CHENEY-ARMSTRONG POST # 5 NH
Dear Post 5 Members, December 2nd, 2018/ January 6th, 2019
December 2nd 2018: Post Potluck Christmas dinner at NOON at the Monadnock Center for History and Culture in the Bass Hall on Grove Street in Peterborough. Dress is casual. The Post is supplying turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, squash and cranberry sauce. Wayne is cooking two turkeys and Ron and Jane Bowman are cooking the third. Please bring a desert, salad, vegetable or your specialty for potluck. Please let us know if you are coming or not coming so we can have a head count. 563-8376 So far 75 are going to the dinner.
January 6th 2019: Post meeting in the Peterborough Community Center on Elm Street at 2 pm.
Happy New Year to everyone. Thank you for all of your support! 2018 was a wonderful year for the Post!!! Be healthy, safe and warm.
At the Christmas Dinner Wayne is going to ask for an amount from the Poppy Fund to give to the Peterborough Food Pantry. There will be a 50/50 raffle at the dinner and half the money will go to offset the dinner. ALSO AT THE DINNER we are going to pass the hat for a Veteran who is in dire straits. If anyone wishes to send a check to the Post or give a check to the Post labeled for this (Veteran in need) it is tax deductible. We are not going to use the Poppy Fund because it is pretty empty.
Sick Call: Jim Sargent of Dublin; Joseph E. Labrie of West Peterborough; Bill Clark and David Geoffrey of Peterborough;
Ray Turner, lieu of flowers $25.00 was given in his name to the Monadnock Humane Society in Swanzey NH.
Dear Friends, November 5th, 2018
Thank you for your donation of $25.00 in memory of Helene “Dolly” Rapsis. Your gift will help us not only help to remember a friend or loved one, but extend the lives of animals in our care.
Honorarium and memorial gifts are unique because they are given with special meaning to remember a special person or beloved animal. We want you to know how much we appreciate this donation. You can be sure your gift will be used to improve the life of an animal in our care.
On behalf of the Board, Staff, our volunteers and our animals, we thank you. Please visit our shelter, http://www.hsfn.org and our Facebook page to learn more about our pets for adoption.
With warm regards,
Douglas A. Berry
President and CEO
Dick Freeman and Barbara Campbell have temporarily moved to Peterborough on Main Street.
Laurance Foley, of Dublin, was our fourth WWII member who went on the Honor Flight out of Manchester. Stephen Baird, of Hancock, was our 2015 Boys State Candidate, is currently taking classes at Nashua Community College and hopes to go to Plymouth in the fall to study Political Science. Stephen and his Mother Karen have been actively renovating a house in Connecticut and driving back and forth.
Jane and Ron Bowman’s grandson Manny Bowman, a senior at ConVal was captain of the Boys soccer team that won the first championship in program history this season. Manny and Tina and Greg Kriebel’s son Zach were named to All- State Division II.
Thank you to Augusta Petrone, William McDuff, Bruce Beckley, Vickie and Phil Prairie, Kathy and Carl Plourde and Robert Taft for their contribution to the Poppy Fund. The Post hopes to give money to the Peterborough Food Pantry in December. Thank you to Juno Miller for her generous donation to the Auxiliary. At the Armistice Day celebration people donated $122.15 to the poppy fund.
Membership: We currently have 13 unpaid members from 2018 which means we have 190 on the roster for 2019. 2018 Membership cards expire on December 31st. We need to reach 212 to have 100% which we have done for the past 14 years. We currently are at 89.62%. Please help. Please recruit. The Auxiliary is at 100 percent with 41 members. Yea!
New Members: Thomas Evans, of Peterborough, Air Force, served for 20 years during the Gulf Wars. Lives with his son Zack and wife Kara. Glenn Block, of Merrimack, served in the Air Force during Grenada/Lebanon. Glenn is the son of Barbara and Roger Block of Peterborough. Richard D. Smith, of Hancock, served in the Navy during Vietnam. Dick went to Boys’ State in 1955 from Sioux Falls SD
Check out the Post website: legionpost5nh.com there are lots of pictures under galleries, under vintage! Pictures of Veterans Day 2018. It does not include the Remembrance Ceremony.
Link to the photographs from Veterans Day: https://basketballphoto.morephotos.net/Collections/257260
At the November meeting there were 13 Veterans, one Auxiliary and two guests: Roland Patten and Jen Bowman Hall who explained the Sunshine Fund and what it does to the members at the meeting. They explained that Dick Dunning was in charge of the Christmas gifts for children and that there are about 7 different businesses that have children’s needs up on bulletin boards like Nonie’s. The money they receive goes to help with things like car fuel, repairs and gas cards for people who need to be driven to doctors. Sometimes big things and sometimes little things.
Money was sent to the Blue Star Mothers of NH to go towards the Wreaths that are placed in the Boscawen State Veterans Cemetery. The Post and a generous donation made up $200.00.
Dear Cheney-Armstrong Post 5 Members, November 9, 2018
On behalf of the Blue Star Mothers of New Hampshire I would like to thank you for your generous gift. Your commitment to helping the Wreaths for Boscawen at the NH Veterans Cemetery is sincerely appreciated.
With your help we will be able to purchase the wreaths for Sections that have yet to be determined. Please join us for the laying of the wreaths on December 15, 2018 at 10:30 am. You may view photos of the day, along with past years on our website: http://www.bluestarmothersofnh.org. If you can visit this wonderful place of honor for our veterans and see how beautiful the wreaths look.
Thank you again for your generous support of our efforts to the Wreaths of Boscawen.
President Blue Star Mothers of New Hampshire
World War I Veterans from Peterborough
Charles W. Ames James W. Austin Seymour Austin Earl C. Bagley Walter A. Bailey
John Barton John E. Bastille Charles J. Batchelder Jr. Philip Batchelder Chester A. Bishop Harold I. Bishop Perley B. Bishop Fred E. Blake Theodore Boisvert O’Neil Bouquet Lewis P. Bowles Howard Burton Raymond Butterfield William R. Caldwell William H. Callahan Harley M. Cass Emery J. Cassidy Ernest W. Chamberlain Lloyd M. Chamberlain Charles W. Cheney ***WILLIAM H. CHENEY Hollis H. Cleveland Alfred J. Colburn Anthony M. Coughlan Paul F. Crowell Paul M. Cunningham Roger F. Cunningham Marshall A. Derby Robert W. Derby Philida Dargie John P. Devio Arthur L. Diamond William O. Donnell James H. Dorman George K. Egan Edward Ellingwood Raymond E. Ellis Frank Fenerty Archille J. Fontaine Frank B. Foster Charles E. K. Fraser Leroy B. Frost Charles J. Garneau Fred J. Garneau Leo Ghilardi Walter H. Girad Lloyd T. Goodwin ***EDWARD F. GREENE Cherry A. Hall Perl M. Hall Daniel E. Hannon Isaiah Hargreaves ***CARROLL D. HARPELL Frank B. Hills Elmer W. Hough Joseph L. Jarest ***DAVID JOHNS John T. Kearns Albert L. Lash Peter A. LeBritton Paul S. Liscord Edward Lucier Antonio Macri Donald P. Mahoney Esdras Manaigre Louis J. Marquette Samuel J. Marquette George C. Martin Henry A. Martin Joseph A. McConville Frank A. McLaughlin William J. McLaughlin Harold M. McLean William A. McNeil Charles W. Merritt Gayle H. Montgomery Horace Morrison William Murphy Lester L. Nichols Henry J. Nyland Charles G. O’Connor John F. O’Neill Raphael A. Paquet Walter M. Parker Edward J. Peaque Theodore Perry George M. Ramsey William H. Ramsey Frank Raymo Charles Robichaud Silas Rose Joseph P. Sangermano Roger Seccombe Harry F. Smith Walter A. Snow Peter E. Sounier Carl A. Spaulding Amerigo Stanghellini Peter Stanghellini John H. Thomas Arthur C. Vaughan Roy H. Vose James E. Waite Robert E. Walbridge William P. Weeks Alpheus B. White Clarence D. Williams Harry Wright
Along with the Churches listed in the previous letter: member George Rainer rang the Greenfield Town Meeting House, member Philip Cayford rang the Dublin Community Church bell, the Dublin and Peterborough Fire Departments blew their horns, Arthur Pendleton rang the bells at the Temple Church (and each time he rang the bell Arthur named a friend he lost in Guadalcanal during WWII) , the Cathedral of the Pines rang their bells 100 times for the Anniversary of the 100th Armistice and the National Cathedral rang its bells. Wayne even asked a church in Herndon VA to ring their bells and they said yes. Dick Loudon lent a bell from Vietnam to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Peterborough for the children of the congregation to ring.
From September 1972 until April 1975, while a navigator on a USAF C-141 jet cargo transport, I flew shuttles every month from Clark AFB in the Philippines to Viet Nam and Thailand in support of our exit from the war. I was on aircraft that flew returning P.O.W.’s, wounded soldiers, those killed in action, and many Vietnamese sympathizers back to the States. My last flight into Viet Nam was on April 28, 1975. That was probably the last fixed wing aircraft to depart Saigon. The Viet Cong overtook the city on April 30th. During some of my last trips into Viet Nam, I was able to purchase brass bells, which the Vietnamese made from melting down some of the many brass shell casing used by our troops. To me, the bell has always been a symbol of the end of the war. Its peaceful tone helps me remember the sacrifices made by so many during that period of our history.
Remembrance Day Service November 11, 2018 speech given by The Reverend Jamie Hamilton at All Saints Church
One hundred years ago, today, major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month of 1918. And this morning, along with other churches in Peterborough at 11:11, our church bells will ring 11 times to commemorate this auspicious occasion. We are honored to host this Veterans Day Service on this 100th Anniversary. Welcome.
Our town of Peterborough in this beautiful Monadnock region of southwest New Hampshire has been the home of the Cheney-Armstrong American Legion Post #5 since 1919.
The Post was named after two men. 1st Lt. William H. Cheney and Navy Lieutenant John Parkhurst “Jock” Armstrong.
1st Lt. William Cheney was the youngest son of Mary Lyon Cheney Schofield, the inspiration, visionary, and benefactor of All Saints Church. Her son was attending Harvard University when he left to join the Army, (urgently). He attended the Military School of Aeronautics at Urban, Illinois, in March 1917 and graduated during the summer of that year. He went to Italy to receive further flight training and was commissioned on November 23, 1917 into the U.S. Army Air Service. On January 20, 1918, just after turning 21, William was killed in a plane crash in Foggia, Italy, just before the war ended. His body, as well as his father, his step-father, and his mother, rests in the crypt just below us.
The first Peterborough resident to die during WW II was Navy Lieutenant Jock Armstrong. Lt. Armstrong was a graduate of Harvard and joined the Naval Reserve in 1940. He survived Pearl Harbor, as well as the Battle of Guadalcanal. Later he transferred to naval aviation, where he became a pilot assigned to a bomber squadron. On November 1st, coincidentally All Saints’ Day, at the age of 26, Lt. Armstrong was killed when his bomber crashed. He is buried at the Pine Hill Cemetery.
These two men, like so many men and women, served their country with dignity and courage and gave their lives to protect our nation and her citizens. We honor them this morning, along with all the other members of our military who have served or who are serving today, protecting the welfare of our country.
We also honor today, our American Legion Posts which can be found throughout the nation, town by town, county by county, state by state. And in those Posts, we find places and people who honor and dignify the service of our military.
People, like Dee and Wayne Thomas who give hours of their time and spirit to support the power of those who have dedicated their lives to service, and to those who currently are serving our country.
And then there’s people, like Dee and Wayne…. people found throughout our country in these American Legion Posts, who also support those who stand behind our service men and women…. Families, friends, colleagues, children, mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers, aunts and uncles who love their service man or woman. And their joys and burdens are buoyed by the love and care of American Legion Posts found throughout the country. These Posts nation-wide become like family.
Support of our American Legion Posts was not lost on Mary Schofield. The death of her youngest son, far from discouraging her, only intensified Mary’s patriotic activities. Mind you, she had already, after the setting of the cornerstone of All Saints church in 1917, a church which would become a memorial to all those who died in WWI, founded an “Our Boys Club” which formed the nucleus of the American Legion Auxiliary. She was also the National President of the Woman’s Land Army of America. She organized the first training camp in New Hampshire for agricultural workers. And she was named the first woman president of the New Hampshire Electoral College and was delegate-at-large to the Republican Party’s national convention. She continued to support our military by raising funds for the United Service Organizations and as many of you may already know, was one of the major contributors to the Memorial Gate on Grove Street.
After the death of her son, Mary Schofield was asked to address the Gold Star Mothers of America from the Eiffel Tower in Paris. I can only imagine what an honor this was for her, as she addressed mothers of the world who had loved and lost.
What a gift Peterborough had in Mary, our citizen, not only of our town, but a citizen of the world. I bring her to mind today, because Mary reminds me of many of you, who, like Mary, are the friends, families, colleagues, and deep supporters of those you know and love who serve in the military. Mary had set the bar high- we all should be supporting our military in the way she did.
There’s a lot of talk about the 1%- those identified as having so much wealth, so much so, that they represent 1% of our nation. They can be seen as special, as successful, as rich and influential. But there’s another 1% that we should be identifying with more respect and dignity. And that’s the 1% of our nation who volunteer to defend our country. And the rest of us, the 99% of us, are indebted to them.
And behind those 1% are their loved ones- who witness, encourage, listen, support, defend and embolden those who serve. We are in their debt as well. Mary Schofield knew this. I like to wonder what Mary Schofield said when she addressed the Gold Star Mothers of America from the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
If I may, I’d like to offer a possible image, one provided to me by my cousin who was enlisted with the Seabees and had two tours during the Iraq War.
My cousin and I were together this summer for a family reunion. He doesn’t talk much about his service, but I like to ask questions, and so he shares some, sometimes. He started with a funny story about “slapping” his commanding officer. “How did that happen?”
“Well, we often had drills in defense of the possibility of chemical warfare. Sometimes those drills were labeled as the real thing. There was always the threat of deadly poisons falling from the air, and the drills were intense, often during sand storms to heighten the urgency and the difficulty. We had moon-like suits, with gas masks, we had to put on and then we left our base tent, 2×2 to go to a more secure place underground.
I was paired up with my commanding officer and his zipper was stuck on his moon suit and he motioned for me to fix it. While I was fixing it, he was getting his hands in the way, trying to help me, which was not helpful, and so I slapped his hands, back and forth, and he stopped. I fixed the zipper and we left. Later, he told me, “Thanks, good work Cotter, but never slap me again.” With a wink. “He had been grateful, and now I have a story about slapping my commanding officer and getting away with it!”
We laughed. But then came another story. He told me that one of the most profound experiences of his life came during one of those air raid drills, which had been deemed as not a drill.
“I was last to leave, and I heard over the loudspeaker my commander say, ‘Cotter you need to find a missing mouthpiece as you come over.’ I could hear my buddy freaking out inside the tunnel, sure he was going to die without the essential covering over his mouth. I stood up, well aware of the sand storm, the danger, the fear, and then (and he had me stand up and put a blanket over me) I felt this blanket drape over me as real as you feel this blanket now.
“And it wasn’t as if I was being told that I would be safe- that wasn’t the experience. It was just this powerful understanding of being held in life and death. It was as if I was stripped of every piece of gear, and I only had God’s blanket, and it was perfect.”
I imagine Mary Schofield talking to those Gold Star mothers in Paris about God’s blanket of love and support. During her time of difficulties and loss, when she was held in life and death, she felt nurtured by God’s presence, God’s blanket. And in that supportive love, she could nurture others. Today we remember our gallant men and women who go to war for us, and today we remember their loved ones who give them courage and strength. We pledge our loving support to the 1% who matter.
2018 REMEMBRANCE SERVICE NAMES READ FOR THE LAST ROLL CALL
STEPHEN A. KIBURIS VIETNAM AIR FORCE
HENRY H. BORN SR. WWII ARMY-AIR CORP
CHARLES-HENRI LaROCHE WWII NAVY
JOHN BURTON WALKER SR VIETNAM NAVY
JAMES H. FALLER WWII NAVY
RICHARD BUDD McADOO WWII ARMY
GARY CARPENTER VIETNAM AIR FORCE
JOHN SYMES GOODNOW VIETNAM ARMY
FREDERICK P. KOALLICK WWII ARMY
THEODORE B. COVERT KOREA ARMY
REVERAND DR. QUENTIN L. PEACOCK KOREA AIR FORCE
FRANCIS OWEN LATHROP JR. WWII ARMY
GEORGE L. DUNCAN COLD WAR ARMY
STEPHEN HOPKINS MILLARD JR. KOREA AIR FORCE
DONALD KIROUAC, SR. NAVY KOREA
DR RICHARD GEORGE ELLIS NAVY WWII
THOMAS CLIFTON MAXIM MARINE CORP IRAQ
JOHN “JACK” ROPER NAVY KOREA
JOSEPH P. GRAILEY U.S. AIR FORCE
FRANCES XAVIER CHAPMAN WWII MERCHANT MARINE
KENNETH W. BELCHER WWII MARINES
FRANK HANCHETT KOREA ARMY
JOHN BANKS KOREA ARMY
RICHARD I. SAWYER KOREA ARMY
DAVID H. QUINN WWII MARINE CORPS (RETURNED AFTER 75 YEARS)
ROY DAVIS WWII ARMY AIR CORPS (RETURNED AFTER) 74 YEARS)
JOHN J. McKENNA WWII NAVY
STUART CLARK WWII NAVY
RAYMOND PIERCE KOREA NAVY
HENRY G. EMERY WWII ARMY-AIR CORPS
JOSEPH P.G. LESSARD KOREA AIR FORCE
CLES V. STAPLES VIETNAM NAVY- SEABEE
JOHN WILCOX JORDAN WWII MARINES
RAYMOND F. TURNER KOREA ARMY
WILLIAM H. CHENEY ARMY WWI
EDWARD F. GREENE ARMY WWI
CARROLL D. HARPELL ARMY WWI
DAVID JOHNS ARMY WWI
LtCol Peter Sennett (ret) of Peterborough’s Armistice Day Speech
GOOD MORNING. LET ME START BY THANKING ALL OF YOU FOR TAKING THIS TIME OUT OF YOUR DAY AND MAKING THE EFFORT TO COME TOGETHER AS A COMMUNITY TO CELEBRATE ON THE OCCASION OF VETERANS DAY, TODAY BEING 100 YEARS SINCE THE EVENT THAT INSPIRED OUR PREDECESSORS TO SET THIS DAY APART FROM OTHERS AND GIVE IT THE STATURE OF BEING A SPECIAL DAY – A DAY DESIGNATED AS A HOLIDAY AND BY BEING SO DESIGNATED, THAT WE MIGHT HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO DO SOMETHING SPECIAL, SOMETHING OUT OF THE ORDINARY, TO RECOGNIZE NOT JUST THE EVENT ITSELF, BUT TO ACKNOWLEDGE WHAT THE EVENT MEANS TO US AND TO OUR COMMUNITY, BOTH THEN AND NOW.
AT 11 A.M., ON THE 11TH DAY OF THE 11TH MONTH, THE ARMISTICE AGREEMENT ENDING HOSTILE ACTIONS IN WORLD WAR I CAME INTO EFFECT. THEN, ON THE FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF THAT AGREEMENT, PRESIDENT WOODROW WILSON MADE A PROCLAMATION STATING “ARMISTICE DAY WILL BE FILLED WITH SOLEMN PRIDE IN THE HEROISM OF THOSE WHO DIED IN THE COUNTRY’S SERVICE AND WITH GRATITUDE FOR THE VICTORY, BOTH BECAUSE OF THE THING FROM WHICH IT HAS FREED US AND BECAUSE OF THE OPPORTUNITY IT HAS GIVEN AMERICA TO SHOW HER SYMPATHY WITH PEACE AND JUSTICE IN THE COUNCILS OF THE NATIONS ….” BUSINESS WAS TO BE SUSPENDED FOR TWO MINUTES AT 11 A.M. AND THE DAY WAS TO INCLUDE CELEBRATIONS INVOLVING PARADES AND PUBLIC MEETINGS, NOT UNLIKE WHAT WE ARE ENGAGED IN NOW.
EVEN BEFORE WILSON’S PROCLAMATION, HOWEVER, OUR TOWN DID JUST WHAT WAS CALLED FOR. ACCORDING TO THE HISTORY OF PETERBOROUGH PUBLISHED IN 1954, QUOTE “UPON THE SIGNING OF THE ARMISTICE, THE LONG PERIOD OF TENSION AND ANXIETY WHICH HAD AFFECTED EVERY CITIZEN AT HOME . . . WAS FINALLY AT AN END AND PETERBOROUGH, LIKE EVERY OTHER TOWN IN THE UNITED STATES, CELEBRATED THIS RELEASE IN A MOST ENTHUSIASTIC AND IMPROMPTU MANNER. THE WHISTLES ON ALL THE MILLS, FACTORIES AND LOCOMOTIVES, THE FIRE ALARMS, THE CHURCH BELLS AND EVEN THE BELL IN THE OLD PHOENIX FACTORY WHICH HAD BEEN VACANT FOR SOME YEARS CONTRIBUTED THEIR SHARE TO THE CELEBRATION WHICH CONTINUED FOR HOURS AND WAS FOLLOWED BY A GENERAL HOLIDAY THROUGHOUT THE TOWN. AN IMPROMPTU PARADE STARTED AT TWO O’CLOCK. THE CELEBRATION ENDED WITH A MASS MEETING IN THE TOWN HALL AT EIGHT O’CLOCK IN THE EVENING, FOLLOWED BY DANCING WHICH CONTINUED THROUGHOUT THE NIGHT.
[ON MAY 10, 1919, A RECEPTION WAS GIVEN BY THE CITIZENS TO ALL THE BOYS WHO HAD RETURNED FROM THE SERVICE. THIS CONSISTED OF A LARGE DINNER IN THE TOWN HOUSE, AT WHICH ALL THE SOLDIERS WHO HAD RETURNED ASSEMBLED, TOGETHER WITH RED CROSS NURSES SARA SECCOMBE AND MADOLIN E. MITCHELL. A FEATURE OF THE BANQUET WAS THE UNVEILING OF A LARGE SERVICE FLAG CONSISTING OF ONE HUNDRED STARS, OF WHICH THREE WERE GOLD.]. END QUOTE
OVER THE COURSE OF THE LAST 99 YEARS, HOWEVER, THE CELEBRATION FIRST CALLED ARMISTICE DAY HAS BEEN REFRAMED SIX TIMES TO ADDRESS A CHANGE IN PERSPECTIVE OF SOME SORT OR ANOTHER. IN 1926 CONGRESS PASSED A RESOLUTION AMPLIFYING PRESIDENT WILSONS PROCLAMATION AND CALLING FOR OBSERVANCES INCLUDING “THANKSGIVING AND PRAYER AND EXERCISES DESIGNED TO PERPETUATE PEACE THROUGH GOODWILL AND MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN NATIONS.”
IN 1938 A NEW CONGRESSIONAL ACTION DECLARED ARMISTICE DAY TO BE AN OFFICIAL HOLIDAY THAT WAS DEDICATED TO WORLD PEACE.
IN JUNE OF 1954, CONGRESS ACTED AGAIN IN AN EFFORT TO PROVIDE A DAY OF REMEMBRANCE FOR WORLD WAR II AND KOREAN WAR VETERANS, AND PRESIDENT EISENHOWER SIGNED A BILL CHANGING THE NAME OF ARMISTICE DAY TO VETERANS DAY, AND FOLLOWED THE BILL LATER THAT YEAR WITH A PROCLAMATION PROVIDING THAT CITIZENS SHOULD RECOGNIZE VETERANS DAY AND “SOLEMNLY REMEMBER THE SACRIFICES OF ALL THOSE WHO FOUGHT SO VALIANTLY, ON THE SEAS, IN THE AIR, AND ON FOREIGN SHORES, TO PRESERVE OUR HERITAGE OF FREEDOM, AND LET US RECONSECRATE OURSELVES TO THE TASK OF PROMOTING AN ENDURING PEACE SO THAT THEIR EFFORTS SHALL NOT HAVE BEEN IN VAIN.”
THEN IN 1968 THE EVENTS OF HISTORY APPEARED TO PROVE INCONVENIENT FOR BUSINESS AND BUSINESSES, VACATIONS AND VACATIONERS, AND LIKELY MANY OTHER REASONS ONE COULD CONJURE UP, SO CONGRESS DECLARED THAT THE 11TH HOUR OF THE 11TH DAY OF THE 11TH MONTH WOULD BE OBSERVED ON THE FOURTH MONDAY OF OCTOBER. TO PARAPHRASE ELVIS COSTELLO, IT WAS A FINE IDEA AT THE TIME, BUT IT PROVED TO BE A BRILLIANT MISTAKE, SO CONGRESS CHANGED IT BACK SO THAT WE CELEBRATE THIS DAY ON THE ACTUAL ANNIVERSARY OF ITS OCCURRENCE.
I TAKE YOU THROUGH THAT QUICK HISTORY BECAUSE TO MY MIND, IT SERVES AS A SIMPLE EXAMPLE OF HOW, OVER TIME, AS WITH MOST EVERYTHING, SUBSEQUENT GENERATIONS VIEW THE EVENTS OF HISTORY THROUGH A DIFFERENT LENS THAN THEIR PREDECESSORS AND EVENTS MAY, CONSEQUENTLY, TAKE ON DIFFERENT RELEVANCE AND MEANING AS TIME PASSES. IT ALSO REPRESENTS TO ME THAT OUR HISTORY DOES NOT DEFINE OR DICTATE TO US OUR ACTIONS OF TODAY OR IN THE FUTURE, BUT THAT IF WE IGNORE OUR HISTORY AND DO NOT LET OUR HISTORY INFORM OUR WAY FORWARD, WE DO SO AT OUR PERIL.
A COLLEAGUE AT WORK RECENTLY COMMENTED ON MY MEAGER LUNCH TO WHICH I REPLIED CERTAIN ACTIONS WERE NECESSARY IF I HOPED TO STILL FIT INTO MY UNIFORM FOR THIS OCCASION. THAT CONVERSATION THEN LED TO HIS WONDERING, “DO YOU THINK IT MATTERS? DO YOU THINK ANYONE LISTENS OR CARES ABOUT WHAT YOU OR ANYONE ELSE SAYS AT THOSE KIND OF EVENTS? ISN’T IT LIKE YOUR GRADUATION; NO ONE REMEMBERS ANY OF IT.” I REPLIED THAT IT IS CERTAINLY TRUE THAT MANY MAY NOT REMEMBER MUCH OF WHAT WAS SAID BY ONE INDIVIDUAL IN ONE SPECIFIC MOMENT, WHAT IS IMPORTANT IS THAT PEOPLE HAVE REMEMBERED TO TAKE THE TIME TO SHARE THIS MOMENT; TO CELEBRATE THE VETERANS IN OUR COMMUNITY AND SEE THE FACES THEY MAY ONLY SEE ONCE A YEAR; TO REMEMBER THOSE WHO WERE WITH US LAST YEAR, BUT NO LONGER WITH US NOW. THAT IS IMPORTANT.
MANY OF YOU, ESPECIALLY THOSE WITH YOUNGER CHILDREN, MAY HAVE SEEN THE MOVIE COCO, THAT CENTERS ON CELEBRATING THE DAY OF THE DEAD, A TRADITION THAT HONORS AND VALUES HISTORY; IN PARTICULAR, FAMILY HISTORY. IN THAT MOVIE THE LEAD CHARACTER IS INFORMED THAT “OUR MEMORIES HAVE TO BE PASSED DOWN BY THOSE WHO KNEW US IN LIFE; IN THE STORIES THEY TELL ABOUT US” AND THAT “WHEN THERE IS NO ONE LEFT IN THE LIVING WORLD WHO REMEMBERS YOU, YOU DISAPPEAR.”
THIS ACT OF REMEMBERING; OF HAVING OUR PAST INFORM OUR PRESENT DAY CELEBRATIONS, RESONATES STRONGLY WITH ME NOT ONLY FROM MY MEXICAN HERITAGE, BUT BECAUSE OF MY SERVICE IN THE MARINE CORPS WHERE I LEARNED IN MY VERY FIRST DAYS OF SERVICE THE VALUE OF KNOWING AND CELEBRATING OUR HISTORY. ALL THROUGH TRAINING, A COMMON REFRAIN DURING ANY LULL, ANY KIND OF PAUSE IN THE TRAINING SCHEDULE, WOULD BE A CALL FROM MY DRILL INSTRUCTOR, GUNNERY SERGEANT GIAMBALUCA: “WHERE’S YOUR KNOWLEDGE?” SOMETIMES LOUD, SOMETIMES SOFT, SOMETIMES UP CLOSE AND IN YOUR PERSONAL SPACE, WITH A PROFESSORIAL AIR ABOUT IT, “WHERE’S YOUR KNOWLEDGE?” AND THIS IS WHAT HE WAS REFERRING TO . . . OUR ISSUED BOOK OF REQUIRED LEARNING, A SIGNIFICANT PORTION OF WHICH PERTAINS TO THE PEOPLE, PLACES AND THINGS THAT SHAPED THE MARINE CORPS. WE WERE IMPLORED TO LEARN THE HISTORY OF OUR CORPS AND THOSE WHO CAME BEFORE US. WE KNOW OUR CORPS WAS BORN ON NOVEMBER 10, 1775 AND BECAME 243 YEARS YOUNG, JUST YESTERDAY; THAT THE FIRST MARINE AVIATOR WAS CUNNINGHAM, WE LEARNED ABOUT PRESLEY O’BANNON BEING PRESENTED A MAMALUKE SWORD AFTER THE BATTLE OF DERNA AND HOW IT BECAME THE SWORD MARINE CORPS OFFICERS ARE REQUIRED TO HAVE TO THIS DAY, NOT BECAUSE IT IS A WEAPON NECESSARY FOR BATTLE IN THIS DAY AND AGE, BUT BECAUSE OF WHAT IT REPRESENTS AND HOW IT INFORMS THE ETHOS OF THE CORPS.
AND THIS IS ONE ASPECT OF PETERBOROUGH, OF OUR COMMUNITY THAT I APPRECIATE SO MUCH – IT IS HOW WE ENGAGE WITH OUR PAST TO CREATE OUR PRESENT AND SHAPE OUR FUTURE. WE VALUE WHAT THIS BUILDING MEANS TO OUR COMMUNITY IN BOTH FORM AND FUNCTION, AND WE THEREFORE INVEST TIME AND RESOURCES TO ENSURE IT CAN SERVE ANOTHER HUNDRED YEARS. LIKEWISE THE EFFORTS BEING UNDERTAKEN AT OUR LIBRARY AND WHAT IT REPRESENTS BEYOND OUR TOWN. AND, OF COURSE, THIS. THIS ACT, SO THOUGHTFULLY AND DILIGENTLY ORGANIZED BY WAYNE AND DEE, AND SO WILLINGLY SUPPORTED BY OUR TOWNSPEOPLE AND OUR CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS. TO BE TOGETHER, TO CELEBRATE, AND DEMONSTRATE OUR APPRECIATION FOR OUR VETERANS.
GEORGE WASHINGTON SAID, “THE WILLINGNESS WITH WHICH YOUNG PEOPLE ARE LIKELY TO SERVE IN ANY WAR, NO MATTER HOW JUSTIFIED, SHALL BE DIRECTLY PROPORTIONAL TO HOW THEY PERCEIVE THE VETERANS OF EARLIER WARS WERE TREATED AND APPRECIATED BY THEIR NATION.”
DESPITE THE PASSING OF TIME, DESPITE THE DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES, THE COMMUNITY OF PETERBOROUGH [AND THE SURROUNDING TOWNS] CONTINUE TO VALUE OUR VETERANS AND THEIR PLACE IN OUR HISTORY AND IN DOING SO THESE ACTIONS SPEAK TO OUR PRESENT AND FUTURE, AND FOR THIS I AM GRATEFUL AND THANKFUL. THANK YOU ALL AGAIN FOR BEING HERE, AT THE TOWN HOUSE, 100 YEARS AFTER THAT FIRST IMPROMPTU HOLIDAY MARKING THIS OCCASION.
(Credit timeline of changes to Armistice Day: How Veterans Day went from celebrating world peace to thanking armed forces, Katie Mettler. Washington Post, November 11, 2017)
We wish to thank everyone who helped with the Armistice Day Ceremony: the United States Naval Sea Cadets Monadnock Squadron, Andy Benoit, Boys and Girl Scouts, American Heritage Girls, Alan Zeller, Jacob Skinner, Ronald Crowe, John Franklin, Dick Loudon, Jamie Hamilton, South Meadow School Band, Ed Lowy, and Peter Sennett.
Article ran in Wall Street Journal Monday July 23, 2018
“We were overwhelmed,” said Lt. Col. Nick Jaskolski. “I don’t really have words to describe how surprised and moved we all were. I had never even heard of the town before.” Col. Jaskolski, a veteran of the Iraq war, is commander of the 142nd Field Artillery Brigade of the Arkansas Army National Guard. For three weeks earlier this summer, the 142nd had been conducting an emergency deployment readiness exercise in Wyoming, training and sleeping outdoors, subsisting on field rations. Now it was time for the 700 soldiers to return to their base.
A charter bus company had been hired for the 18-hour drive back to Arkansas. The Army had budgeted for a stop to get snacks. The bus company determined that the soldiers would reach North Platte, in western Nebraska, around the time they would likely be hungry. The company placed a call to the visitors’ bureau: Was there anywhere in town that could handle a succession of 21 buses, and get 700 soldiers in and out for a quick snack?
North Platte said yes. North Platte has always said yes.
The community welcomed more than 700 service men and women, North Platte, Nebraska, June 18- 19.
During World War II, North Platte was a geographically isolated town of 12,000. Soldiers, sailors and aviators on their way to fight the war rode troop trains across the nation, bound for Europe via the East Coast or the Pacific via the West Coast. The Union Pacific Railroad trains that transported the soldiers always made 10-minute stops in North Platte to take on water.
The townspeople made those 10 minutes count. Starting in December 1941, they met every train: up to 23 a day, beginning at 5 a.m. and ending after midnight. Those volunteers greeted between 3,000 and 5,000 soldiers a day. They presented them with sandwiches and gifts, played music for them, danced with them, baked birthday cakes for them. Every day of the year, every day of the war, they were there at the depot. They never missed a train, never missed a soldier. They fed six million soldiers by the end of the war. Not 1 cent of government money was asked for or spent, save for a $5 bill sent by President Franklin D Roosevelt.
The soldiers never forgot the kindness. Most of them, and most of the townspeople who greeted them, are dead. And now, in 2018, those 21 busloads from the 142nd Field Artillery were on their way, expecting to stop at some fast-food joint.
“We couldn’t believe what we saw when we pulled up,” Col. Jaskolski said. As each bus arrived over a two-day period, the soldiers stepped out to be greeted by lines of cheering people holding signs of thanks. They weren’t at a fast-food restaurant: They were at North Platte’s events center, which had been opened and decorated especially for them.
“People just started calling our office when they heard the soldiers were on their way,” said Lisa Burke, the director of the visitors’ bureau. “Hundreds of people, who wanted to help.”
The soldiers entered the events center to the aroma of steaks grilling and the sound of recorded music: current songs by Luke Bryan, Justin Timberlake, Florida Georgia Line; World War II songs by Glenn Miller, the Andrews Sisters, and Jimmy Dorsey. They were served steak sandwiches, ham sandwiches, turkey sandwiches, deviled eggs, salads and fruit; local church groups baked pies, brownies and cookies.
Mayor Dwight Livingston stood at the door for two days and shook every soldier’s hand. Mr. Livingston served in the Air Force in Vietnam and came home to no words of thanks. Now, he said, as he shook the hands and welcomed the soldiers, “I don’t know whether those moments were more important for them, or for me. I knew I had to be there.”
“It was one soldier’s 21st birthday,” Lisa Burke said. “When I gave him his cake, he told me it was the first birthday cake he’d ever had in his life.” Not wanting to pry, she didn’t ask him how that could possibly be. “I was able to hold my emotions together,” she said. “Until later.”
When it became time to settle up, “the Army, after all, had that money budgeted for snacks” the 142nd Field Artillery was told: Nope. You’re not spending a penny here. This is on us. This is on North Platte.
In November, The Pages for Peace Foundation and Journeys in Education: Mariposa Museum and World Culture Center held an event: Honoring Our Veterans and Their Contributions Toward Peace in Our World. This event was to honor those who had served our country and to recognize their efforts in securing Peace in this world.
There is a chapter dedicated to the Veterans of War inside The Peace Book. The messages from these Veterans were ones of insight, of vulnerability, and of truth in their experiences through war. Messages that conveyed their opinions on Peace, and how they tried to achieve it, by fighting for freedoms and liberties that are all too often are taken for granted. This event was to showcase those messages and to serve as a reminder for what it means to create a Peaceful World.
The last speaker of the night was Post 5 member Dick Dunning, a Green Beret. Dick told his story of his time in Vietnam, but also that of a dear friend John, who gave his life in order to save that of the indigenous people there. Dick tells John’s story in order for John not to be forgotten, and for his heroism to serve as a reminder for the sacrifices made in order to preserve Peace. Dick was badly wounded and for 4 hours he laid there, surrounded in combat, not knowing if he would get out with his life intact. He told us that it wasn’t a big house, a car, or money that ran through his mind during that time. What he spent his time thinking about, was that he did not tell the people he loved, that he loved them enough. That it was always important to be able to express the love you held for those closest to you, because you never know if you might see them again.
Twelve Odd WWII Facts
You might enjoy this from Col D. G. Swinford, USMC, Retired and a history buff.
1. The first German serviceman killed in WW II was killed by the Japanese (China, 1937), The first American serviceman killed was killed by the Russians (Finland 1940); The highest ranking American killed was Lt Gen Lesley McNair, killed by the US Army Air Corps.
2. The youngest US serviceman was 12 year old: Calvin Graham, USN. He was wounded and given a Dishonorable Discharge for lying about his age. His benefits were later restored by act of Congress
3. At the time of Pearl Harbor, the top US Navy command was called CINCUS (pronounced ‘sink us’); The shoulder patch of the US Army’s 45th Infantry division was the swastika. Hitler’s private train was named ‘Amerika.’ All three were soon changed for PR purposes.
4. More US servicemen died in the Air Corps than the Marine Corps. While completing the required 30 missions, an airman’s chance of being killed was 71%.
5. Generally speaking, there was no such thing as an average fighter pilot. You were either an ace or a target. For instance, Japanese Ace Hiroyoshi Nishizawa shot down over 80 planes. He died while a passenger on a cargo plane
6. It was a common practice on fighter planes to load every 5th round with a tracer round to aid in aiming. This was a big mistake. Tracers had different Ballistics so (at long range) if your tracers were hitting the target 80% of your rounds were missing. Worse yet tracers instantly told your enemy he was under fire and from which direction. Worst of all was the practice of loading a string of tracers at the end of the belt to tell you that you were out of ammo. This was definitely not something you wanted to tell the enemy. Units that stopped using tracers saw their success rate nearly double and their loss rate go down.
7. When allied armies reached the Rhine, the first thing men did was pee in it. This was pretty universal from the lowest private to Winston Churchill (who made a big show of it) and Gen. Patton (who had himself photographed in the act).
8. German ME-264 bombers were capable of bombing New York City, but they decided it wasn’t worth the effort.
9. German submarine U-120 was sunk by a malfunctioning toilet.
10. Among the first ‘Germans’ captured at Normandy were several Koreans. They had been forced to fight for the Japanese Army until they were captured by the Russians and forced to fight for the Russian Army until they were captured by the Germans and forced to fight for the German Army until they were captured by the US Army.
11. Following a massive naval bombardment, 35,000 United States and Canadian troops stormed ashore at Kiska, in the Aleutian Islands. 21 troops were killed in the assault on the island… It could have been worse if there had actually been any Japanese on the island.
12. The last marine killed in WW2 was killed by a can of spam. He was on the ground as a POW in Japan when rescue flights dropping food and supplies came over, the package came apart in the air and a stray can of spam hit him and killed him.
The American Legion
Cheney-Armstrong Post 5 NH
PO Box 172
Peterborough NH 03458-0172
Phone: Home 603-563-8376/ cell 759-3134
Monthly Meetings: The Post meets the first Sunday of the month at 1400 hours or 2 pm unless it is a holiday weekend. Meetings are held in the Peterborough Community Center on 25 Elm Street, Peterborough. Please enter by the front door on the Elm Street side. All Veterans, Auxiliary and their guests are welcome Please remember that politics are not welcome at the meeting.
Wayne E. Thomas,
The Post will gratefully accept donations for the General Fund, Scholarship Fund or 2018 Poppy Fund. The Post is a non-profit so your gift is tax deductible.
n for US Naval Sea Cadets