Others state that it was also uttered at the November 11th ceremony at an Allied cemetery in Italy in 1949. He was then quoted saying that... "In my mind we came here to thank God that men like these lived, rather than to regret that they have died."
Nevertheless, there are some very important men and women gathering at the Minnesota Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St Paul to do a lot of remembering of their past, and of many a brave sole no longer with us. Brothers... and sisters... who have died on battlefields in the US and around the world.
Officially they gather from the 4th of this month, but some may come earlier or stay later. They will gather for several days. But in those precious days they will make... and leave a lifetime of memories for tens of thousands before they travel by very heavily armed escorts to the airport and once again get whisked away for duties elsewhere.
They of course are the brave herculean men of days gone by in uniforms of all description, but now most show the scars of time, on bodies and sole. These are the 40 or more who can break away from important duties or health issues, to put their medals on and go to the call of their nation. And they will once again also strap on America's most important medal of all... the Medal of Honor.
There are 78 of these heroes alive today. Out of more than 3500. (Not including the purged, but I will not go there today.)
And each of the heroes at the annual convention of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society (CMOHS) in attendance will be wearing one of these 3 models.
Members of the public will get glimpses of the entourage as they come into town and when they leave. In between both they will have opportunities to attended a meet and greet were each person will be given ever few, a precious moment, to meet and shake hands and get some photos and autographs.
If you are one of the lucky ones, may sure you thank them for their incredible service!
They will probably meet at a town hall meeting where a few are interviewed with hundreds of the public in attendance. You may even get a chance to address the entire gathering with your own comments, or ask a recipient a question or two. The heroes will also have a most formal Gala on the last evening I suspect, and many will be visiting schools in the area to give chats to students about their duties as a good citizen.
Many a story will appear in the press about some of the attendees and what they did to earn their medals. And I'd bet every single one of them will repeat what I heard from almost 40 at the 2013 convention in Gettysburg. They said they wear their medals not for themselves, but for their buddies that gave their all in the battlefields of days gone by, and in some cases still very active hot spots.
One of the goals of the CMOHS is to preserve in reverence and respect those who received the MOH posthumously, and those who are now deceased.
Of well over 100 medals coming to Canadians, or men with connections to Canada, five had connections to the very state now hosting the annual convention. Images have yet to turn up for James Flanagan who was born in Montreal. Ireland's James Allen, has Cdn. connections and is shown at above left. Alonzo Pickle, came from about 45 miles s/e of Montreal. George Horace Morgan came from St Catharines Ontario, and of course Detroit born Charles Lindbergh at bottom right was awarded for actions during the historic flight that took him across eastern Canada and well beyond. All of their stories have been carried at this site in the past.
Hopefully the press covering the convention will give some notice to the foreign born recipients, and perhaps even some of the above men.
No doubt there will be mention of Doctor Mary Walker, the only female recipient of the Union's Medal of Honor, despite the fact that many, many, women served in various wars at the front lines, in uniform, as nurses, spies, couriers, and even soldiers in places like Gettysburg and more.
Hopefully these might also get some news coverage. And whilst at it they might want to do some clips on some of the Canadian women like a Florence Nightingale herself... Isabella Morrison Fogg. and the more well known Sarah Emma Edmunds. Google their names for some pretty amazing stuff.
While remembering these women it is ironic that today is the 2nd day of Women's History Month in Canada. But as noted numerous times in the past in this space, rarely do you hear about the three women who advocated for over a year to bring this month into fruition.
Their names were Lynne Gough, Cathy Blazgow and the late Cathrynne (Kay) Armstrong, who's son just wrote those words.
October was chosen for the important month, because it was the month back in 1929 that the Privy Council in Britain issued a historic decision. It said... believe it or not...that women were actually PERSONS. One wonders what they were before that day!
The story has also oft been noted in this space.
The case was decided on October 18th, and thus each yr the 18th is celebrated as Persons Day in Canada.
Just a few things to reflect on till next Sunday. And then I have three exciting bits of news that I think you will like,