Category Archives: Military

Memorial Day History, Rochester!

Through the years, America has been involved in several forms of war-combat. Many of us here, in Mark’s news bureaus are most familiar with the Vietnam war. It’s within our age, time frame.

Here in Rochester next to the Monroe County Airport is a terminal for the National Guard chapter, And this old helicopter from Vietnam sets there.

I wanted to share this bit of history, picture with our readers and wish everyone a Happy Memorial Day!


Salute to Those Who Gave Their All


Memorial Day…

For the vast majority of Americans it is just another 3-day weekend and the unofficial start to the summer vacation season. For many others it’s the weekend when millions around the world tune in to watch or listen to the greatest spectacle in racing, the Indy 500.

To too many it’s just a day to get together with family, have picnics and barbecues, go the opening of community pools across the nation. It’s a time to just lay back and enjoy having 3 days off in a row with no worries.

Yet, Memorial Day symbolizes much more. Ask any veterans’ organization or any military person in uniform or any family member who has lost a loved one in war, whether declared or undeclared, in peacetime or wartime.

Memorial Day was meant to be a day a grateful nation pauses to remember those who donned a uniform and gave their lives in defense of our American way of life. These brave men and women paid the ultimate price to make sure we could have our picnics, our barbecues, our splashing around in the pool.

The tradition of Memorial Day originally began in commemoration of those soldiers lost during the Civil War. It was known in various communities and states as Decoration Day. The date set aside was May 30. This was later changed to allow for a 3-day weekend by Congress to be the last Monday in May.

There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women’s groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, “Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping” by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication “To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead” (Source: Duke University’s Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920).

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. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860’s tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868.

It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

Memorial Day 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, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. 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 celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.

It is traditional to fly the flag of the United States at half mast from dawn until noon. Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries. Memorial Day is combined with Jefferson Davis’ Birthday in Mississippi.

Memorial Day started as an event to honor Union soldiers, who had died during the American Civil War. It was inspired by the way people in the Southern states honored their dead. After World War I, it was extended to include all men and women, who died in any war or military action.

From the Cornfield, I invite one and all to stop this coming Monday at 3 p.m. for a moment to reflect and be thankful to all our fallen heroes. Without their blood we would not be able to enjoy and express the freedoms we hold so dear.

Policy Fail Again for Obama!


On a night when President Barack Obama planned to make a victory lap, highlighting the wins of his two-term Administration, Iran has cast a dark shadow on the State of the Union Address to a joint session of Congress.

The Persian nation, long a pariah in the international community, has seized two small US Navy boats in the Persian Gulf. Ten American sailors, including one woman, have been, according to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard been arrested after one of the boats is alleged to have had engine trouble and ran aground on an Iranian island.

This is also on the eve of the release of $150 billion to the regime for agreeing to an international deal to limit its nuclear ambitions.

Never mind that the President did not press for nor has yet to secure the release of four Americans being held illegally by Iran before reaching any deal with the Iranians or that the nation fired live rockets within 1,500 feet of Navy vessels last month, this gives the President’s foreign policy yet another black eye and proves how ineffective that policy is and has been.

When will this President realize and wake up to the fact you cannot talk your way to peace with radicals and jihadists?

The only bright spot is that this is the last year of this Administration and the last address by this President to Congress. Our long national nightmare may soon be over.

But for now 10 American sailors are being held captive by the most belligerent and bellicose segment of the Iranian military. Iran says it will release the sailors and the boats. The Administration is stressing there were no sinister motives while the Iranian press details the weapons seized and how the Americans were arrested.

Time to stop playing nice.

Time to stop the release of the money.

Time to demand not only the release of our sailors, but also the other four Americans being illegally detained.

From the Cornfield, how many more fails before the President stops his Neville Chamberlain act?

It has never worked and never will. Radicals do not play by the rules and only understand might.

27th Antietam National Battlefield Memorial Illumination December 5th 2015 Sharpsburg Maryland






My husband and I accompanied my daughter, her husband and my granddaughter to take  in the 23,000 luminaries   representing the soldiers that fell at the  bloodiest battle of the Civil War, Antietam Battlegrounds.

After a two hour wait in the car( we were over a mile away in the line) we finally inched our way to the National Park. The site was surreal, a little spooky and heart breaking.

To understand each of the 23,000 luminaries following a five mile road around the battlefield, represented a fallen or missing soldier was so thought provoking, especially thinking of what our own country is enduring today and fearful it will become worse. 

The countryside is beautiful today…the town of Sharpsburg and the university town of Shepherdstown  are much like Harper’s Ferry, gorgeous pre-Civil War houses, quaint shops and restaurants, lovingly kept as if time stood still.

We should always learn from the past, always.

DSCN1471DSCN1511When soldiers of two American armies converged on the peaceful village of Sharpsburg, they transformed the once tranquil farms that surrounded the town into horrific fields of combat. This community would never be the same.

Five days after the guns fell silent, President Abraham Lincoln redefined the meaning of the war when he announced the Emancipation  Proclamation , No Longer was the conflict being waged solely to reunite a divided country, now this war would also be fought to abolish slavery.

As the years passed, the site of the Civil War’s bloodiest  single day battle revolved into a place of reflection and national remembrance.

Though the scars of war have faded from the landscape, Antietam National Battlefield remains hallowed ground. It is a place where America forever changed – a place to ponder the meaning of sacrifice and freedom.

We light these candles tonight to honor 23,000 soldiers of the Blue and Gray who were killed, wounded, or reported missing on September 17, 1862

Presented by American Business Women’s Association Hagerstown-Washington  County Convention & Visitors Bureau