By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT — On this Memorial Day 2017, I am re-posting my traditional Memorial Day post about a local family that lost three sons in World War II.   The story of the Kelley family always gives me pause and causes me to be thankful for the freedoms and blessings we have today.  They were truly The Greatest Generation.  I started researching this family years ago when my husband and I began visiting a local veterans cemetery — one of the oldest cemeteries in Shreveport, and we saw these two brothers buried side by side, one of whom died on D-Day. Their graves are always tended with fresh flowers (well, artificial but never faded and always in time with the season). I became curious about them and about the person who was still paying honor to their graves.  I found a couple of family members, one in particular, who was very generous about sharing their story.

So today, I’m remembering the Kelley brothers:

It’s probably safe to say that Saving Private Ryan is all over your television menu this Memorial Day weekend.   It’s difficult to escape the endless rebroadcasts of the moving story of Private First Class James Francis Ryan lost behind enemy lines after the Normandy D-Day invasion and the ensuing quest to save him.

The film is fiction but there is a real life version of this story right here in Shreveport.  In fact, this sort of scenario existed across the nation for multiple families during that turbulent time.  As we observe Memorial Day today, let me share with you the story of the Kelley family who lost three sons in less than two years.

Like all of America, Shreveport watched the unfolding events at Pearl Harbor in 1941 with horror.  In February 1942, William G. Kelley (his friends and family called him “Bob”) felt the call to service and enlisted in the Army Air Corps.  He had graduated from the local high school, attended Louisiana College, and was attending seminary.  He was ordained at the First Baptist Church in Shreveport by Dr. M. E. Dodd.  When he enlisted, Bob was preaching at the Evangeline Mission, a new church in town that he helped build with the assistance of the Queensborough Baptist Church.

William
William “Bob” Kelley

Bob Kelley went to officers’ school and became a bombardier; he went with the Eighth Air Force to England.  Lt. Kelley had been overseas only six weeks when his plane crashed near Fontainebleau, France and claimed his life on November 10, 1944.  He was twenty-four years old.

The Evangeline Mission, where Bob was a preacher, was renamed for him as Kelley Memorial Baptist Church.

A second Kelley son, Bose, Jr., died in the D-Day invasion.  Al McIntosh, writing for the Rock County Star Herald, wrote on June 8, 1944, after learning that the expected invasion of France had finally taken place:

“This is no time for any premature rejoicing or cockiness because the coming weeks are going to bring grim news.  This struggle is far from over – it has only started – and if anyone thinks that a gain of ten miles means that the next three hundred are going to go as fast or easy he is only an ostrich.”

He was correct:  the grim news was only beginning.

bose
Bose F. Kelley, Jr.

Bose Kelly, Jr. enlisted in May 1942.  Bose graduated from Fair Park High School in Shreveport.  He was married to Betty Miller and working as a mechanic at Central Motor Company, a car dealership.  Bose volunteered for the Army Airborne, went to jump school and became a paratrooper.  Bose was part of the 507 PIR which became attached to the 82ndAirborne in 1943. The 507 PIR was activated at Fort Benning, Georgia on July 20, 1942 and trained there and in Alliance, Nebraska.  In 1943, the 507th PIR shipped out to Northern Ireland, then England, and it was in Nottingham where they prepared for the coming Allied invasion of France.  They studied sand tables, drop zones, and were given Hershey’s chocolates and a carton of cigarettes.

Bose was on a C-47, number 13 in his stick, as the plane lumbered through the fog banks toward Drop Zone T, near the west bank of the Merderet River.  Because of the fog and the incoming German flak, the C-47s flew faster and higher than anticipated which caused almost all of the paratroopers to miss the drop zone.  They were scattered over a 15 mile area.  The 507th was the last regiment to jump and by the time Bose Kelley’s C-47 was over the Cotentin peninsula the entire area was stirred up with flak coming from every direction. There were sixteen men in Bose Kelley’s stick and at least eight of them were killed that night.  The Germans had flooded the valley as a defensive tactic and some paratroopers, weighted down by equipment and unable to swim, drowned.  Bose Kelley was killed by a direct hit from an artillery shell.

Major General Paul F. Smith wrote in his Foreword to Dominique Francois’s history of the 507th,

“This regiment unquestionably received the worst drop of the six US parachute regiments dropped that night.”

Howard Huebner, who was number 3 in Bose’s stick, survived that drop.  He wrote:

I am a Paratrooper! I was 21 yrs old when we jumped into Normandy.

We knew the area where we were supposed to land, because we had studied it on sand tables, and then had to draw it on paper by memory, but that all faded as our regiment was the last to jump, and things had changed on the ground. Most of us missed our drop zone by miles.  As we were over our drop zone there was a downed burning plane. Later I found out it was one of ours. The flack was hitting our plane and everything from the ground coming our way looked like the Fourth of July.

When I hit the ground in Normandy, I looked at my watch.  It was 2:32 AM, June 6, 1944. I cut myself out of my chute, and the first thing I heard was shooting and some Germans hollering in German, “mucksnell toot sweet Americanos”.

We the 507th, was supposed to land fifteen miles inland, but I landed three or four miles from Utah Beach by the little town of Pouppeville. I wound up about 1000 yards from a French farm house that the Germans were using for a barracks, and about 200 feet from a river, an area that the Germans had flooded. If I would have landed in the water, I may not be here today as I can’t swim. A lot of paratroopers drowned because of the flooded area.

Local writer Gary Hines spoke to Bose’s widow, Betty, for an article he wrote for the August 2000 issue of SB Magazine.  She told him, “He was going to win the war and come back home.”  Betty was married at 18 and a widow at 20.  She told Mr. Hines “We were both young enough to feel that he was coming home.  He wasn’t going to be one of the ones who was lost.”

edgarrew
Edgar Rew Kelley

A third Kelley son, Edgar Rew, was drafted into the Army in 1943.  He was sent to Camp McCain in Mississippi where he died five weeks later from an outbreak of spinal meningitis.  He never made it out of basic training.  He was 27 years old; he left behind a wife of five years.

The remaining Kelley brother was Jack.  Jack Richard Kelley was serving in the medical corps in Washington at Fort Lewis.  His father, Bose Kelley, Sr., wrote to U.S. Representative Overton Brooks and pleaded with him to prevent his oldest son from going overseas.   It is reminiscent of the scene in Saving Private Ryanwhere General Marshall reads the Bixby letter to his officers.  In this case, in a letter dated December 8, 1944, Mr. Kelley received word that his son Jack would remain stateside for the duration of the war.  Jack Kelley died in 1998.

kelleys
Sunday, May 18, 2014

The bodies of Bose Kelley, Jr. and his brother William (Bob) were buried in separate military funerals in France but were returned to the United States in September 1948.  Bose and his brother now rest side by side in the veterans section of Greenwood Cemetery in Shreveport.  Their brother, Edgar Rew Kelley, is in a civilian cemetery across town, the Jewella Cemetery on Greenwood Road.  Their father, who pleaded for his fourth son to be spared, died just one month after Bose and William’s bodies were buried in Greenwood Cemetery.  It’s as if he was just waiting for them to come home.

For sixty-five years their sister, Ruby, tended the graves of her brothers.  There has never been a time that I visited the graves that there was not a crisp American flag flying over each and flowers.  Ruby died last year and the graves are now tended by Ruby’s daughter.  I visited the graves of Bose and William last week and sure enough, there were two new flags and flowers steadfastly in place.

As we observe Memorial Day today, we remember the sacrifices of young men like the Kelleys all across the country. Their name belongs alongside the Sullivan brothers, the Borgstrum brothers, the Niland brothers, and the Wright brothers.  It is their heroism and their sacrifice, along with that of so many others, that we remember and honor each Memorial Day.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

Memorial Day weekend is upon us, and while it will be the unofficial beginning of summer – marked with barbecues and special sales events, it is most importantly about honoring our American heroes who have died in our wars while serving our country.

Memorial Day was originally recognized as Decoration Day, to remember those who had fallen fighting the Civil War and to decorate their graves. Via the Memorial Day website:

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America. Over two dozen cities and towns claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day. While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day.

Regardless of the exact date or location of its origins, one thing is clear – Memorial Day was borne out of the Civil War and a desire to honor our dead. It was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed. The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.

On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there.

The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war).

It is now observed in almost every state on the last Monday in May with Congressional passage of the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363). This helped ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays, though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19th in Texas; April 26th in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10th in South Carolina; and June 3rd (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.

In the year 2000, then President Bill Clinton issued a directive that a National Moment of Remembrance be observed at 3:00 pm on each Memorial Day (excerpt below):

In this time of unprecedented success and prosperity throughout our land, I ask that all Americans come together to recognize how fortunate we are to live in freedom and to observe a universal “National Moment of Remembrance” on each Memorial Day. This memorial observance represents a simple and unifying way to commemorate our history and honor the struggle to protect our freedoms.

Accordingly, I hereby direct all executive departments and agencies, in consultation with the White House Program for the National Moment of Remembrance (Program), to promote a “National Moment of Remembrance” to occur at 3 p.m. (local time) on each Memorial Day.

Americans are encouraged to pause their activities for one minute at that time to reflect on the sacrifices that have been made on our behalf by the brave men and women of our military. Suggestions from the Memorial Day website for this include a moment of silence or listening to “Taps”.

I also respectfully suggest that prayer is also appropriate for this observance.

Here is a Memorial Day prayer recommended by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:

God of power and mercy,
you destroy war and put down earthly pride.
Banish violence from our midst and wipe away our tears,
that we may all deserve to be called your sons
and daughters.
Keep in your mercy those men and women
who have died in the cause of freedom
and bring them safely
into your kingdom of justice and peace.
We ask this though Jesus Christ our Lord.
R/. Amen

Here are two thoughtful prayers from the Archdiocese of Detroit:

Memorial Day Prayer

I. 

Heavenly Father, Today we remember and pay tribute to the men and women of the Armed Services who have died in the defense of our nation; from the days of the Revolution to these days in Iraq and Afghanistan. They paid the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we hold so dear.

In the words of Sacred Scripture we hear, “There is no greater love then this, than to lay down one’s life for a friend.” It is only by your grace and the love they have for you and this nation that gave them the strength to lay down their lives.

We beseech you O Lord, to receive these servants of peace into your loving embrace and grant them the eternal peace that surpasses all understanding.

We also remember the family members of these great heroes. They too suffer a great and painful sacrifice. Bestow upon them the blessings of your consolation and peace. May you ease their sadness as they continue on the road to serenity and hope.

To you we offer this prayer knowing you fulfill the heart’s desire of those who seek you with noble intentions. May our prayer for true and lasting peace be answered in accordance to your will and for the good of your sons and daughters. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of Peace. Amen

II.

Heavenly Father,

On this Memorial Day, we pray for those who courageously laid down

their lives for the cause of freedom. May the example of their sacrifice

inspire in us the selfless love of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Bless the families of our fallen troops, and fill their homes and their

lives with your strength and peace.

In union with people of goodwill of every nation, embolden us to

answer the call to work for peace and justice, and thus, seek an end

to violence and conflict around the globe.

We pray through Christ our Lord.

Amen

Image result for memorial day

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MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals. 

This is Memorial Day Weekend.

You are going to see a lot of images of a lot of liberal Democrats laying wreaths at the graves of soldiers, speaking at events or  appearing on TV talking about the sacrifices of those who died defending our country.  You will also see many in the MSM talking about the troops as if they were their best buddies

When you do keep in mind what is now going on in Iraq and remember this.

All of these people were willing to throw away the sacrifice of the lives of every single soldier who died in Iraq that they pretend to honor for the sake of a Democrat talking point of “ending the war”.  Furthermore they will spend the next twelve month advancing the narrative they died in vain when in fact their mission was the difference between a population living in fear and a people getting a chance to live in a democrat self-governing state. Or have you forgotten this:

CIGARS IN THE SAND is photoblogging from the Baghdad polls. Here you see Iraqi men proudly displaying their inked fingers after voting. (Via Chester, who has lots of election coverage).

and this

CNN is reporting a 72% turnout. [Later: Some readers think that will turn out to be high, with the final number more like 60%. Still a lot, in the face of widespread death threats. We don’t to that well, very often, and the worst we have are long lines.]

Power Line: “Somehow, I had missed the fact that Iraqi expatriates are voting in Syria. Thus, Iraqis living in Syria can participate in a democratic process, but Syrians can’t. A bit odd, that, but it’s another example of the impact this election could have in the Arab world.” Yes, I imagine some Syrians are noticing.

Meanwhile, Robert Fisk appears in his usual role as punching bag. And he remains well-suited for it.

UPDATE: Jonah Goldberg is giving the media coverage a thumbs-down:

So far, I think the coverage has been moderately scandalous. This morning CNN kept its regularly scheduled medical show (though last night they were better, if mostly pre-taped). The major nets seemed to treat this like a fairly ho-hum story. I just walked over to my computer after seeing that the Today Show was offering viewers a segment on new shaving technologies for men.

If things were going badly, they’d be all over it, of course. More evidence that the elections are a success!

MORE: James Dwight:

The polls just closed, and there was 72% turnout with mimimal sporadic violence. The ball is now in the MSM’s court. Or, to use perhaps a more appropriate cliche, the Iraqi people have given the MSM plenty of rope.

John Cole, meanwhile, says that the “Damning But” was shut down by Iraqi voters and offers a challenge to bloggers.

And RantWraith has four words, while Yellowdogblog notes that even Reuters is having trouble generating negative spin.

And tens of thousands have paid with their lives for the cancellation of that mission.

One final thought:  At the time I predicted that Democrats would crow about the success of iraq and claim it as their own (as they did during election 2012) but apparently the narrative of “We all did this together” is less attractive than “It’s George W Bush’s fault.”  Even if the latter meme requires tens of thousands of Iraqis dead & millions enslaved.

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By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – The resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki last week came as no real surprise.  It won’t solve the problem but he had to fall on his sword.  The VA has been a mess for years and it really isn’t Shinseki’s fault, although certainly he has had time to take steps to bring it around.

In her column Friday, Peggy Noonan said:

This scandal won’t go away as others have, because all America is united in this thought: We care about our military veterans. We’ve asked a great deal of them, and they have a right to expect a great deal from us. Also, everyone in America knows what it’s like to go to a bureaucracy when you’re in need and get jerked around and ignored.

She is more optimistic that I am, but we shall see.

In either case, it is clear that our veterans need help, support, and care.  One of my monthly charitable donations is to The Wounded Warrior Project – an organization I’ve been proud to contribute to for several years now.  One evening over dinner a friend of ours said, “Why, you don’t need to give money to them; the government takes care of the veterans through the VA!”

Clearly, it doesn’t.

I’m all for doing whatever we can in support of our veterans whether it is through donating to The Wounded Warrior Project, visiting vets at a nursing home, or running across America barefooted to raise awareness.

What?  Surely by now you’ve heard about Anna Judd, the young woman who is running across America, from Venice Beach to New York City, to raise awareness of the problems veterans face each day.  Anna made a stop in Shreveport this weekend and we had the privilege of meeting her at a Memorial Day service Friday (the traditional date of Memorial Day).

She is a lithe, suntanned little thing with big blue eyes and two blonde braids.  She stopped by the local Memorial Day service to show her support for, and to talk to, local veterans.  She did a couple of interviews with our local newspaper and radio station and she participated in a couple of events such as a group run across town which ended at the local Veterans Park.

IMG_1989
Anna Judd and the Sons of the Confederacy

Anna runs about 33 miles per day, she says, and she told The Shreveport Times that the trek has been much more difficult than she first anticipated.  She’s lost seven toenails and has had to make visits to the chiropractor after running on Highway 80 which wasn’t level and caused her hips to rock out of joint.

An RV carrying Anna’s mother and her manager follow along and Anna sleeps in the RV (which has no air conditioning – a problem in Louisiana).  There’s a Facebook page where you can follow her journey and there is a website as well.

At our Memorial Day ceremony Anna posed for pictures with the Sons of the Confederacy, and with anyone else who wanted a photo, and she visited with Major (Ret.) Ron Chatelain, the most decorated living veteran in the state of Louisiana.  Of Mr. Chatelain, Anna wrote:

IMG_1991
Steve Becker, Anna Judd, Ron Chatelain

I had the pleasure of meeting the most decorated Veteran in Louisiana, Ron Chatelain, who had eyes that were some of the clearest and brightest that I have every [sic] seen He offered me words of encouragement so sincere and soft-spoken that every time I opened my mouth to speak to him I could feel my voice get shaky. For the moment that we spoke I felt such a sense of safety and well-being, and I can’t explain why except that some people simply have the power to move mountains with their presence. I will remember him forever.

Will a little girl running across America really help lower our veteran suicide rate and aid those that suffer from PTSD?  I don’t know.  I really don’t know.  But it probably helps more than Shinseki’s resignation; at least this young lady brought awareness to our little burg this week and brought smiles to the faces of some vets.

Run, Anna Run!

 

Pat Austin also blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

By: Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT — It’s probably safe to say that Saving Private Ryan is all over your television menu this Memorial Day weekend.   It’s difficult to escape the endless rebroadcasts of the moving story of Private First Class James Francis Ryan lost behind enemy lines after the Normandy D-Day invasion and the ensuing quest to save him.

The film is fiction but there is a real life version of this story right here in Shreveport.  In fact, this sort of scenario existed across the nation for multiple families during that turbulent time.  As we observe Memorial Day today, let me share with you the story of the Kelley family who lost three sons in less than two years.

Like all of America, Shreveport watched the unfolding events at Pearl Harbor in 1941 with horror.  In February 1942, William G. Kelley (his friends and family called him “Bob”) felt the call to service and enlisted in the Army Air Corps.  He had graduated from the local high school, attended Louisiana College, and was attending seminary.  He was ordained at the First Baptist Church in Shreveport by Dr. M. E. Dodd.  When he enlisted, Bob was preaching at the Evangeline Mission, a new church in town that he helped build with the assistance of the Queensborough Baptist Church.

William
William “Bob” Kelley

Bob Kelley went to officers’ school and became a bombardier; he went with the Eighth Air Force to England.  Lt. Kelley had been overseas only six weeks when his plane crashed near Fontainebleau, France and claimed his life on November 10, 1944.  He was twenty-four years old.

The Evangeline Mission, where Bob was a preacher, was renamed for him as Kelley Memorial Baptist Church.

A second Kelley son, Bose, Jr., died in the D-Day invasion.  Al McIntosh, writing for the Rock County Star Herald, wrote on June 8, 1944, after learning that the expected invasion of France had finally taken place:

“This is no time for any premature rejoicing or cockiness because the coming weeks are going to bring grim news.  This struggle is far from over – it has only started – and if anyone thinks that a gain of ten miles means that the next three hundred are going to go as fast or easy he is only an ostrich.”

He was correct:  the grim news was only beginning.

bose
Bose F. Kelley, Jr.

Bose Kelly, Jr. enlisted in May 1942.  Bose graduated from Fair Park High School in Shreveport.  He was married to Betty Miller and working as a mechanic at Central Motor Company, a car dealership.  Bose volunteered for the Army Airborne, went to jump school and became a paratrooper.  Bose was part of the 507 PIR which became attached to the 82nd Airborne in 1943. The 507 PIR was activated at Fort Benning, Georgia on July 20, 1942 and trained there and in Alliance, Nebraska.  In 1943, the 507th PIR shipped out to Northern Ireland, then England, and it was in Nottingham where they prepared for the coming Allied invasion of France.  They studied sand tables, drop zones, and were given Hershey’s chocolates and a carton of cigarettes.

Bose was on a C-47, number 13 in his stick, as the plane lumbered through the fog banks toward Drop Zone T, near the west bank of the Merderet River.  Because of the fog and the incoming German flak, the C-47s flew faster and higher than anticipated which caused almost all of the paratroopers to miss the drop zone.  They were scattered over a 15 mile area.  The 507th was the last regiment to jump and by the time Bose Kelley’s C-47 was over the Cotentin peninsula the entire area was stirred up with flak coming from every direction. There were sixteen men in Bose Kelley’s stick and at least eight of them were killed that night.  The Germans had flooded the valley as a defensive tactic and some paratroopers, weighted down by equipment and unable to swim, drowned.  Bose Kelley was killed by a direct hit from an artillery shell.

Major General Paul F. Smith wrote in his Foreword to Dominique Francois’s history of the 507th,

“This regiment unquestionably received the worst drop of the six US parachute regiments dropped that night.”

Howard Huebner, who was number 3 in Bose’s stick, survived that drop.  He wrote:

I am a Paratrooper! I was 21 yrs old when we jumped into Normandy.

We knew the area where we were supposed to land, because we had studied it on sand tables, and then had to draw it on paper by memory, but that all faded as our regiment was the last to jump, and things had changed on the ground. Most of us missed our drop zone by miles.  As we were over our drop zone there was a downed burning plane. Later I found out it was one of ours. The flack was hitting our plane and everything from the ground coming our way looked like the Fourth of July.

When I hit the ground in Normandy, I looked at my watch.  It was 2:32 AM, June 6, 1944. I cut myself out of my chute, and the first thing I heard was shooting and some Germans hollering in German, “mucksnell toot sweet Americanos”.

We the 507th, was supposed to land fifteen miles inland, but I landed three or four miles from Utah Beach by the little town of Pouppeville. I wound up about 1000 yards from a French farm house that the Germans were using for a barracks, and about 200 feet from a river, an area that the Germans had flooded. If I would have landed in the water, I may not be here today as I can’t swim. A lot of paratroopers drowned because of the flooded area.

Local writer Gary Hines spoke to Bose’s widow, Betty, for an article he wrote for the August 2000 issue of SB Magazine.  She told him, “He was going to win the war and come back home.”  Betty was married at 18 and a widow at 20.  She told Mr. Hines “We were both young enough to feel that he was coming home.  He wasn’t going to be one of the ones who was lost.”

edgarrew
Edgar Rew Kelley

A third Kelley son, Edgar Rew, was drafted into the Army in 1943.  He was sent to Camp McCain in Mississippi where he died five weeks later from an outbreak of spinal meningitis.  He never made it out of basic training.  He was 27 years old; he left behind a wife of five years.

The remaining Kelley brother was Jack.  Jack Richard Kelley was serving in the medical corps in Washington at Fort Lewis.  His father, Bose Kelley, Sr., wrote to U.S. Representative Overton Brooks and pleaded with him to prevent his oldest son from going overseas.   It is reminiscent of the scene in Saving Private Ryan where General Marshall reads the Bixby letter to his officers.  In this case, in a letter dated December 8, 1944, Mr. Kelley received word that his son Jack would remain stateside for the duration of the war.  Jack Kelley died in 1998.

kelleys
Sunday, May 18, 2014

The bodies of Bose Kelley, Jr. and his brother William (Bob) were buried in separate military funerals in France but were returned to the United States in September 1948.  Bose and his brother now rest side by side in the veterans section of Greenwood Cemetery in Shreveport.  Their brother, Edgar Rew Kelley, is in a civilian cemetery across town, the Jewella Cemetery on Greenwood Road.  Their father, who pleaded for his fourth son to be spared, died just one month after Bose and William’s bodies were buried in Greenwood Cemetery.  It’s as if he was just waiting for them to come home.

For sixty-five years their sister, Ruby, tended the graves of her brothers.  There has never been a time that I visited the graves that there was not a crisp American flag flying over each and flowers.  Ruby died last year and the graves are now tended by Ruby’s daughter.  I visited the graves of Bose and William last week and sure enough, there were two new flags and flowers steadfastly in place.

As we observe Memorial Day today, we remember the sacrifices of young men like the Kelleys all across the country. Their name belongs alongside the Sullivan brothers, the Borgstrum brothers, the Niland brothers, and the Wright brothers.  It is their heroism and their sacrifice, along with that of so many others, that we remember and honor each Memorial Day.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

Hank Stolz and Sherman Whitman of the WCRN Morning Show will be taking a well deserved day off on Memorial day so you will get DaTechGuy on DaRadio in DaMorning May 28th starting at 5 AM.

At 7 AM Brian Herr will be joining me and we will take the show to 9 a.m.

WCRN is 830 on your AM dial and our 50,000 watts reaches all over New England. You can listen live at WCRNradio.com or via the net or your smartphone via TuneIn.

You can tweet me using the hashtag #wcrn

You can join us at 508-438-0965 (I may have the 888-9-FEDORA line working too)

Hmmm Memorial Day, the day when we remember those who died to protect our right such as free speech & freedom of the press.

I wonder if there is a subject in the news that might come to mind?

Update: Stacy McCain will be joining us in the 6 a.m. hour

Today on Morning Joe there was a lot of shock over the latest Polls showing Gingrich soaring in state after state.

Joe used the example of Massachusetts (that hasn’t elected a member of the GOP to any house of congress) in a regular election in the 21st century and a moderate in NY as proof that Gingrich will be a drag for all.

Forgetting for a moment that his two examples had a combined loss of three congressional seats and perhaps one might be more concerned in states where the populations are growing and as a person who has endorsed a different candidate, let me ask Joe the question:

If you are running for congress who is going to be a bigger drag in swing districts, Newt Gingrich or Barack Obama?

Perhaps you should ask Charlie Wilson in Ohio that question.

Here are a few of photos from Fitchburg’s Memorial day

State Rep Steve DiNatale

The Mayor was wearing a stylish raincoat:

Mayor Wong and a voter

But the real stars were of course the vets

And the new Bricks that we’ve mentioned before. This one is my Father:

USN WW 2

And an Uncle

John Quartrone won the silver star in Patton's Army

there was a medal of Honor winner

Fitchburg's Medal of Honor winner

and others

All donated:

You can still buy bricks to honor family members who served, but if you are outside of Fitchburg and want to do something for our troops No Sheepies has a suggestion

…during our current war on terror was spoken at daily mass this morning.

the hour is coming when everyone who kills you will think he is offering worship to God. They will do this because they have not known either the Father or me. I have told you this so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you. John 16:2b-4a

Is this not the perfect description of those we are fighting? The radical Islamist? The Atta who flies a plane into a building thinking he brings glory to God? The suicide bomber who blows himself up at a checkpoint or a mosque? Not to mention those who are killed for converting to the Christian faith either by laws or by families trying to preserve “honor”.

Until we acknowledge as a nation that this is the face of our foe, we will continue to be vulnerable.