Friday, July 28, 2006

Bluto on November the 11th at National Cemetery


On November the 11th we attended a memorial at the local National Cemetery in honor of the those who died for our country. This cemetery, about 20 acres, was donated by the Cole family of Marietta directly after the Civil War. Many thousands were killed at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, which is only about 3 or 4 miles away. They were putting the dead Confederate soldiers at a burying ground that was donated by a woman. It would be later known as the Confederate Cemetery, and also the largest one (I was going to say in the South, but I doubt if you would find one in the North). The Cole family who were Unionists donated to bury the dead Yankees. They owned a hotel in town. In recent years some letters have surfaced to indicate Mr. Cole was not only a Unionist but also a spy for the Union. The people buried here were in all the wars the U.S. participated in.

That pretty sunny November day one speaker was the guy who wrote the book Chicken Soup, which I think is an inspirational book – and also a gung-ho book reeking of patriotism. Another speaker was a retired General who was a good speaker. He learned the art of using big words and saying nothing. Can I quote you on that? “Sure.”
“But what did you say?”

The General was very vague and other than telling a funny story about losing his baggage on a flight some where I am not sure what he said. But, the head of the local American Legion worshipped the man. I could tell the way he saluted the General and called his men to attention for the General’s inspection.

Sitting in front of me was a neighbor of mine that I recognized. I leaned forward and spoke to him. He is a tall lean man over 80 years old. He was a Marine who fought in the Pacific in World War II. I think he attends all these ceremonies – once a Marine, always a Marine. The next day his picture sitting in front of me was in the paper.

I think Bluto was moved by the music the Army band played – and so was I. That music and the uniformed rows of headstones with American flags waving in the breeze…. Emotional.

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