Category Archives: Patriotic

Personal Memories: Looking Back At the Early ’40s


My parents struggled in the early and middle ‘4os, and my Dad worked very hard to support his family.

No summer vacations until my Dad was able to save up enough to send my Mom and me to the Catskills for a month at a cheap rooming house.  He wanted us to get out of the hot city (Brooklyn) for a while.  I remember him boasting that he went without lunches in order to do that.

Dad also worked part time at the post office to earn extra money, in addition to his day job.  Since he and many others were not accepted into the service due to medical reasons, and job openings occurred in post offices and other private and government offices due to the lack of enough employable people because of serving in the war, it was a natural way to earn extra income.

WW 2My Mom did all she could to help with the “war effort.”  She saved aluminum foil and tinfoil (chewing gum had wrappers made of tinfoil) by rolling it all into a big ball she kept in a special closet built into the wall near the kitchen table nook.  That was a very big ball, and when my Mom couldn’t fit any more on it, my Dad would bring it to some station where it was collected along with all the contributions of citizens who felt so patriotic.  These types of collections were commonplace, along with any unwanted, broken things made of metal.

ww 2 4I spent much of my time sitting at a big desk in the basement of the house my Dad’s father owned; writing, pasting, and sending hand-made crossword puzzle books to the Red Cross to be distributed to the wounded soldiers. I felt great pleasure in doing that. I remember how excited I became when my Dad showed me a postcard that came from the Red Cross, thanking me for helping the soldiers who were in the hospital, recuperating.  My very first mail!

We had a victory garden in the backyard.  My grandfather and Dad attended to it.  Most of our neighbors grew their own veggies.  The whole war effort was based on saving everything we had, re-using and re-purposing what we could, and repairing instead of buying new; anyway, most people couldn’t afford to buy new.

ww 2 2Mom sent me to school with a lunchbox that contained a sandwich (don’t remember what kind of sandwich – probably peanut butter) that was wrapped in last week’s bread’s waxed paper wrapping.  (No such thing as plastic bags.)  This was re-used for the entire week or until it was too messy to be cleaned again.  I recall the name of “Silvercup” bread.  Does that ring a bell with anyone reading this post?

School was a great enjoyment.  I remember it was challenging:  I loved to learn and absorbed like a sponge, all that there was to take in, those many years ago.  Now, I call it learning by “osmosis,” because I felt such great pleasure in the learning.  I still do.  At that time in the past, there was no such word as “nerd.”  I’ve said many times in the recent past, that I was born too soon, because I love this technological world in which I now live, and I wish I could live longer so that I could enjoy all the progress and innovations yet to come.


[ Header image from ]

[War efforts images from bingdotcom]


A Little History About Memorial Day, Previously Called, “Decoration Day”



Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America. Over two dozen cities and towns claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day. While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day.

Regardless of the exact date or location of its origins, one thing is clear – Memorial Day was borne out of the Civil War and a desire to honor our dead. It was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed. The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.

On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there.

The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war).

It is now observed in almost every state on the last Monday in May with Congressional passage of the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363). This helped ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays, though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19th in Texas; April 26th in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10th in South Carolina; and June 3rd (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.

[ Header image from ]

[Memorial Day image from bingdotcom]


What Were You Doing on September 11, 2001?


I have brought this post back from last year.   Watching the memorial services on TV this morning, it has brought it back so vividly, again.

I remember it so clearly:  it comes back to me every time that fateful day is mentioned.  I have to put it into words now.

Bob and I were having breakfast.  We had the TV on as usual – but not really paying attention to the show, whatever it was.  The phone rang.  It was unusual for the phone to ring before 9 am.  It was my daughter, calling from work.

She asked if we had the TV on.  She sounded upset.  She told us to turn to the news channel – we usually watched CNN.  “A plane crashed into one of the Twin Towers!”

As we watched, the camera picked up another visual:  Another plane was headed to the other Twin Tower!  Bob and I gasped in disbelief.  We were watching what millions of people were probably watching at the same time.  The newscasters were beyond words.  They were shouting and scrambling for words.  This couldn’t be happening!

But it was.

Then the news reported there was a plane that crashed right into the Pentagon, and then another plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania.  It seemed as if the world – our world – was being turned upside down.

And those scenes were played over and over and over.  I couldn’t watch.  Every time there was a replay, I turned it off.  It was too upsetting.

Some time later, I found out that a cousin of mine had a meeting scheduled in one of the Towers, but, at the last minute, it was moved to another venue.  Speaking of timing!  She was supposed to be there, but then again, she wasn’t supposed to be there.  It was not her time.

And, one of my neighbors, here in Florida, lost a son.  He was one of those courageous firefighters who, unlike most of us who would run from a fire, ran towards it with the one goal in mind:  to save people.

It was another “date which will live in infamy.”

America Sure Has Talent – In Our U. S. Navy Band


My sister forwarded a video to me today.  Absolutely had to share.

Our U.S. Navy Band performed at the Navy Memorial in 2014.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the “Jersey Boys.”  I dare you to sit still in your chair!!!!


Florida Regulates Our “Grand Old Flag”


I just recently found out that my state of Florida has a bill which will become law on July 1st, named, “All-American Flag Act.”  It requires our state, counties and cities to purchase U.S. and Florida flags that are manufactured only in the USA, and made of domestic fabric and materials – nothing imported.  Before this bill, we were waving United States of America flags that were made in China!!

There is a similar rule which currently exists in Florida, and that requires our public schools to fly our national and state flags outdoors.  Also required is that there be a U.S. flag in every classroom.  I can’t imagine our children pledging their allegiance to our national flag, without there being one for them to look at while they pledge.  This rule is quite redundant.

But, I have to give our Florida legislature some credit for passing laws to show how patriotic we are  – after all.

Seriously, folks, I wish you all a great celebration on the birthday of our country.  Enjoy and be safe!

Memorial Day – Honoring & Remembering

Beautiful tribute, Cher. You have given us a real meaning of this holiday by your understanding and compassion.

I would never wish anyone a “Happy Memorial Day.” It is a solemn holiday. I was surprised this morning, when, one of the TV commentators, as he was signing off, wished everyone a “Happy Memorial Day.” He is a very intelligent person, and I’m assuming this was a great “slip of the tongue” on his part.

The Chicago Files


[picture compliments of]

This is a repost from Memorial Day, May, 2014.  I hope you like it.

When I first moved to Chicago, I was quite confused about this particular holiday.  Even now it still brings a bit of misunderstanding on my part.  I have people wishing me a, “Happy Memorial Day”.  To me, this seems rather ironic, since the day is about paying homage to those extremely brave men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice in duty to their country.

I was told that Memorial Day is all of that which I just noted; however, I guess the “Happy” part is that it also encompasses the start of the Summer season.  I mean this with all my heart when I say I am not trying to judge this dichotomy of today; nonetheless, I still find myself focusing more on those that have made the ultimate sacrifice…

View original post 525 more words

Memories Of My Past: Mr. Turner


My earliest memories of Mr. Turner go back to 1950.  I had just moved with my family from E. 42nd St. in Brooklyn to E. 51st St.  Our new house was a “row” house:  one story brick; with a small front porch outside and connected on both sides with other “row” houses.  It came with a garage out back, but in order for Dad to bring our car into the garage, he had to drive down a steep, common driveway that was accessible only between two of the houses.

Moving to E. 51st St. was a welcome change for the whole family.  We were not happy in the E. 42nd St. house (a long story, perhaps told at another time).

I was in the 7th grade and transferred from P. S. 135 to P. S. 203, which was a very good thing for me.  My walk was so much shorter and more pleasant than walking to P. S. 135.

Mr. Turner’s house was on the way to school.  He and his wife lived in a “wooden” house.  All our neighbors differentiated the houses on the block by calling them “row” houses or “wooden” houses.  “Wooden” houses, of course, were constructed of wooden frames as opposed to the brick-constructed “row” houses.  All the homes were not large and it was a very friendly block:  all the neighbors knew each other and were friendly and many became very good, close friends.

I believe the Turners were original owners; one of two of the original houses built many years before builders came along and built the brick houses.

Mr. Turner

Mr. and Mrs. Turner were definitely from a time that preceded my grandparents.  Mr. Turner was always in the garden, wearing his hat, tending to his plants, vegetables and flowers.  The Turners had a “double lot” which gave them the extra space where Mr. Turner happily puttered most of the day, weather permitting.

The Turners were quite elderly; at least he was, to me.  Mrs. Turner was starting to fail in health, and Mr. Turner was very solicitous where his wife was concerned.  It was evident that he cared for her deeply.  Even I, as a young girl, was impressed by the care and love he showered upon her.  When he spoke of her, it was with an obviously loving tone in his voice.

As a child, I was invited into their home on more than one occasion, where I would be treated to a cookie that Mrs. Turner baked.  She was a great baker:  Mr. Turner was very appreciative of his wife’s baking, and spoke of her in warm, loving terms whenever we spoke.

Years went by; I married, had my daughter, and moved back onto E. 51st St., halfway down the street from my parents’ house.

Mr. Turner was still going strong:  tending to his garden and taking care of his house.  It was with tears in his eyes that he told me of his sweet wife’s passing.

I also found that Mr. Turner had become the block’s “handyman” while I was living elsewhere.  He welcomed the extra income, and besides, as he put it, “It keeps me busy.”

We purchased the house we lived in from Dan’s parents (they lived in another state at the time), and it was after that that Mr. Turner approached us about the brick facade of the house.  He said it needed “pointing.”  What was that?  The mortar between the bricks needed to be filled in due to age, and the elements.  We agreed to have Mr. Turner do the work.  His rate was quite reasonable.

It was almost a ridiculous site to see this wiry, white-haired old man (he was in his 80s), in his farmer’s overalls, carrying his long ladder down the street, with pail in the other hand, ready for a day’s work.  And a day’s work it was – several days, actually.  He worked slowly, but steadily and with careful attention to his task.

It was a few years later, that I heard he had also passed, and joined his beloved wife in their afterlife together.  My memories of Mr. Turner – farmer, patriot (flag flew from his flagpole every day), good neighbor, talented “handyman,” friendly gentleman, and devoted husband – are still vivid.


Ferguson protests spread across the U.S.!

John, in his post, states his hope that the peaceful protests happening across the country by Grass Roots America, will grow in strength and number; finally accomplishing the end of the racial discontent that has plagued our country for much too long. I most wholeheartedly agree. Thanks, John.

200th Anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner

This weekend has seen various celebrations of this 200th anniversary of our national anthem.



On September 14, 1814, U.S. soldiers at Baltimore’s Fort McHenry, after a 25-hour battle, raised a huge 42-foot American flag, sewn by Mary Pickersgill, to celebrate a crucial victory over British forces during the War of 1812.  The sight of those “broad stripes and bright stars” inspired Francis Scott Key to write a song that eventually became the United States national anthem. Key was aboard a ship in the harbor when he became thus inspired.  Key’s words gave new significance to a national symbol and started a tradition through which generations of Americans have invested the flag with their own meanings and memories.


old flag

The National Museum of American History is working to preserve this flag for future generations.

Here is a video by Dudley Rutherford in which he tells the story behind the Star Spangled Banner:





National Service – Patriot Day 9/11

This gallery contains 1 photos.

Originally posted on Pacific Paratrooper:
Patriot Day is the annual observance for those who were injured and died due to the 9-11 terrorists attacks. This is NOT to be confused with Patriot’s Day which commemorates the battles of Lexington and…