Friday, August 13, 2010
"A Steamy Morning"
(Click on the above,and you can read the names, and ages of the lost.)
This Monday last at about this time,..dawn I went for a walk with pals to the tip of Manhattan. Yeah my dear friends Nurse Pickles, and the good Rt. Rev Martin. Ya can't choose your family, but you can choose your pals.
We chose each other well.
Anyway after my shift at the radio station we strolled around downtown. We paid our respects at the New York Viet-Nam Memorial. Both Rev. Martin, and my late brother are War Vets.
In fact my brother John, and the Reverend were both there at the same time, and not far from each other.
John was in Tay Ninh/"The Iron Triangle", and Rev. Martin was in Long Bin.
We sat for a time silently then looked at the names. The Rev. pointed out the name of a school chum that was killed.
We examined the engraved map of the battle fronts. He showed me where he'd been, and I showed where my brother's unit had fought.
The map was defaced by skate boarder's who apparently were attracted to the glossy metal surface of the large illustration.
All this meant nothing to them. Might as well have been a map of the Roman campaigns against the Goths.
Maybe it's just as well. They'll have a war of their own eventually. G-d help them. One day some yet unborn juvenile delinquents will piss on their sacred grounds too.
This is America after all. The land with no memory.
We wandered off to Fort Clinton. Built to bombard British ships during the War of 1812. The fort flies a large 14 star flag. The same sort that Francis Scott Key wrote our National Anthem to at British siege of Fort McHenry in 1814 or so.
"The Star Spangled Banner".
We got saddled with this clunker back in the 1930's somewhere. Before that we actually didn't have an official anthem,..thank gawd. We had our pick of regional hymns.
As for the "Spangled" mess nobody, as in no-bod-dee! likes it.
'No one', at least that I know of, knows all the words. The damned thing makes no sense. It's this long deranged spiel about bombs, guys running around, and assorted mayhem's.
"American the Beautiful", "My Country tis of Thee", "Louie, Louie" or "Rock Around the Clock" would be far better. Folks know, and like these songs.
When I was a kid in the fifties many of my teachers were old school. They grew up in the teens'n twenties, and remembered when we had our pick of anthems.
So I grew up on the British related "My Country tis of Thee", sung to the tune of Gawd Save the Queen, and the Navy hymn,...which was my favorite.
Well national war dances aside we ended up at the tip of the City, and watched the Staten Island Ferry make it runs. That, and the high tide waves crash over the railings.
A peaceful, though steamy morning.
"Ladies, and Gentlemen,...our National Anthem(s)."
...and for dear Nurse Pickles.