Which takes more courage: to lead a 11 person team deep into enemy territory, or to stand up to your own dysfunctional organization to try and fix it? I know someone that has done both.
Dropped my Sax off at Emilio Lyon’s house and workshop. My folks bought it for me from him at Rayburn Music in Boston back when I was a High School Freshman. I still remember him pointing to the sticker on it that indicated “This is my work.”
As someone who loves both the saxophone and working with my hands, I have to admit I was looking forward to meeting him. I was even a little nervous. He has a great reputation. Was he going to chastise me for the state of my horn? It hadn’t been serviced in…way too long. I was a little worried that the lack of changing the oil on the rods would have worn down some of the metal connections.
Until a few decades ago, attendance at chapel was mandatory for all cadets at West Point. The Jewish cadets and officers used to meet in chapels for other denominations, or other buildings around the post. The Jewish Chapel was completed in the early 1980s, after chapel was no longer mandatory, but still highly encouraged. It provided a sanctuary unrivalled at West Point. The food alone was sufficient to encourage participation from beyond “The Tribe.”
I was working at a local coffee shop when I noticed an old man walk in. His hat had a Yin Yang on it. It struck a memory and I Googled for a list of US Army division patches. Easy access to modern technology told me more than I expected. The 29th Infantry Division, the Blue and the Gray, landed at Bloody Omaha on June 6th, 1944.
Menotomy Menotomy They’re Marching Through Menotomy
The Village ‘tween the stream and rocky hill.
Before this day we may have called ourselves good English men
but afterwards we wonder if we will
I was looking through the IPA code and came across these two lines:
I immediately thought
What is he doing putting D&D character abilities in the code?
Of course, the next line was
Ah, data types. Once a geek…
When summoned by the horseman’s cry
from breaking fast and tending barns
The Yeoman farmers trained response
was to secure their ready arms
The nineteenth dawn that April bore
revealed a revolutionary scene
Captain Parker’s men had met
to learn the news on Lexington Green
But red clad soldiers marched all night
From landing ships on Cambridge shore
And through Lexington they’d pass
En route to capture Concord’s Store
Lieutenant William Sutherland
Called to the men across the sward
Commanding them “Disperse Ye Rebels
Ye Villains, most unruly mob.”
Outnumbered, Captain Parker’s men
were ordered to disperse once more
But chaos and uncertainty
lay beneath the fog of war
Who fired first? the tales suggest
Perhaps a sniper off the scene
but British shot and bayonets
Killed nine men on Lexington Green
Lieutenant Colonel Francis Smith
Arriving with three companies
Ordered drumbeats for the march
To Concord’s Bridge and history
In Concord town the Minutemen
Had learned of Lexington’s Melee
On Punkatasset over-watched
As Redcoats made their first foray
Searching houses, barns and fields
for weapons cached and powder kegs
but long since moved and all they found
were milk and barely, ham and eggs
When searching soldiers caught the site
Of mounds fresh piled in the fields
And ready spades we turned to dig
And three great cannon were revealed
But as they searched, the Minutemen
From Acton, Bedford, and Westford
Joined the Lincoln men above
The Concord rivers northern shore
A Regiment of militiamen
descended Punkatasset Ridge
assaulted Captain Parson’s Force
assigned to guard the Northern Bridge
The Regulars formed to volley fire
As if for warfare in the town
A warning shot rang out and then
the musket balls were raining down
They fled their post and headed south
to form with Regiments complete
and leaving off their fruitless search
the British Colonel called retreat
The local men who took the bridge
Had learned to shoot when they were Boys
Some had marched to Montreal
To fight the French and Iroquois
At Meriam’s Corner, and Brooks Hill
The local muskets took their toll
and passing through the ambuscade
at Bloody Angle Thirty fell
At last they came back to the field
where shot had shattered dawn serene
And Parker had then his revenge
Upon the sward of Lexington Green
The members of the team had rolled out the resilite mats in the back gym. The air was barely heated, so they had been hard to the touch as the boys rolled them in three straight sheets. The kinetic energy of a pair of teenage boys transferred to the friction of the shoes applied a sheering force that would separate untaped mats. That was acceptable during a normal practice, when the mats would be shared by a half dozen pairs at once. During a real match they would be taped together, to prevent them from separating during the bouts. The tape was an expense that the cash strapped athletic department wouldn’t waste on a practice. But there was no risk of separation during the opening half of this practice. The mats were rimmed with spectators, the members of the team focused on the two participants in the center. During a normal practice, the mats might be rolled out with either side up. The lesser used side had five circles, laid out like the dots on a die showing 5.
The Following post was written by my Mother.
To the best of my knowledge, my father was given the flag while he was still in the army. He was not discharged immediately after the war but spent many years in the reserves. I remember him packing to leave for Camp Drum, as it was called in those days. He was not called up for Korea, but I think he was still in then because I can remember him going to camp for two weeks every summer for several summers. I was too young to remember him going in Ohio, and we moved to Merrick in 1949. I would have been too young to remember many summers when Korea broke out in 1950.
I remember him saying that when the war ended in Europe, they were preparing to go to the Pacific. As they were about to depart, the war ended in Japan. He said they then sailed back to NY, instead, and upon entering NY Harbor, they all through their mess kits overboard.
He became active in some military organizations. In Merrick the more active group was the American Legion, vastly different from what it has become today, a drinking, non-tipping hangout. He was an officer in that post. I am not sure which group gave him the flag, the VFW or the Legion, or the government. I remember him marching in some parades in Merrick on Memorial Day and Veterans (Armistice) Day, and they were a big group. The VFW post was, I think, in Freeport.
He won several medals which we played with, broke, lost. We were children, and he didn’t mind.
He didn’t keep up with any of the men he served overseas with but did with some of his reserve buddies.
Although he is not buried with that rank, he had told us that he was Chief Master Sargeant. I don’t know what that rank actually is. Maybe it was honorary. The chevron on his arm had lots of stripes and something in the middle. I think he is buried as a First Sgt.
As you know, his name is engraved on the memorial at Silver Lake in Baldwin. His name is spelled wrong, two L’s instead of one.
Grandpa always flew the flag on holidays. I continue to fly his flag for him and for all the men and women who have served in defence of this country. That includes just about every male member of my family–except your father. I only fly his flag on special holidays like Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Veterans Day.
Uncle Gene has the flag that was presented to me at his funeral. I gave it to Uncle Gene because, like his father, he served. I would have loved to give it to you, but I thought Gene really deserved it. I will give you this 48 star flag. It is older and signifies much more. And, of course, it was definitely before Alaska and Hawaii became states in 1959. So, for whatever the story, it really is Grandpa’s army flag. And he was proud of it.