906-1938) US Army WW I. Machine Gun Tr, 1st Cal; James "Pap" Richmond (1919-1944) KIA, WW II USA; Paul Kistner, 28 (1921-1949) WW II/POW/KIA & his brother Lawrence "Lunky" Kistner, 24 USA/17th Ordinance; Thomas Harris (d. 1986) WW II veteran; The 3 Hankins brothers, WW I, France (Jim, Perry & Alvin); Olin J. Farnsworth, 65 (1833-1899) Civil War with 17th Ky Calvary; Thomas J. DeVylder, 26 USA WW I in France & Belgium; John B. Babb, WW II USA/POW/KIA; Michael Burke, 67 (Ireland 1837-1905) Civil War w/Rutledge's Battery, Co A 1st Tn St Artillery (Mt Calvary); Wm Riley Brown, 81 (1841-1922) civil War/Co E 17th Ky (at Shiloh, Chickamauga, Lookout mts, Gettysburg); James Carroll Bourland, Jr, 52 (1887-1940) WW II; George Robinson (Ireland 1836-1886) Civil War; Jeral "Jerry" Lefler, 45 (1844-1892) pvt Union Army, Ky 15th Reg, Ky Calvary, Military Co C.; Dudley Connelly (Ireland 1834-1900) Civil War/Ky Inf. These are only a few of the more than 300 veterans buried at E'ton. Several of E'ton's KIA are interred in national cemeteries, buried at sea or have no remains. Buried in Barnsley: George Eaves (1892-1952) Pvt WW I, 801 Pioneer Unit. "Lest we forget."