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Remembering those who served
Author: Raine    Date: 11/11/2019 13:58:19

Normally this is the day I post the poem, Flanders field. This morning I came across a touching article about the first Veterans honored in America.

They should not have been forgotten.
So here we are now, 101 years after the Armistice of 1918, and many Americans have all but forgotten World War I. Americans reenact the Civil War, salute the remaining veterans of World War II with Honor Flights to the monuments and Arlington National Cemetery and for years have remembered Vietnam War Vets with Rolling Thunder on Memorial Day. (That holiday honors all war dead.) But where are the World War I remembrance ceremonies on this important day that ushered in the many wars of the last century?

The nation's capital has a tremendous World War II memorial, a moving Korean War Memorial and an iconic Vietnam War Memorial. The only World War I memorial in the city is a small stone gazebo, dedicated to those who served from Washington, D.C. A new national World War I memorial is planned near the White House, but it's now more than 100 years since the guns were silenced. It's too late for those troops. They're long gone and mostly faded from our collective memory. But, here's the story of one of them.

Sgt. Charles Kelley, Company C of the 12th Machine Gun Battalion, joined Gen. Pershing's American Expeditionary Forces in France in late summer of 1918. He was 18 years old. During the Meuse-Argonne offensive, which began in September 1918, Kelley, according to Pentagon records, "led his platoon in the attack with great bravery against strongly held enemy trenches. Shortly after reaching his objective he was wounded in the throat. He refused to be evacuated, but continued to actively command his men until the night of Oct. 1, by which time, due to his wound, he had lost the power of speech."

The Meuse-Argonne offensive was the single bloodiest battle in American history with more than 26,000 Americans killed. For his heroism, Sgt. Kelley was honored with the Distinguished Service Cross, second only to the Medal of Honor. My family has worked to get him upgraded to a posthumous Medal of Honor for his courage and bravery, but the Army says too much time has passed. There are no more eyewitnesses. It's true. We — his family — had never realized his heroism while he was alive. We never realized what the initials DSC meant on his gravestone at Arlington National Cemetery. It was only a few years ago that we looked up his records to see what he'd done to earn this high honor.
I have been to the Memorial of which she writes. It's not far from the MLK Jr Memorial. It is small and almost forgotten to many, very much symbolizing those who have gone away since the first World War.

I pray we don't have a third. Thank you to all who served.

and

Raine
 

11 comments (Latest Comment: 11/11/2019 20:12:33 by TriSec)
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Comment by wickedpam on 11/11/2019 14:24:36
Morning

Comment by Raine on 11/11/2019 15:26:04
What time is the military rally in NYC?

I know it is supposed to be the veteran's parade but his attending is unseemly.

Comment by wickedpam on 11/11/2019 15:34:34
Quote by Raine:
What time is the military rally in NYC?

I know it is supposed to be the veteran's parade but his attending is unseemly.


Apparently its going on now? just saw some stuff on twitter

Comment by Raine on 11/11/2019 15:44:41
Quote by wickedpam:
Quote by Raine:
What time is the military rally in NYC?

I know it is supposed to be the veteran's parade but his attending is unseemly.


Apparently its going on now? just saw some stuff on twitter

Ah, thank you.


Comment by Scoopster on 11/11/2019 15:50:08
Mornin' all!

Welp I've been diagnosed with tendinitis. Time to buy a whole buncha ergonomic swag!

Comment by Will in Chicago on 11/11/2019 16:46:41
Good morning, bloggers!!!

I am off for Veteran's Day and we are looking at several inches of snow in Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana.

My paternal grandfather was a World War I vet from Scotland, and was twice decorated by the United Kingdom. I think that we forget how World War I was largely an unintended war that proved far more brutal than most anticipated.


Comment by Scoopster on 11/11/2019 17:35:47
Comment by livingonli on 11/11/2019 17:43:21
Peter King has announced he's retiring and not running for reelection.

Comment by Raine on 11/11/2019 17:44:50
Quote by livingonli:
Peter King has announced he's retiring and not running for reelection.

is he your Rep?

Comment by livingonli on 11/11/2019 17:55:57
Quote by Raine:
Quote by livingonli:
Peter King has announced he's retiring and not running for reelection.

is he your Rep?

No. Suozzi is mine. Used to be when I lived in Massapequa. I heard they chanted "lock him up" at the Veterans Day parade and Junior is getting heckled at book signings by the Nazis.

Comment by TriSec on 11/11/2019 20:12:33
Greetings, comrades

As I often do, I started this day off in Concord, MA burning flags!

'tis true, the annual Flag Retirement Ceremony at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, not far from the Old North Bridge. Lest we forget -


The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.


Then the Troop was back to Waltham - today was our "Pay it Forward" fundraiser. We solicit donations for Scouting, then we go and rake leaves and do light yardwork for a handful of select Veterans and Elderly here in town.

I'll be partaking of my "Scout Spirit" shortly. An old friend is coming for dinner.



And I remain conflicted with "Happy" Veteran's Day. Remember those who served - honor those who did not return.