Memorial Day 2020

LEST WE EVER FORGET

Quarantine won't stop us from remembering the fallen on Memorial Day

Memorial Day will be different this year. There may not be any large gatherings or services but we can still honor the men and women who lost their lives defending our freedoms.
For virtual ceremonies and more information, you can check our Facebook page:
here.

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Sleep, comrades, sleep and rest
On this Field of the Grounded Arms,
Where foes no more molest,
Nor sentry's shot alarms!

Ye have slept on the ground before,
And started to your feet
At the cannon's sudden roar,
Or the drum's redoubling beat.

Decoration Day by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

ß2.pngDemocrats Abroad France will be sending wreaths to be laid by the cemetery staff during small ceremonies around the country: at the Lafayette Monument and in Suresnes, Belleau Wood, Oise-Aisne, Meuse-Argonne, St. James. Meredith Wheeler will by taking flowers to the graves of the two OSS Commandos downed during WWII in the Tarn. We do ask you to consider making a donation to help cover the costs of the wreaths, so you may click here for a one time donation.

ß5.pngAfter the ceremonies, the wreaths will be placed on the graves of those who died during World War I. At Suresnes, it will be Private Mitchell Davis, a Howard University Law Graduate and one of the Afro-Americansoldiers who died of the Spanish Flu”pandemic in 2018. He is one of the few highly educated African-Americans that are being cared for at the cemetery and he even wrote a book entitled « One Hundred Choice Quotations by Prominent Men and Women of the Negro Race »:

« Through avalanches of prejudices; industrial barriers; professional intrigues; legal technicalities; diplomatic effronteries, and political buffetings, the American Negro has, at last arrived before the public eye, as a factor not easily to be evaded » ~Mitchell Davis, One Hundred Choice Quotations by Prominent Men and Women of the Negro Race, 1917.

At the Lafayette Monument it will be Carter Ovington, a pilot who wasdowned and was never recovered.  He has a tomb in the crypt but is a bit special in that he is MIA as well. 

ß3.pngAt Belleau Wood, it will be PVT Hercules Grays from the 369thInfantry Regiment also known as the Harlem hellfighters and you can find more information on this unit here.

ß6.pngAnother Afro-American, Private William Cuff will be honored at Oise-Asne.  He is a recipient (Posthumous) of the American Distinguished Service Cross and the French Croix de Guerre with Bronze Star. 

Now is a great time to use social media. Consider posting pictures of those you wish to honor and remember on Memorial Day or ask those who were going to participate in a service to record a message from their home.

 

Thank you for remembering,
Anna Marie Mattson
Veterans and Military Families Caucus