His message of remembrance, is very much an integral part of the purpose of these very blogs. Blogs designed to bring forth stories about the US military dated back to Civil War days and sometimes yet further back. In these, as evidence herein, Canadians, and in the earlier days British North Americans, who filled the ranks with their American brothers and sisters served in the conflicts. Serving with such distinctions that their very service, though often very hidden, reflect most honourably on the Canadian participation in America's military history.
Today's blog takes a step outside of the Medal of Honor world, but yet follows along the route of remembrance of those who have gone before us.
Note the before and after images above. Note also the lack of trees in the "after" photo, showing how barren the land was left after the eruption and subsequent fires finally ceased.
The subsequent landslide became the worst in American recorded history. Ash and gases were expelled upwards of 15 miles into the atmosphere. The ash was carried across many parts of North America, including at Halifax, some 6,000 km to the east. I was living there at the time and recall having to brush ash off my car for days.
The above picture was taken on Memorial Day a few years ago at Arlington Cemetery. It is the 2nd largest of some 130 national cemeteries and has over 400,000 interments. Over 400 of these are Medal of Honor recipients. Around 30 of those resting there are Canadians and over a third of these are Medal of Honor recipients.
The above image shows the work of the above group and was taken at the Beechwood National Military Cemetery a few years ago. It is located within the larger cemetery simply known as Beechwood Cemetery and is at Ottawa, where some 75,000 military and others are at rest. Both my parents served in WWll and are joined there by thousands of other service men and women.
As you see the flags flopping in the winds here, and across North America, you might recall an unknown author's wise words.
"Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it. It flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it!"
Here we see an artist's depiction of a battle most have never heard of. Because it only involved a handful and was so long ago, it has been mostly forgotten. The hero in this artwork is at the center... a girl of only 14 years old.
Her name was Madeleine Jarrett but has become known as de Vercheres. and she lived along the St Lawrence River, near Montreal. An area that often was attached by bands of natives. During one such attack in 1692 her parents were off for a few days to purchase needed supplies.
The natives attacked the farm fields and captured a crew of soldiers, workers and some children. But Madelaine, 2 soldiers, a man aged 80 and a few very young children were left to hold down the fort nearbye. She managed to fire off the cannon to warn other forts in the area to be aware, and hopefully send help, that arrived about a week later.
Using her wit, she had the children make lots of noise so that the attackers, fearing reinforcements had arrived, soon escaped into the woods. She became known as the women...or more accurately... the girl.. who saved the fort.
Here is another women whom we need to remember tomorrow and throughout the year.
Below she is depicted giving a briefing to Lt. James Fitzgibbons. The information was turned against the Americans, by about 500, mostly friendly Indians and soldiers of the day. They laid in ambush, surprised the enemy and captured the American intruders at Beaver Dams, near today's Thorold Ontario.
You will no doubt remember the famous Longfellow's poem making Paul Revere the hero of the day back on April 18, 1775. He rode through the towns warning that the Brits were coming and for the townsfolk to get ready. Trouble is... if truth be known, Paul Revere was captured and did not deliver the warning.
That was left to a young doctor by the name of Samuel Preston. A fellow who later in the war, was captured by the British and taken away to a prison... in a place called Canada. And therein, at Halifax died in jail, and today rests a few blocks away from the location of that very prison.
Below is the grave of another Canadian that should be given some thought on Memorial Day. She was only 12 years old.
It was back in 1869 when most of the children with parents had set off on a several day trip to get supplies. Soon a fire broke out in the home, then occupied by 12 year old Mary, a boy aged 9 and a sister aged just 7.
But tragedy then struck, by way of a terrible fire in the cabin. And it was left to Mary to deal with. Her brother was convinced to jump from the 2nd floor and she caught him. He survived. But Mary had to go inside to rescue the badly burned 7 yr old sister. Sadly both girls then died from their burns and exhaustion.
A year later the government of Nova Scotia were told of the tale and set out to have the above monument built and unveiled 1870.
The monument for a girl, was, according to the government of Nova Scotia, the first monument every built and funded by any government at any level in the country for a female.
I leave you with these thoughts in the hopes that you will spend some more time reading about each of these incidents, and tomorrow would be a great day to do this.
I will return on Sunday June 7th to bring more of these lesser known heroes deserving some our thoughts and very belayed thanks for ..as General Paton said... LIVING.
Hope you will join me then.