Saturday, May 26, 2007

Memorial Weekend Thoughts

For reasons none other than my own ignorance and/or preoccupation this is the first year I've seen so much attention given to Memorial Day weekend by the racing world. There is always the possibility that I have, only my own memory fails me. I have no idea what I did last Memorial Day weekend let alone what went on in the racing world. This year is leaving a lasting impression on me, or so I think... ask me next year. The memory is a funny thing because I'm certain someone such as my wife, Pattyjo, could remind me what we did last year and I would recall it all and exclaim "Oh yeah!! Now I remember". What never leaves my mind is the true reason behind this Holiday of Memory. Our home sits right on top of battlegrounds where the battles were fought that helped give our Country her freedom. It is an area rich with history, war memorials and war museums. Albeit Memorial Day began it's observance following the Civil War, which the history for this abounds in The South, but the official birthplace of Memorial Day is Waterloo, New York and it was originally called "Decoration Day". As per Wikipedia... "Many of the states of the U.S. South refused to celebrate Decoration Day, due to lingering hostility towards the Union Army and also because there were very few veterans of the Union Army who lived in the South. Many Southern States did not recognize Memorial Day until after World War I since many veterans of World War I were from the south, although they continued to have a separate Confederate Memorial Day, with the date varying from state to state. A notable exception was Columbus, Mississippi, which in its 1866 Decoration Day commemorated both the Union and Confederate casualties buried in its cemetery." We have long since become as "One" and truly the war of all wars was the one fought to free our country of the British throne. Living in New England reminds us of that daily...although we are in New York state we are right on the western borders of Vermont, Mass. and Conn. so this particular area of New york is considered part of New England. We still have many standing forts mostly in their original forms and constructed out of logs with cannons that fire on the hour. The rebuilt replica [the original was destroyed in the war] of Fort William Henry stands today on the southern shore of Lake George and was the sight of the movie "The Last of the Mohican's", but what many people don't know is that the movie was filmed mostly in North Carolina where the fort was reconstructed/duplicated. This because southern Lake George is totally commercialized. Ice cream shops and souvenir stores abound with nightclubs lining the shore and cruise boats that take tourists to places like Roger's Rock where Roger's Rangers main camp was located. The North Carolina landscape closely resembles that of northeastern upstate NY...hence the sight chosen to film the movie. Ironic isn't it? Our beautiful country has come so very, very far and we must always remember Paul Revere's famous words "The Red Coats are coming".


vroom said...

Great blog today Professor!

Charlie Turner said...

Nice thoughts and well put. Happy Decoration Day.

Starla said...

I enjoyed the blog today. What a great history lesson.

I got my NASCAR Illustrated last night and Tony Stewart is on the cover. The article about Smoke is about 5 pages.

MIKE said...

I can relate to you "memory issue". I am exactly the same. If someone asks me what I did 2 weeks ago, I have no idea. If my girlfriend "assists" my memory, then I can remember it all :)

Great post! I actually read up on memorial day myself this year (who knows....maybe I did last year too).

I know US 31 (from your comment on my page) well. If you keep going North you hit Ludington, Manistee and Traverse City. I use to live in both Manistee and Ludington!! Then when I would go to Iowa (to visit my brother) or Chicago, I would of course take it all the way south.