Combs Spouts Off

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Posts Tagged ‘memorial day’

Our hero dead

Posted by Richard on May 30, 2011

"Flags In" for Memorial Day, Arlington National Cemetary. Photo from Isaac Wankerl (www.iwankerl.com).
The grave of his father, Maj. Max W. Wankerl, is in the foreground.

  

Memorial Day

by Edgar A. Guest (1881-1959)

 
The finest tribute we can pay
Unto our hero dead to-day,
Is not a rose wreath, white and red,
In memory of the blood they shed;
It is to stand beside each mound,
Each couch of consecrated ground,
And pledge ourselves as warriors true
Unto the work they died to do.

Into God's valleys where they lie
At rest, beneath the open sky,
Triumphant now o'er every foe,
As living tributes let us go.
No wreath of rose or immortelles
Or spoken word or tolling bells
Will do to-day, unless we give
Our pledge that liberty shall live.

Our hearts must be the roses red
We place above our hero dead;
To-day beside their graves we must
Renew allegiance to their trust;
Must bare our heads and humbly say
We hold the Flag as dear as they,
And stand, as once they stood, to die
To keep the Stars and Stripes on high.

The finest tribute we can pay
Unto our hero dead to-day
Is not of speech or roses red,
But living, throbbing hearts instead,
That shall renew the pledge they sealed
With death upon the battlefield:
That freedom's flag shall bear no stain
And free men wear no tyrant's chain.

 

Today, please remember those who died "that liberty shall live." I'm remembering my dad, Col. Samuel R. Combs — who, in the memorable words of Robert Denerstein, "answered his country's call even before the phone rang." I miss you, Papa. 

If you have friends or relatives — or maybe an elderly neighbor down the street — who are veterans, thank them now. Don't wait until they have a marker over their head. 

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A great Memorial Day weekend picture

Posted by Richard on May 29, 2011

This is Memorial Day weekend, so it's appropriate for us to be thinking of our armed forces, right? Ever since Colorado allowed liquor stores to open on Sunday, I've received an email each Saturday night from Total Beverage about their Sunday specials. It always includes an appropriate photo, usually of a famous person whose birthday is that date. Here's this week's picture:

Welcome home 

Is that great, or what? After I figured out just what I was looking at, I got a great big grin on my face. I hope you did too.

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Memorial Day skiing

Posted by Richard on May 27, 2011

If you're a skier or snowboarder, forget the backyard barbecue, camping trip, or beach vacation. Head for Aspen this Memorial Day weekend! They've got so much new snow, they're reopening Aspen Mountain for this weekend and for weekends in June for as long as conditions permit. I believe it's been at least 15 years since they've been open this late.

You know all those cold fronts that brought the terrible storms and tornadoes to the Midwest and Southeast over the last few weeks? Before heading east, each of them dumped up to a foot of snow on the Colorado mountains. The average snowpack level is at 247% of normal. 

Is Aspen too far for you? There are a bunch of other ski resorts open this weekend. Closer to Denver, Arapahoe Basin remains open daily (as is generally the case) through early June and maybe for weekends after that.

Remember all those stories a few years ago about how global warming was going to cripple the ski industry and dramatically shorten skiing seasons? 🙂  

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Our hero dead

Posted by Richard on May 31, 2010

"Flags In" for Memorial Day, Arlington National Cemetary. Photo from Isaac Wankerl (www.iwankerl.com).
The grave of his father, Maj. Max W. Wankerl, is in the foreground.

  

Memorial Day

by Edgar A. Guest (1881-1959)

 
The finest tribute we can pay
Unto our hero dead to-day,
Is not a rose wreath, white and red,
In memory of the blood they shed;
It is to stand beside each mound,
Each couch of consecrated ground,
And pledge ourselves as warriors true
Unto the work they died to do.

Into God's valleys where they lie
At rest, beneath the open sky,
Triumphant now o'er every foe,
As living tributes let us go.
No wreath of rose or immortelles
Or spoken word or tolling bells
Will do to-day, unless we give
Our pledge that liberty shall live.

Our hearts must be the roses red
We place above our hero dead;
To-day beside their graves we must
Renew allegiance to their trust;
Must bare our heads and humbly say
We hold the Flag as dear as they,
And stand, as once they stood, to die
To keep the Stars and Stripes on high.

The finest tribute we can pay
Unto our hero dead to-day
Is not of speech or roses red,
But living, throbbing hearts instead,
That shall renew the pledge they sealed
With death upon the battlefield:
That freedom's flag shall bear no stain
And free men wear no tyrant's chain.

 

Today, please remember those who died "that liberty shall live." I'm remembering my dad, Col. Samuel R. Combs — who, in the memorable words of Robert Denerstein, "answered his country's call even before the phone rang." I miss you, Papa. 

If you have friends or relatives — or maybe an elderly neighbor down the street — who are veterans, thank them now. Don't wait until they have a marker over their head. 

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Our hero dead

Posted by Richard on May 25, 2009

"Flags In" for Memorial Day, Arlington National Cemetary. Photo from Isaac Wankerl (www.iwankerl.com).
The grave of his father, Maj. Max W. Wankerl, is in the foreground.

  

Memorial Day

by Edgar A. Guest (1881-1959)

 
The finest tribute we can pay
Unto our hero dead to-day,
Is not a rose wreath, white and red,
In memory of the blood they shed;
It is to stand beside each mound,
Each couch of consecrated ground,
And pledge ourselves as warriors true
Unto the work they died to do.

Into God's valleys where they lie
At rest, beneath the open sky,
Triumphant now o'er every foe,
As living tributes let us go.
No wreath of rose or immortelles
Or spoken word or tolling bells
Will do to-day, unless we give
Our pledge that liberty shall live.

Our hearts must be the roses red
We place above our hero dead;
To-day beside their graves we must
Renew allegiance to their trust;
Must bare our heads and humbly say
We hold the Flag as dear as they,
And stand, as once they stood, to die
To keep the Stars and Stripes on high.

The finest tribute we can pay
Unto our hero dead to-day
Is not of speech or roses red,
But living, throbbing hearts instead,
That shall renew the pledge they sealed
With death upon the battlefield:
That freedom's flag shall bear no stain
And free men wear no tyrant's chain.

 

Today, please remember those who died "that liberty shall live." And thank the veterans who are still with us.

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Our hero dead

Posted by Richard on May 26, 2008

"Flags In" for Memorial Day, Arlington National Cemetary. Photo from Isaac Wankerl (www.iwankerl.com).
The grave of his father, Maj. Max W. Wankerl, is in the foreground.

  

Memorial Day

by Edgar A. Guest (1881-1959)

 
The finest tribute we can pay
Unto our hero dead to-day,
Is not a rose wreath, white and red,
In memory of the blood they shed;
It is to stand beside each mound,
Each couch of consecrated ground,
And pledge ourselves as warriors true
Unto the work they died to do.

Into God's valleys where they lie
At rest, beneath the open sky,
Triumphant now o'er every foe,
As living tributes let us go.
No wreath of rose or immortelles
Or spoken word or tolling bells
Will do to-day, unless we give
Our pledge that liberty shall live.

Our hearts must be the roses red
We place above our hero dead;
To-day beside their graves we must
Renew allegiance to their trust;
Must bare our heads and humbly say
We hold the Flag as dear as they,
And stand, as once they stood, to die
To keep the Stars and Stripes on high.

The finest tribute we can pay
Unto our hero dead to-day
Is not of speech or roses red,
But living, throbbing hearts instead,
That shall renew the pledge they sealed
With death upon the battlefield:
That freedom's flag shall bear no stain
And free men wear no tyrant's chain.

 

Today, please remember those who died "that liberty shall live." And if you have friends or relatives — or maybe an elderly neighbor down the street — who are veterans, thank them now. Don't wait until they have a marker over their head. 

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Our hero dead

Posted by Richard on May 28, 2007

On May 30, 2005, when this blog was just seven weeks old, I posted "What I did for Memorial Day":

I talked with my dad this weekend. That's not unusual; I call him or he calls me most weekends. He's 89, so there's no telling how many more conversations we'll have.

He wasn't a very good father — occasionally a bit abusive and otherwise always quite distant. For most of my adult life, I returned the favor by being distant (both physically and emotionally) myself. But with age came first a "water under the bridge" attitude, then forgiveness, and eventually love.

My dad was a career Army officer who served in both WWII and Korea. This weekend — for the first time — I said something to him that I should have said many times.

I thanked him for his service.

We both got pretty choked up. It felt real good.

My dad passed away last August. I'm so very glad that I thanked him while he was still alive. I wish I could visit his grave this Memorial Day and thank him again. He's in the veteran's section of Highland Memorial Gardens in Knoxville. I hope someone has put up flags, like they do in Arlington.

Last year, I posted Edgar Guest's moving poem and Isaac Wankerl's wonderful photo of Arlington. I can't improve on those, so here they are again. 

Please take a moment today to remember those who died "that liberty shall live," as Guest put it. And if you have friends or relatives — or maybe an elderly neighbor down the street — who are veterans, thank them now. Don't wait until they have a marker over their head. The WWII veterans in particular are rapidly dwindling in number, and they really did fight so that "free men wear no tyrant's chain."

Memorial Day

by Edgar A. Guest (1881-1959)

 
The finest tribute we can pay
Unto our hero dead to-day,
Is not a rose wreath, white and red,
In memory of the blood they shed;
It is to stand beside each mound,
Each couch of consecrated ground,
And pledge ourselves as warriors true
Unto the work they died to do.

Into God's valleys where they lie
At rest, beneath the open sky,
Triumphant now o'er every foe,
As living tributes let us go.
No wreath of rose or immortelles
Or spoken word or tolling bells
Will do to-day, unless we give
Our pledge that liberty shall live.

Our hearts must be the roses red
We place above our hero dead;
To-day beside their graves we must
Renew allegiance to their trust;
Must bare our heads and humbly say
We hold the Flag as dear as they,
And stand, as once they stood, to die
To keep the Stars and Stripes on high.

The finest tribute we can pay
Unto our hero dead to-day
Is not of speech or roses red,
But living, throbbing hearts instead,
That shall renew the pledge they sealed
With death upon the battlefield:
That freedom's flag shall bear no stain
And free men wear no tyrant's chain.

 

"Flags In" for Memorial Day, Arlington National Cemetary. Photo from Isaac Wankerl (www.iwankerl.com).
The grave of his father, Maj. Max W. Wankerl, is in the foreground.

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For Memorial Day, say thanks

Posted by Richard on May 26, 2007

Want to do something nice for our service men and women this Memorial Day weekend? Participate in Shauna Fleming's A Million Thanks project. Write a thank you card or letter expressing your appreciation for their service.

You can hand-make a card or just write a short note. Here are some sample cards and letters to inspire you. Or you can just go to the store, find a card that says "Thank You" on the outside, and simply write "for your service" inside — it doesn't get any easier. You don't need to buy a stamp.

For some more suggestions and some rules and guidelines (like how to do multiple cards or letters, or what to say or not say), check this page. Then, just drop your card(s) or letter(s) off at your nearest Buick, Pontiac, or GMC dealer, and they'll see that it gets delivered to an active duty, retired, or wounded service man or woman. Not sure where the nearest Buick, Pontiac, or GMC dealership is? Enter your ZIP code here, and they'll direct you. Don't forget car dealers are closed Sunday, so do it Saturday, OK?

Oh, and while you're there, thank someone at the dealership for their support. I'm not a big fan of General Motors (the domestic car-maker I'm rooting for is Ford), but they're doing a nice thing for A Million Thanks

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Our hero dead

Posted by Richard on May 29, 2006

Please take a moment today to remember those who died "that liberty shall live."
 

"Flags In" for Memorial Day, Arlington National Cemetary. Photo from Isaac Wankerl (www.iwankerl.com).
The grave of his father, Maj. Max W. Wankerl, is in the foreground.

Memorial Day

by Edgar A. Guest (1881-1959)

The finest tribute we can pay
Unto our hero dead to-day,
Is not a rose wreath, white and red,
In memory of the blood they shed;
It is to stand beside each mound,
Each couch of consecrated ground,
And pledge ourselves as warriors true
Unto the work they died to do.

Into God’s valleys where they lie
At rest, beneath the open sky,
Triumphant now o’er every foe,
As living tributes let us go.
No wreath of rose or immortelles
Or spoken word or tolling bells
Will do to-day, unless we give
Our pledge that liberty shall live.

Our hearts must be the roses red
We place above our hero dead;
To-day beside their graves we must
Renew allegiance to their trust;
Must bare our heads and humbly say
We hold the Flag as dear as they,
And stand, as once they stood, to die
To keep the Stars and Stripes on high.

The finest tribute we can pay
Unto our hero dead to-day
Is not of speech or roses red,
But living, throbbing hearts instead,
That shall renew the pledge they sealed
With death upon the battlefield:
That freedom’s flag shall bear no stain
And free men wear no tyrant’s chain.

 

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