Categorized | Local Perspectives

COMMUNITY VOICE: Memorial Day Is Over

If you read the Home News Tribune or Guardian on Memorial Day you might have read the editorials honoring our Veterans on that final Monday in May.

This Holiday was just another day off to many people in our country and as I get older that seems to be the sentiment of far too many. Some people in our country say, “That was a long time ago,” referring to World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

George M. Cohen wrote a song during World War I. It was called “Over There.” I wasn’t born yet but I remember that song word for word. The last words in that song said, “So prepares say a prayer – send the word, send the word to beware, – we’ll be o-ver, we’re com-ing o-ver, And we won’t come back till it’s o-ver o-ver there ! Yes, my friends, they finished the job over there, but some never came back. The 85th Annual Memorial Day Ceremony was held on May 28, 2012. My Dad served during World War I and lived to tell about it. Edward Fugle and Frank Hummer lost their lives. Our American Legion Post is named after them.

I clearly remember World War II. I was ten or eleven years old. Our church had a special service to pray for the troops every Thursday night. My brother came back as a disabled Vet. but two of his friends named Jimmy Clark and Augie Polacco didn’t make it.

Then came the Korean War. We were only kids out of High School. I came back as a Disabled Vet but two of my friends, Tom Peake and Walt Wojciechowski got killed. We had played baseball together many times just a few years before. Some still say, “that was a long time ago.” I just can’t hold it in anymore. How can you live in your big homes, ride around in your nice cars and think like that? My brother used to say, “Every day should be Memorial Day for our Vets.” Why do so many people in the United States of America think of this day as just a day off for a cookout, a day at the shore or shopping at the mall? If you know, tell me why and I don’t accept the answer like, “That was a long time ago.”

We use to call Memorial Day Decoration Day. When I was in grade school, we would stand each morning and say the pledge to the American Flag. We would then sing, “My Country ‘tis of thee, sweet land of liberty or God Bless America.”

What has happened over the past one hundred years? If you know tell me why but I think the only one that the answer is The Man Up Above.

Yes, my friends, they finished the job over there but some never came back. This is what the last Monday in May is all about. Not just a day off.

Memorial Day is past but its meaning remains.

 

Thomas Francis Clark, Metuchen

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