Veteran’s Day (delayed)

Upper Falls

Wow, the changes going on! Sorry for the delayed Veteran’s Day edition, but I took the opportunity to take my family to Yosemite for the weekend. It was absolutely a wonderful vacation and, fortuitously, came the day after my graduation…so it was a much needed break for me.

We stayed at Sunset Inn guest cabins and had a wonderful time. They are very reasonable for a cabin with a full kitchen and the little touches were very well done. I highly recommend them! They are about 1 mile outside the park on CA 120.

I doubt it is any surprise how I feel about veterans, as I are one. One thing I have discovered as I have gotten both older and more experienced, the policies of politician’s rarely play out neatly on the battlefield. The world is too complex for simple answers, and the emotional response is rarely the right one. My greatest concern for my country right now, even more than the economy, is our lack of a strategic focus…we are not rudderless but compass-less. We don’t know where we are going…so we are likely to end up nowhere.

Here are some of my favorite things…

Halfway down the trail to Hell,
In a shady meadow green
Are the Souls of all dead troopers camped,
Near a good old-time canteen.
And this eternal resting place
Is known as Fiddlers’ Green.
Marching past, straight through to Hell
The Infantry are seen.
Accompanied by the Engineers,
Artillery and Marines,
For none but the shades of Cavalrymen
Dismount at Fiddlers’ Green.
Though some go curving down the trail
To seek a warmer scene.
No trooper ever gets to Hell
Ere he’s emptied his canteen.
And so rides back to drink again
With friends at Fiddlers’ Green.
And so when man and horse go down
Beneath a saber keen,
Or in a roaring charge of fierce melee
You stop a bullet clean,
And the hostiles come to get your scalp,
Just empty your canteen,
And put your pistol to your head
And go to Fiddlers’ Green.

The origin and author of Fiddlers’ Green is unkown. It was believed to have originated in the 1800’s and was composed as a song
sung by the soldiers of the 6th and 7th Cavalry. Its first known appearance in published form was in a 1923 Cavalry Journal.

March of Cambreadth

In Flanders’ Fields

In Flanders’ Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders’ Fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders’ Fields.

In response, We Shall Keep the Faith:

Oh! You who sleep in Flanders’ fields,
Sleep sweet – to rise anew;
We caught the torch you threw;
And holding high we kept
The faith with those who died.
We cherish, too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valour led.
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies,
But lends a lustre to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flanders’ Fields.
And now the torch and poppy red
Wear in honour of our dead
Fear not that ye have died for naught
We’ve learned the lesson that ye taught
In Flanders’ Fields.

The tradition of the Table for Fallen Comrades:

The following may be used when appropriate to present the Toast to fallen Comrades and to explain the significance of the dedicated place setting when it is used:

“You may have noticed the small table set for one that is off on its own – it is reserved to honour our fallen comrades in arms. This symbolizes that they are with us, here in spirit. We should never forget the brave men and women who answered our nation’s call [to serve] and served the cause of freedom in a special way. We are ever mindful that the sweetness of enduring peace has always been tainted by the bitterness of personal sacrifice. We are compelled to never forget that while we enjoy our daily pleasures, there are others who have endured the agonies of pain, deprivation and death.

I would like to explain the meaning of the items on this special table.
• The table is round – to show our everlasting concern for our fallen comrades.
• The tablecloth is white – symbolizing the purity of their motives when answering the call to duty.
• The single red rose, displayed in a vase, reminds us of the life of each of our fallen comrades, and the loved ones and friends of these comrades who keep the faith.
• The vase is tied with a red ribbon, symbol of our continued determination to remember our fallen comrades.
• A slice of lemon on the bread plate is to remind us of the bitter fate of those who will never return.
• A pinch of salt symbolizes the tears endured by the families of those who have sacrificed all.
• The Holy Book represents the strength gained through faith to sustain those lost from our country.
• The glass is inverted, they cannot toast with us at this time.
• The chair is empty because they are no longer with us.
Let us remember – and never forget their sacrifice.
May they and their families ever be watched over and protected.”

Quote for the day, Abraham Lincoln’s 2nd Inaugural Address:
“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”


About cptcaveman

An Army Major, my family and I are in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. We enjoy photography, cooking, reading and outdoor sports like hunting, fishing and trapping.
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