Archive / May, 2012

VIETNAM WAR: MR. PRESIDENT, IT’S 1956-1975

By KEVIN E. DAYHOFF

 (Westminster, Md.)—One news media account after another dutifully reported Monday that President Barack Obama announced at Memorial Day ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery–and at the Vietnam Wall, that Monday begins the start of the 50-year anniversary of the Vietnam War.

Whatever that means! I mean, I was not able to find a single news report that clearly established how or why it was determined by President Obama that 1962 was the beginning of the United States involvement in the conflict in Southeast-Asia.

Of course, if President George W. Bush, or Republican presidential hopeful, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, had made such a major pronouncement, the major media would have been all over it.… Read More

MEMORIAL DAY: POW/MIA Coming Home

By NORMAN M. COVERT

(Frederick, Md.)–You’ve heard the U. S. Marine Corps mantra that it will leave no comrade behind. It isn’t, however, exclusive to the Corps this traditional Memorial Day. The Army, Navy, Air Force and, yes, the U. S. Coast Guard, continue striving to account for those missing in action. We also want our children home.

 That common creed was underscored here in April 2008, when it was announced remains of Air Force Sr. M. Sgt. James Kenneth Caniford had been identified. His remains are among some 957 recovered from Southeast Asia and identified since 1973.

 The Middletown (Md.) High School graduate’s AC-130A Hercules Spectre gunship had been shot down by a  Soviet surface-to-air missile in Laos March 29, 1972. … Read More

MEMORIAL DAY UPDATE: Allen Eberly Groshong

(Editor’s Note: The following is the official Silver Star Medal (Posthumous) award citation. It is a necessary addendum to the tribute of HM3 Groshong written by his sister, Sarah Groshong.)

*GROSHONG, ALLEN E. (KIA)
Citation:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Silver Star Medal (Posthumously) to Allen E. Groshong (B-204557), Hospital Corpsman Third Class [then Hospitalman], U.S. Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as a Corpsman attached to Company E, Second Battalion, First Marines, FIRST Marine Division, in connection with operations against enemy aggressor forces in the Republic of Vietnam, on 8 April 1968.… Read More

MEMORIAL DAY: Heroes and Death Marches

By Harry M. Covert

I stand in awe of the brave military men and women who have served our nation. The closest I ever got to military service was as a Civil Air Patrol cadet back in the peaceful days of the 1950s. My friend Joe Madagan and I would hitchhike to meetings at Fort Monroe, Va. 

For me, commemorating Memorial Day brings to mind an uncle who survived the infamous Bataan Death March. This scurrilous, savage and brutal event was a 70-mile forced march inflicted by the Japanese on captured American G.I.s and Filipino soldiers. It began April 12, 1942.… Read More

MEMORIAL DAY: Allen Eberly Groshong

 By Sarah Groshong

 My brother Allen was perhaps the funniest person I have ever known.  He had a smile that lit up a room like sunshine and a laugh that was so infectious that people laughed just because he was laughing and even when his jokes were corny beyond belief.

             (Q. What’s soft and yellow and dangerous?  A. Shark-infested custard.)  

He kept our family laughing so much at the dinner table some nights that the food on our plates got cold and congealed while we laughed at his enjoyment of his own silliness.  He took much in life with a large dose of humor, but when it came to his principles, he did not compromise. … Read More

MEMORIAL DAY: Parade Locomotives et Voitures 40/8

By NORMAN M. COVERT

Members of La Societe des Quarante Hommes et Huit Chevaux will be out in force nationwide this Memorial Day weekend helping support commemorative programs honoring our fallen warriers. They have been decorating graves with flags in addition to taking part in parades and other programs to honor our comrades who have fallen in battle. They will be active through Wednesday May 30, traditional Memorial Day.

Translated, the Society of 40 Men and Eight Horses, it is named for the French Box Cars (Voitures), which took American Doughboys to the front during World War I and continue to be known on the French railroad system as Voitures 40/8, meaning they will accommodate either 40 men or eight horses. … Read More

MEMORIAL DAY: ‘The Wall’

By Sarah Groshong

                                      The Wall

     I was surprised that it was not larger,

For it did not seem to convey the enormity of your sacrifice.

     Its simple beauty moved me, though,

And I thought how fitting it was that its clean lines and unpretentious elegance

Should serve as a memorial for young lives so freely given –

     And so quickly gone.

      Like so many before me and so many yet to come,

I went there for myself –

      Seeking an answer to an eternal question.

I found a nation face-to-face with its own soul.

(In memory of Allen Groshong: Panel 48-E, line 52)

      The world is a colder and darker place without you, little brother; but your light still shines, for you will live in my heart forever.… Read More

MEMORIAL DAY: COMING HOME

 By NORMAN M. COVERT

(Editor’s Note: the following is adapted from a talk prepared for presentation to the Rotary Club of Frederick, Md., May 23, 2012.)

 This is Memorial Day weekend. It is important to ponder that it heralds the homecoming of our young warriors, who gave their most cherished possession, their lives, for our benefit. All around us are the reminders that freedom has never been free and that sometimes our sacrifices are dearer than we can predict or like.

The traditional one-day Decoration Day/Memorial Day has its origin in Mississippi after the War Between the States when a group of Southern ladies decided to mark the graves of both Confederate and Federal soldiers, who had fallen in battle.… Read More

MEMORIAL DAY:

“MEMORIAL DAY 1991”

For you, no yellow ribbons,

No parades, no “Welcome home!”

Just the nightmare hell of combat,

An early death, and walls of stone.

     No band was waiting for you;

No grateful prayers were said.

The men who sent you over there

Scarcely knew that you were dead.

      But the men you gave your lives for

Have not let you rest alone.

Their love has brought you back to us

Upon these walls of stone.

      I come today to be with you,

Mindless of the tears that fall

As I stand and touch name after name

Engraved here on this wall.… Read More

MEMORIAL DAY FEATURES

 

The Covert letter will honor the memory of America’s fallen heroes this weekend. We are fortunate to offer two moving poems by Sarah Groshong of Eastville, Va., and her loving tribute to her brother, Hospitalman 3C Allen Groshong, who was killed in action near Khe Sanh, South Vietnam, in April 1968. We also will remember Sgt. Frank J. Fenton, a survivor of the infamous Bataan Death March during World War II, and an article adapted from a speech written for presentation to the Rotary Club of Frederick (Md.).

 No words can ever express the gratitude we feel for the sacrifices of so many of America’s  finest men and women.… Read More