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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Memorial Day, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. Memorial Day and the 9/11 museum in American civil religion

By Peter Gardella

Unlike the 4th of July with its fireworks or Thanksgiving with its turkeys, Memorial Day has no special object. But the new 9/11 Museum near the World Trade Center in New York has thousands of objects. Some complain that its objects are for sale, in a gift shop and because of the admission fee. Together, the old holiday and the new museum show what has changed and what remains constant about American civil religion.

For a century after Memorial Day began, it had its own date, May 30. That was lost in 1968, when Congress passed a law moving Memorial Day to the last Monday in May. Rather than interrupting the week whenever it falls, as July 4th still does, Memorial Day became the end of a long weekend. A search for Memorial Day parades finds as many parades happening on Sunday as on Monday. Some happen on Saturday.

These parades are not nearly as important as they were in the decades following World Wars One and Two, when veterans were much more numerous than they are now. The unpopularity of Vietnam also hurt Memorial Day parades. In my childhood, all grammar school children in my town marched on Memorial Day, but now even high school bands march reluctantly. Having parades to honor war dead came to seem to be celebrating war, and after Vietnam celebrating war was unacceptable. Memorial Day was once called Decoration Day, a day for visiting and decorating graves, and this quieter ceremony persists. On Memorial Day, the president still lays a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and a small crowd gathers for a speech.

Memorial Day Flagged Crosses, Waverly, Minnesota. By Ben Franske (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Memorial Day Flagged Crosses, Waverly, Minnesota, by Ben Franske. CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

But the site of the World Trade Center drew large crowds in the first weeks after the attack. The 9/11 Memorial has been drawing millions since it opened in 2011, and the new Museum will draw millions more. It will become a pilgrimage site of American civil religion.

As Mayor Bloomberg said at the dedication ceremonies, the site of the World Trade Center will join Gettysburg, Pearl Harbor, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial as a “sacred marker” and a “solemn gathering place.” The word “sacred” was used by many at the dedication, and this sense of being set apart marks the sites of civil religion. The word “solemn” was identified more than a century ago as an aspect of religious feeling by the psychologist and philosopher William James. Expressions of religion involve solemnity, respect for what is held sacred, even when triumphal pride or ecstasy may also be expressed. Such solemnity can be felt at older sites of American civil religion, like the Capitol or the White House, the Washington Monument, and the memorials to Lincoln and Jefferson. The new Martin Luther King Memorial continues a mood of solemnity combined with triumph. It’s a place where clean white stone invokes eternity.

But the 9/11 Memorial belongs to another tradition, finding the sacred in dirty objects. Twisted beams of steel and mangled fire trucks dominate a seven-story atrium. More intimate objects, like displays of sweatshirts that were for sale on that day, now covered in ash, and shoes worn by survivors as they fled the Twin Towers, and melted fax machines and rolodexes, are displayed under glass to help visitors identify with the human victims and their suffering. Voices from last cell phone calls can be heard. This power in everyday objects has appeared before in memorials to the Holocaust and in the museum on Ellis Island. Leaving objects on graves and memorials is new to American civil religion, but it is a practice with old roots, seen on the graves of slaves in the South and in the tombs of Egypt. Visitors to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial surprised groundskeepers by leaving objects at that memorial when it opened, and people left objects along the fences that separated the streets of New York from Ground Zero in the months after September 11.

Questions have been raised about the stress on objects in the new museum. Some think that unidentified human remains should not be in the same building as a museum visited by tourists. According to some family members of victims, the gift shop profits from the deaths of their loved ones to support the salaries of administrators. Some object to the cafe. Even more object to the $24 admission fee. One answer might be to keep the gift shop and cafe but to eliminate any admission fee, following the examples of Smithsonian and National Park Service sites, some of which also contain human remains.

Many new forms of American civil religion stress death and the ancestors, not God and the future. The new museum goes down into the earth to bedrock, rather than rising toward heaven. Like the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, which follows the line of its landscape and honors the dead, and the Pearl Harbor Memorial, which centers on the sunken wreck of the U.S.S. Arizona and the dead that it contains, the 9/11 Memorial and the 9/11 Museum both emphasize descent. In the Memorial, cascades of water, the largest man-made waterfalls in the world, flow from bronze parapets etched with the names of the dead into the former footprints of the Twin Towers. The sound of the water cancels street noise. The sight of the water falling into the squares at the center of each footprint suggests the underworld journey.

But next to the Memorial and Museum rises the spire of One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. This pairing echoes the rise of the Statue of Liberty, next to the buildings of Ellis Island where immigrants were examined and sometimes rejected. However much expressions of American civil religion change, they still affirm personal freedom, the triumph of the human person over all difficulties, and even over death.

Peter Gardella is Professor of World Religions at Manhattanville College and author of American Civil Religion: What Americans Hold Sacred (Oxford, 2014). His previous books are Innocent Ecstasy (Oxford, 1985), on sex and religion in America; Domestic Religion, on American attitudes toward everyday life; and American Angels: Useful Spirits in the Material World. He is now working on The World’s Religions in New York City: A History and Guide and on Birds in the World’s Religions (with Laurence Krute).

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2. Happy Memorial Day from the Snuggery

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3. In Honor of Memorial Day


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4. Memorial Day- Teach the Next Generation

Memorial Day-Teach the Next Generation
by Sally Matheny
     Memorial Day—it’s more than a day off from work, more than grilling delicious food, and more than sashaying in the days of summer.

     Originally, the holiday commemorated those soldiers who died during the Civil War. Over time, it has developed into a day of remembering every person who has served in the military and given the ultimate sacrifice.
     Memorial Day is also an excellent opportunity to teach the next generation about:
courage, and respect, 
hard work and perseverance,
preserving peace when possible and fighting for what is right, when necessary.

Preserving peace when possible--
fighting for what is right when necessary.
     One way to appreciate these men and women is to hear their stories through books, lectures, letters, and films.
     Another approach is talking with the veterans who did survive; gleaning wisdom from them while we still can.     
     One thing is for certain—we must pass on to our children our sense of gratitude to those who fought and died to protect our way of life.
     We can’t rightly do that to those who are no longer with us. But, we can teach our children to appreciate those currently serving in the military and our retired veterans.
     Teach the next generation to honor them with:
Say Thank You
a firm handshake of gratitude,
attentive eye contact,
whether the person is standing, or in a wheelchair,
and somehow, either in word or deed,
say thank you.

     By God’s sovereignty, what our military has done, and continues to do, is one reason we are able to
enjoy that day off,
grill delicious food,
and sashay in the days of summer.
     God bless our military, our veterans, and especially the families of those whose loved ones gave their all.


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5. Psychology, veterans, war, and remembrance

By Michael D. Matthews

My daily walk to work takes me through West Point’s cemetery. Founded in 1817, the cemetery includes the graves of soldiers who fought in the American Revolution, and in all of the wars our country has fought since. I often stop and reflect on the lives of these men and women who are interred here. Many headstones are of West Point graduates who were killed in World War II, including several on D-Day. Others fell in the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, World War I, and Korea and Vietnam. One section holds special significance for me, since it contains the graves of former cadets and colleagues I have known in the past 14 years who died in Iraq or Afghanistan. No matter how preoccupied I may be with the vagaries of day to day life, a sense of peace and calm envelopes me as I stroll among the headstones. I feel I am among friends and comrades and there is a sense of connectedness with the past.

One of the soldiers interred at West Point is Lieutenant Christopher Kurkowsi. Chris graduated from West Point in 1986 with a degree in Engineering Psychology. He became an artillery officer and was killed on 26 February 1988 when the helicopter he was in crashed while on a routine training mission. At the time of the accident, Chris’s academic mentor at West Point, Lieutenant Colonel Timothy O’Neil, had initiated paperwork to send Chris to graduate school in psychology with a follow-on assignment to his old department at West Point. According to Lieutenant Colonel O’Neil, Chris would have made a tremendous psychologist and professor. Chris’s death exemplifies the loss of talent and potential of all of the soldiers buried at West Point.

Earlier this month, West Point held its annual “Inspiration to Serve” cemetery tour. All members of the West Point Class of 2016, who are finishing their second of four years of academic study and military training at West Point, participated. On this day, classmates, family, or friends of the fallen stand by a gravesite, and tell the story of the deceased to the cadet attendees. Of special interest this year, MaryEllen Picciuto, one of Chris Kurkowski’s classmates, told his story of service and sacrifice. The cadets stood respectfully and listened intently, as Ms. Picciuto brought Chris back to life through her remembrances. As she did this, other cadets stood by other graves, hearing the life story of other West Point graduates who gave their lives in the service of our country.

As a Nation, our move to an all volunteer force has distanced most Americans from direct experience and knowledge of the military and the men and women who serve. Cognitive psychologists make a distinction between semantic and episodic memory. The former is memory of generalized facts that are not part of our own personal experience. The latter, in contrast, are of events personally experienced. Think about your own memories. Those that are episodic are likely more vivid and tangible, and perhaps have more meaning in your own life story. You “know” from semantic memories, but you can “feel” in episodic memories.

Perhaps this Memorial Day, in between picnics and family activities, you can visit a veterans cemetery. Walk among the headstones, read the inscriptions, and reflect on what these men and women sacrificed for our Nation. Like Lieutenant Kurkowski, they had dreams, ambitions, life goals, and family and friends who loved them. Through such a visit, perhaps you can form an episodic memory by honoring the fallen for their service, and in doing so forge a more personal connection with these American heroes.

Note: The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not reflect the position of the United States Military Academy, the Department of the Army, or the Department of Defense.

Michael D. Matthews is Professor of Engineering Psychology at the United States Military Academy. Collectively, his research interests center on soldier performance in combat and other dangerous contexts. He has authored over 200 scientific papers and is the co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Military Psychology (Oxford University Press, 2012). Dr. Matthews’ most recent book is Head Strong: How Psychology is Revolutionizing War (Oxford University Press, 2014).

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Photos courtesy of Michael D. Matthews. Used with permission.

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6. Memorial Day, and Giveaway Reminder

We're taking a day off in honor of today's Memorial Day holiday. If you'd like to read the Memorial Day "thank you" post I wrote two years ago, you can find it here

Our next post will be Friday, which also happens to be the last day of our current giveaway. If you haven't entered yet, I encourage you to do so soon on this page.

Happy writing!

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7. For Our Faithful Followers. . .

    Yes, it's Memorial Day. I am not going to open a political can of worms by telling you how to spend your day (although "holiday" and "celebrate" never seemed appropriate words to use in connection with
a day originally called "Decoration Day"...a day the families of Union soldiers "decorated" their graves.)
Somehow along the way, Decoration Day became Memorial Day and Memorial Day became the unofficial first day of summer.
     I am choosing to honor the unofficial start of summer by frying myself at the beach. And being a writer of historical fiction, I am contemplating those who have served our country in the military, past and present.

However you feel about a particular war or "conflict" (Neither Korea or Vietnam was ever officially designated a war, to say nothing of whatever you call the current action in the Middle East), the important thing for a writer is to not allow the world to forget the men and women who believed in sacrificing their own dreams and lives in service to their country.

    I am from the generation whose parents were in WWII. "What did your father do in the war?" was a question we kids asked as a matter of course. My parents were Navy cryptographers. My father-in-law, a Naval commander had not one, but two boats sunk from under him in the Pacific. My first boyfriend's father was in the infantry invasion of Italy. One of my distant relatives who had lied about his age to get into the service, died at D-Day, age fifteen. I had brothers who fought brothers during the  Civil War.
            (This is my mom the WAVE, home on leave. Note service flag in window. The five stars were
for my mother, her three brothers, and a young man who boarded with my grandmother.)

 So today, as you are sizzling up those cheeseburgers or trying to find a place to park your towel at the beach, remember.  It's not our personal politics that matter, but those of our ancestors. We should honor their choice. Memorial Day...a day of memory.

Posted by Mary Ann Rodman

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8. Never give up!


Image by Dana Lookadoo - Yo! Yo! SEO via Flickr

What are you determined to do?

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9. There's no place like home

There's no place like home.

On our way back to the tree house we stopped to visit hubby's mom, Nanny. She was recognized as an outstanding alumni at the community college where she attended. The whole evening was amazing. Her speech. The honor. Meeting new people. Hearing their stories. A lady who'd known my father-in-law in high school shared a story about how she had a rattle snake in her backyard and it was so big her husband had to shoot it in between the eyes with a pistol.

There were about 400 graduates, only about 100 attended the ceremony. Each and every graduate got a turn at the microphone to say whatever they liked just before they were handed their diploma. Most chose to speak Spanish. There were tears. And heartfelt thank yous. Show stopping moments. One Japanese girl, who had been sponsored by a local family, declared she loved them more than her boyfriend. One Latina invited everyone over to her house for a party. That brought back memories. I'll be off to Texas for my nephew's high school graduation on Thursday. If you are ever sad, and going to give up go to a graduation.

And so, afterwards, we all went out for a little celebratory dinner. We raised a glass to hubby who had a birthday the next day. It didn't take long before the conversation came around to our other nephew serving with the marines as a machine gunner in Afghanistan. What Mx and Nanny have included in their care packages to him. Nanny said she sends him a carton of cigarettes every month with an note that he better quit when he comes home. We all hope that he is getting everything OK. We arrived home around 2AM. Hubby got to wake up at home, the best birthday present of all.

Happy Memorial Day!

Your silent tents of green
We deck with fragrant flowers;
Yours has the suffering been,
The memory shall be ours.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


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10. BOOK OF THE DAY: The June 2012 List!


Plan in advance for father’s day! The month of June is dedicated to books for dads and boys…don’t worry, a few dads & daughter books thrown in too! Good list for reluctant readers as well as summer vacation. Enjoy!

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11. SundayMorningReads

I was in Mexico this time last year!

I sure was going to stop after posting my review of Perfect Shot, but then I started reading the blogs, tweets and newspapers and I just had to reflect on my SundayMorningReads!

I have to say goodbye to Amy at Bowllan’s Blog on the SLJ website. I met Amy through her Writers Against Racism series where I posted my own story. I actually met Amy and presented with her at the National Diversity in Libraries conference back in 2010. She’s one of my few online friends that I’ve actually met in person and that makes her quite special to me! Her energy, intelligence and charm will be missed!

When you reflect on what you’re doing and start to feel like you’re preaching the same message to the same choir and getting no results, one has to wonder who has to make some changes? My blog feeds been given quite a transformation lately, along with a resolution to post comments more often. Who knows what the results will be!

We lovers of books talk about inspiring young people to want to read, but I know firsthand that all it takes is the right reading material matched to the right reader. We honest to goodness have it so easy! Imagine if we were math teachers and had to inspire students to like math! I’ve been thinking about this since responding to a comment lately, how easy it is to get students to read if they’re given the right stuff to read. All they need is the freedom to choose and that comes from availability not only in terms of representing the vast diversity of people who read but in realizing the vast diversity of what teens want to read: magazines, newspapers, manga, non-fiction, graphic novels, almanacs, books of records… They’re not all into novels!

Hey, if you’re a librarian reading this and looking for diversity in what you do, why not try writing about librarians in a non-librarian publication? Let the world know what we do! Enter your piece in the Great Librarian Write Out and win some cash!

Summer for you means hot fun but it’s back to work for me! This week, I’ll begin working at Indiana State University as an Asst. Reference Librarian.   Summer for bookies means ALA , BEA, Comic-Con,  ChLA, SBCWI  or the Mazza Conference in Findlay, OH??? Perhaps you’re a bit more international and headed for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content ? What conferences will you be attending? How do you anticipate them upping your game?

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12. So what do we think? Heaven in her Arms

Hickem, Catherine. (2012). Heaven in Her Arms: Why God Chose Mary to Raise His Son and What It Means for You. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson. ISBN 978-1-4002-0036-8.

What do we know of Mary?

 What we know of Mary’s family is that she is of the house of David; it is from her lineage Jesus fulfilled the prophecy. Given the archeological ruins of the various places thought to have been living quarters for their family, it is likely the home was a room out from which sleeping quarters (cells) branched. As Mary and her mother Anne would be busy maintaining the household, with young Mary working at her mother’s command, it is likely Anne would be nearby or in the same room during the Annunciation. Thus Mary would not have had a scandalous secret to later share with her parents but, rather, a miraculous supernatural experience, the salvific meaning of which her Holy parents would understand and possibly even witnessed.

 Mary and Joseph were betrothed, not engaged. They were already married, likely in the form of a marriage contract, but the marriage had not yet been “consummated”. This is why he was going to divorce her when he learned of the pregnancy. If it were a mere engagement, he would have broken it off without too much scandal.

 Married but not yet joined with her husband, her mother would prepare her by teaching her all that she needed to know. This is further reason to assume that Mary would be working diligently under her mother’s eye when the Annunciation took place.

 We know that her cousin Elizabeth’s pregnancy was kept in secret for five months, and not made known until the sixth month when the Angel Gabriel proclaimed it to Mary. We know Mary then rushed to be at her elderly cousin’s side for three months (the remaining duration of Elizabeth’s pregnancy), and that this rushing appeared to be in response to Elizabeth’s pregnancy (to congratulate her), not an attempt to hide Mary’s pregnancy. Note how all of this is connected to Elizabeth’s pregnancy rather than Mary’s circumstances. As Mary was married to Joseph, he likely would have been informed of the trip. Had the intent been to hide Mary, she would have remained with Elizabeth until Jesus was born, not returned to her family after the first trimester, which is just about the time that her pregnancy was visible and obvious.

 So we these misconceptions clarified, we can put Mary’s example within an even deeper context and more fully relate to her experience. We can imagine living in a faith-filled family who raises their child in strict accordance of God’s word. The extended family members may not understand, and certainly their community will not, so Mary, Anne and Joachim, and Joseph face extreme scandal as well as possible action from Jewish authorities. But they faced this together steep in conversation with God, providing a model for today’s family.

 Although sometimes scriptural interpretations are flavored with modern-day eye, overall this book will be more than just a quick read for a young mother (or new bride, or teen aspiring to overcome the challenges of American culture, or single parent losing her mind). It is a heartwarming reflection with many examples that open up conversation with God. As an experienced psychotherapist, the author’s examples are spot on and easy to relate to. We do not need to have had the same experiences to empathize, reflect, and pursue meaning; we see it around us in everyday life. As such, a reflective look upon these examples can help one overcome an impasse in their own relationship with God and also open the reader up to self-knowledge as Hi

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Knit Your Bit: A World War I Story

By Deborah Hopkinson; illustrated by Steven Guarnaccia


Memorial Day is May 26th this year and for those that are not old enough to remember its beginnings, it started off as Decoration Day following the Civil War. One General John A. Logan initiated the decorating of the Arlington Cemetery graves in Washington, D.C. of both the Union and Confederate soldiers that had died in the War Between the States. That tradition started in 1868 with a proclamation to observe Decoration Day “annually and nation wide.” Earlier ceremonies in Charleston, South Carolina in 1865 preceded even that marking of the tradition. Since then, it has morphed into Memorial Day when ALL men and women in our country that have died in wars are honored. Today, it is celebrated on the last Monday in May. It seems also to have become a line of demarcation that heralds the beginning of the summer season starting on Memorial Day and ending on Labor Day.

It also began the start of a long series of weekends when families could gather for concentrated time together. And that’s a good thing. But something may have gotten lost in the message of Memorial Day. That something is remembering and honoring those for whom time is a memory; the men and women that have given their lives in service of our country.

It should be an essential that as our young people grow, as part of their life lessons of service and sacrifice for others, one highly teachable moment comes certainly during the observance of Memorial Day. We hope it will continue to mean more than an opportunity for sales at malls and a barbecue at the beach. And for it to mean more, we as parents and educators have to teach more in what we model to them.

In 2000, a National Moment of Remembrance was instituted at 3pm on Memorial Day, meaning in whatever way what one sees fit, one is asked to set aside a moment to honor those that made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms. And what more teachable vehicle is available for young ones than the picture book?

Enter “Knit Your Bit: A World War I Story.” Starting out as “the war to end all wars,” it frankly failed in that regard as history tells us. But in “Knit Your Bit”, young readers will encounter a stirring historical fiction picture book based on a real event that occurred in Central Park in 1918. It was preceded by a wave of practical patriotism that swept a nation and showed that those “also serve who stand and wait”, otherwise referred to fondly as the “home front!”

Enter Ellie and Mikey, a young elementary brother and sister whose dad is off to war. What else can they do but wait and worry? Well, they can KNIT! Huh? Yes, this grass roots movement, begun by the Red Cross, stirred the country, young and the not-so-young, to knit much-needed hats, gloves, and scarves for soldiers like Mikey’s dad that were far away from home. And knit they did – men and women and boys and girls!

Naturally the young male contingent would be a mite put off by the thought of girly knitting bees, but boys will always rise to the challenge of a COMPETITION with the GIRLS!! A weekend knitting contest in Central Park that actually took place is the impetus for Mikey and his pals to “purl” up a storm and put hand to knitting needle. For the young boys it means contributing to the comfort of those far away and learning a new skill at the same time. It’s a sort of “two ‘fer.” But will the boys be up to the challenge? Will anything less than a win be a success in their eyes? Read and see.

The inside front and back covers of the picture book are filled with amazing black and white photos of actual groups of boys and girl in theirs knitting classes in action! One in particular shows a group of about 20 young boys, yarn and needles in hand as they do their best to keep the soldiers warm.

Knit Your Bit is a story of events that don’t hit you over the head with a patriotic plug or the generic “thank you for your service to our country”. The meeting between Mikey and a young soldier just returned from the war brings the meaning of real sacrifice home to Mikey and I think it will to the reader as well. As Mikey sees the empty pant leg of the soldier on crutches, he realizes that his male pride has suffered not half as much as has the young soldier.

Knit Your Bit is a good piece of historical fiction that allows picture book readers a window into a past that seems to have less and less relevance to them as we become further removed from these events.

Such reminders as Knit Your Bit serve as great picture book vehicles that model to children just one of many ways to become compassionate and caring of those to whom we owe much as a nation.

Now just how does that pattern for the sock go? Knit one. Purl two? Oops, dropped a stitch, darn it!



*You can STILL Knit Your Bit! Knit Your Bit groups continue TODAY and if you want more information, here is a web address to find out more about participating.

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14. Sunday Funnies #16: Memorial Day 2014

This Memorial Day weekend please take some time to think about those who served their country and are no longer with us.  And then, like Nancy, take a moment to thank those who are still with us.

Beetle Bailey by Mort Walker May 30, 2010

Hi and Lois by Brian and Greg Walker May 28, 2012
Red and Rover by Brian Basset May 28, 2012

Nancy by Guy Gilchrist May 28, 2012

In Memoriam
FCP 1955-2001

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15. Memorial Day Weekend

Today is the beginning of the holiday weekend–that official weekend of the BBQ season, that weekend in which the Indy 500 is run and people from all over cheer for their favorite driver/team, that weekend in which families visit the cemeteries to place wreathes on the graves of family members who have gone before them. But first it was the weekend used to pay homage to those who fought and died for the freedoms given to the people of this country.

In small towns across the country parades will march down main streets, bands will play, members of the VFW and American Legion will march and wave or ride and wave to those standing curbside with hands over hearts as  the high school band plays The Star Spangled Banner. There will be laughter, cheering, balloons and memories.

Toddlers will wave their tiny flags on a stick from their parent’s arms. Small children will race among the viewers or stand quietly beside the grown-ups, trying to discover why the parade is happening on this weekend. Teens will watch from the sidelines, some solemn for they have older siblings fighting overseas right now, or they know others who are in a war zone. Other teens understand that these men and women were parading for their great-grandfathers, grandfathers, uncles, or fathers.

Tears flow easily at these small cousins of big city celebrations. Perhaps it is because these citizens feel the loss of even one young person to war as a personal one. Maybe it is because they still remember the reason the holiday was created. Regardless of reason, this small town parade has significance to these citizens.

And in just over a month they will come together again for another parade. This one will commemorate the founding of this country and the reason why Memorial Day’s creation was allowed. The Fourth of July has also become a holiday of BBQ’s, picnics, swimming parties, and let’s not forget fireworks. Those fireworks symbolize the rocket’s red glare referenced in The Star Spangled Banner performed a month earlier during that Memorial Day parade in a small town in the USA.

And what are your plans for this weekend?


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16. Six Word Saturday # 14



Feeling your visit.


I've been in the mood to create powerful collages lately. This one seems fitting for Memorial Day weekend as we remember those we have loved and lost.
For those of you who have experienced 'visits' as I have, lucky us.

For more six words, click here <

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18. Memorial Day

Who are you remembering this Memorial Day?

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19. Signs that Summer is Almost Here

I look at the calendar and it tells me it's the middle of May. The middle of May? Seriously? Another school year is wrapping up, television shows are having their finales, and summer is just around the corner...literally.

Here are some signs that summer is almost here:

People Tweeting about the prom: So many friends of mine have been posting about getting their son or daughter ready for the prom. Amazing how the girls love the shopping, picking out their dress, how they'll wear their hair and makeup, and the boys just complain that they have to stop playing video games long enough to take a shower and get ready. LOL!!

School's Out: There's no better feeling than the last school bell ringing to signify the end of a school year and the start of summer vacation. I remember that faithful bus ride home every year where people would celebrate by shaking up Coke cans and spraying them on each other. No one got off the bus dry. (I'm sure that's not permitted theses days.)

Picking up the boys at the airport: With the end of school, that means my fiance's son's will be joining us on the RV until they go back to school in August. They're flying up to Baltimore from Atlanta where we'll spend a few days in Gettysburg, then up to Boston, and then to Illinois and upstate New York for events and then down to Florida. We're planning on catching the VERY LAST launch ever of the space shuttle program.


Memorial Day: The official opening of summer! The campground is full of people with their grills and lawn chairs already set out. The pool will be open soon and hopefully, the sun will grace the east coast with its presence.

Good books to read: Well, my fifth GHOST HUNTRESS book, THE DISCOVERY, just came out and it would make excellent beach reading. So would any of the books from the Buzz Girls. Get them online, at the bookstore, or from us directly. Or, try downloading a digital copy for your eReader. Whatever the case, enjoy escaping into the story as you soak up the sun.


So what are some signs for you that summer is on the way?

Marley = )

4 Comments on Signs that Summer is Almost Here, last added: 5/19/2011
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20. Honoring Memorial Day with Lee & Low

Teachers- Looking for a way to talk to your students about war this Memorial Day?

Parents- Trying to make your kids understand the importance of remembering those who gave their lives for our country?

Lee & Low has some great titles that will get your kids interested and help them understand the great sacrifices made by our men and women at arms, what really makes someone a hero, and the impact of war on a level they can relate to.

Heroes by Ken Mochizuki, illustrated by Dom Lee

Set during the ’60s with the Vietnam war going on and World War II popular in the media, Japanese American Donnie Okada always has to be the “bad guy” when he and his friends play war because he looks like the enemy portrayed in the media. When he finally has had enough, Donnie enlists the aid of his 442nd veteran father and Korean War veteran uncle to prove to his friends and schoolmates that those of Asian descent did serve in the U.S. military.

Check out the Teacher’s Guide for additional discussion ideas!

Quiet Hero: The Ira Hayes Story written and illustrated by S.D. Nelson

A biography of Ira Hayes, a Pima Indian who was one of the six soldiers to raise the United States flag on Iwo Jima during World War II, an event immortalized by Joe Rosenthal’s Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph.

Don’t miss out on the BookTalk with S.D. Nelson, or the accompanying Teacher’s Guide.

When the Horses Ride By: Children in the Times of War by Eloise Greenfield, illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist

Through rhythmic words, photos, and original art, this collection of poems about children throughout history focuses on their perceptions of war and how war affects their lives. A great way to introduce the topic of war into discussion with your children and the ramifications they may not have considered.

For some insight from the author, take a look at this BookTalk with Eloise Greenfield.

Be sure to leave comments below on how discussions about war went in your classroom or with your own children; we’d love to hear from you!

Filed under: Musings & Ponderings Tagged: memorial day, soldiers, talking about war, war
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21. When Memorial Day Becomes Rememberance Day


On Friday, May 25, 1984,  in a small town of 1200 people, in a small grocery store on the highway not too far from cornfields, at the golden age of 14, I became a comic book collector.

What set me on this path that has led me  >choke<  27 years later to be a comics missionary, spreading the four-color gospel far and wide?  Well, I blame Morgan Freeman and Jim Shooter.

SSS4 When Memorial Day Becomes Rememberance DayAs a child of the Seventies, I would watch Sesame Street, and immediately after that, The Electric Company.  During the 1974-75 season, TEC started showing episodes of “Spidey Super Stories”.  These were comicbook/live action hybrids, mixing live action with drawn panels.  Spidey usually had to thwart some crazy villain, and never spoke, except in silent word balloons which had to be read by the viewer.  (My favorite villain: The Can Crusher, who, while visiting a tomato canning factory as a child, loses his pet frog in a kettle.  Thus he spends his adult life crushing open tomato cans in supermarkets, searching in vain for his beloved croaker.  *sniff*  Such pathos.)

I was just learning to read, as well as going through the “superhero phase” most young boys experience.  So I got hooked on Spider-Man, and my mom actually bought me the first comic book I ever read!  (Thanks, Ma!)  As you can see on the cover, the Easy Reader (Morgan Freeman) gives his seal of approval, stating “This comic book is easy to read!”  (The Comics Code approved it as well, but they’re as square as their seal.)

I would continue to enjoy Spider-Man throughout my childhood, taking my Spider-Man vitamins every day, and reading the daily comic strip whenever I had access to the Des Moines Register during my summers.  (Their comics were much better than those in the Omaha World-Herald.  The Register ran Star Trek, Asterix (!), Bloom County… and on Sundays we’d get the smaller market Sioux City Journal with the comics never seen in bookstores (Eek and Meek, Born Loser, Berry’s World).)  But I never really bought comics as a kid.  From 1979 until 1982, I was a fan of Mad Magazine, buying back issues and passionately learning all I could, pre-Internet, about The Usual Gang of Idiots.  From 1982 until 1984, my passion was video games.  While my family owned nothing more advanced than an old Coleco Telstar 6040 playing variations of Pong, that didn’t keep me from haunting arcades, searching for the new and unusual, and buying almost every videogame magazine I could find.

Of course, like most kids across the country, I read comic strips, bought the occasional strip collection, watched the CBS specials, and looked at any comic or cartoon (including the ones in my older brothers’ National Lampoons).  I even glommed onto an old graphic novel from the 1950s… the first Pogo reprint from Simon and Schuster.  When I was sick, I would read Richie Rich comics (the superhero covers at the pharmacy just made me sicker).  But it was just part of the multimedia background collage of my life, with older interests constantly being covered by newer distractions.

So, given all this, what caused me to become a comics fan?  What brought comics into the foreground, eclipsing my other interests?  Junior High and Mattel toys.

12 Comments on When Memorial Day Becomes Rememberance Day, last added: 5/31/2011
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22. Happy Memorial Day!

We have 33 donations from Editors, Agents, and Art Directors.  The are all up on eBay, except for Anna Olswanger (Agent, Liza Dawson Associates) who has donated a critique the first 20 pages of your chapter book or middle-grade novel or your picture book manuscript (with illustrations if you are an author-illustrator).  This will be listed on Tuesday.

Yesterday I posted the raffle donations, but you may have missed a bunch of things according to when you viewed the post.  You should check the raffles, the ebay posting and the Summer Networking dinners for changes.  Example, I was able to lower the price for the dinner on Aug. 24th, due to having to change restaurants.  So you could save some money if you sign up for that one.

Have a great day.

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: Events, Hoiday Wishes, networking Tagged: critique update, Memorial Day, raffle update, Summer Networking Dinners

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23. In Memorium

The Sisters in Scribe hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day. If you get the chance, take a minute to remember all of our fallen military who gave their lives for our collective freedom. We wouldn't be grilling burgers, drinking beer, and hanging out with friends today if it weren't for them. The picture below is from Arlington Cemetery:

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24. On this Memorial Day

I want to send a big thank you to all who have served and sacrificed.

The photo above (found here and I believe it is the work of this Daniel Wood) is devoid of any national flags. To me, Memorial Day isn't as much about national pride, but pride in those who have served and sacrificed regardless of their politics or nationality.

Thank you.

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25. Happy Memorial Day!

by Andrea Woroch

In grateful thanks for those who've served our country, Gift Card Granny offers a Memorial Day listing of 125+ military discounts for merchandise and services. Here are our top ten.

1. Papa Murphy's - Save 50% on one pizza with your Military ID.

2. Red Robin - Save 25% to 50% on your meal purchase with a valid Military ID.

3. Johnny Rockets - Save 50% when you wear your uniform.

4. Timberland Outlets - Get a 20% discount with an active duty Military ID.

5. Sears Portrait Studio - Save 20% if you show your Military ID at checkout.

6. Southwest Airlines - Receive one-way tickets as low as $51 for military personnel and their family members. You must call Southwest Airline's customer service hotline to receive the discount.

7. Clarion Hotel Universal - Military discounts are available for $59 or $69 per night with a free breakfast buffet. This offer is subject to availability.

8. Dollywood Theme Park - Receive a 30% discount during times of war for all active, disabled, retired, or reserve military personnel. The discount applies to all immediate family members.

9. Hidden Valley Ski Area - Enjoy a $5 lift ticket and $5 rental with a valid Military ID. Your dependants also can receive up to 50% off on their visit.

10. FTD - Save up to 20% on your flower purchase.

View the full list of military discounts.


GiftCardGranny.com is one of four websites operating under the brand name The Frugals and is dedicated to helping consumers save money and live more frugally. Other members of The Frugals family include CouponSherpa.com, MrFreeStuff.com, and MrsSweepstakes.com.

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