First Father’s Day Without Him

Paul’s father passed away in 2013; I lost my Dad in March.  I sure do wish that Dad was still around for me to tell him how very much I love him.

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Happy Flag Day!

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What better way to celebrate this day than with a song specifically about the United States flag? Written by George M. Cohan in 1906 – and the first song from a musical to sell over a million copies of sheet music – “You’re a Grand Old Flag” has been popular for over a century:

The original lyric for this perennial George M. Cohan favorite came, as Cohan later explained, from an encounter he had with a Civil War veteran who fought at Gettysburg. The two men found themselves next to each other and Cohan noticed the vet held a carefully folded but ragged old flag. The man reportedly then turned to Cohan and said, “She’s a grand old rag.”

Cohan thought it was a great line and originally named his tune “You’re a Grand Old Rag.” So many groups and individuals objected to calling the flag a “rag,” however, that he “gave ’em what they wanted” and switched words, renaming the song “You’re a Grand Old Flag.”

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June 6, 1944: The Beginning of the End

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On this day seventy-eight years ago, Allied Forces crossed the English Channel and stormed the beaches of France in order to bring about the end of Adolf Hitler’s madness. Thousands of brave young men lost their lives that day so that millions of people could live in freedom.

May we never forget their sacrifice:

Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!

You are about to embark upon a great crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers in arms on other fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

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Hello, June!

"Flaming June" by Frederic Lord Leighton, c. 1895

“Flaming June” by Frederic Lord Leighton, c. 1895

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It’s the first day of June – what better way to start out the month than with this classic number from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Carousel” ?

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Wasn’t that fun? Hope you enjoyed it!
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The Day That All Moms Dread…..

Well, I knew this day had to come – it comes around every year. The day that all kids look forward to. and all mothers dread.

That’s right, folks – the Last Day of School is here…..
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Oh, well – September will be here before you know it…..
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(One of my all-time favorite commercials – Alice Cooper is such a hoot!)
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The Thanks of a Grateful Nation

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General Orders No. 11, Grand Army of the Republic Headquarters.

I. The 30th day 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. In this observance no form or ceremony is prescribed, but Posts and com­rades will, in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.

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Those They Leave Behind

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It is the one and only photo that makes me cry each time I see it. What brings the tears to my eyes is not just the bereaved young woman, but the Marine who stands behind her. In an earlier photo in the series, we see him building her a little nest of blankets on the air mattress. Sweet Lord, I cry just typing the words, the matter-of-fact tenderness is so overwhelming. So soldierly. But in this photo — the one that lives on and on online — he merely stands next to the coffin, watching over her.

It is impossible to be unmoved by the juxtaposition of the eternal stone-faced warrior and the disheveled modern military wife-turned-widow, him rigid in his dress uniform, her on the floor in her blanket nest, wearing glasses and a baggy T-shirt, him nearly concealed by shadow while the pale blue light from the computer screen illuminates her like God’s own grace.

I can’t say it any better than this writer did, so I will link it here – THIS is what Memorial Day is all about; honoring those who gave their lives so that we may sleep under the blanket of security.

I believe that the civilian-military gap isn’t always born of indifference, but rather, at times, a sense of helplessness on the civilian side. What can I do? If you do nothing else, you can remember those who have given their lives for their country. Our country.

Remembrance, which may seem a modest contribution in the moment, is a sacred act with long-term payoff — a singularly human gift that keeps on giving, year after war-fatigued year. I don’t need to remind you that America’s sons and daughters are still dying in combat. I don’t want to browbeat you into feeling guilty for not doing more.

Instead, I want to tell you that as the wife of a veteran, it is tremendously meaningful to know that on this Memorial Day, civilians will be bearing witness and remembering in their own way — that those who are gone are not forgotten. I also want to say that as you remember them, we remember you.

Thank you.

May we never forget their sacrifice.

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(For more on the powerful story of this picture, you can read the text of the original article from 2005, “Final Salute” by Jim Sheeler, as well as the photos which were used in the story, taken by Todd Heiler.

This article and the photos used in it were later incorporated into the book, Final Salute: A Story of Unfinished Lives, by Jim Sheeler.

Sheeler and Heiler both won Pulitzer Prizes for this work.)

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Happy Mother’s Day!

My mother passed away on March 15th, 2020; this is my third Mother’s Day without her.
I miss her very much.

I got brave a few years ago, and made a photo book online for my Mom.

(Click on the picture to take you to the Shutterfly site, where you can view it for yourself.
Once there, click on “View Photo Book”, then “View Full Screen” – hope you enjoy it!
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Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!
I loved you so much, and miss you every day ♥♥♥
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A Classical Birthday “Two-fer”

Brahms and Tchaikovsky.

What are the chances?

On this date in history, not one, but TWO classical composers were bornJohannes Brahms (1833) and Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky (1840).

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Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Tequila Cat
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Today is Cinco de Mayo – a day when a lot of people drink a lot of beer and/or tequila.

So what better YouTube clip to show than Jim Breuer’s classic “Party in Your Stomach”? If you haven’t seen it before, be prepared to laugh:
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Have a great day!
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