Archive by Author

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

CLOSING THE BOOK ON LITTLE THINKERS

 By Harry M. Covert

I began traveling the world as a boy; how fortunate I was. My trips took me to London, Paris, Moscow, Berlin and the Asian Pacific islands. I met those “figures” of history: Churchill, Hitler, Stalin and FDR.

What a time I had. I enjoyed my first airplane flight; we were “up-in-the air” for a week, circling the Chesapeake Bay, learning about re-fueling a twin-engined Douglas DC-3.

Those youthful trips, no matter the historical context, didn’t eclipse the opportunity to meet baseball heroes Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, baseball’s famous or infamous commissioner Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis, who straightened out the nation’s pastime, and many others of that bygone era.… Read More

IT’S TIME TO REPAIR ‘OUR’ HOUSE

By PATRICK COVERT

If a house divided cannot stand, why do Americans choose to partition themselves?  Shared experience can unite people of different cultures and is part of what helped this “melting pot” of a nation survive all these years.  So how are we doing it?

Growing up near a military post in a growing suburban area, I was exposed to people of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds.  My school and church environments showed me that we were all Americans and children of God despite the diversity in the area. 

After moving to Buffalo, I was struck by how Western New York residents celebrate diversity. … Read More

EDUCATION: New Doesn’t Mean Better

By NORMAN M. COVERT

(FREDERICK, Md.)—I returned this week from a wonderful reunion with my high school class of 1961 in Newport News, Va.  A common theme was the quality and integrity of teachers and administrators in our school system, which handed us diplomas having value. We were ready for work or college!

Consider that many students attempting to enter Frederick (Md.) Community College must take remedial English and math classes just to start their quest for a bachelor of arts/science degree.  This prompts the question: What has happened to education here?

Several weeks ago local teachers began protesting rejection of a significant pay raise in the 2013 county budget  by “working to contract.” That means they clock in and clock out; no more, no less than is required in their job descriptions.… Read More

GRAMMAR: “OMG”

By PATRICK COVERT

(Buffalo, N.Y.)–I am a member of the “Internet Generation” so it probably comes as no surprise that I use internet resources for everything from news to shopping, education and entertainment.

I was there when “AOL-speak” took root in the youth of America. I faintly recall a time before “lolz” and “omg” “pwned” us all (for an explanation ask someone mid-twenties and younger.)

Many conversations with my coworker Dave start with, “Since when did THIS language become acceptable?”

Typically our next action is to peruse wikipedia.com® or reference.com® to find the answer. Usually entries have listings for its proper usage, or proper spelling, with a side note concerning “slang” or “common usage.”

The modern world’s lack of concern for basic rules of the English language is a constant irritation.… Read More

JESUS PART III: D.A.R. Tongues Afire!

The Covert Letter is republishing the commentary, “Jesus Part II: D.A.R. Tongues Afire,” as published May 3, 2012, regarding the Daughters of the American Revolution’s revision of official documents, including the chaplains’ Missal. A story this morning by Reporter Todd Starnes on Foxnews spelled out the changes which are now set in stone with the organization headquartered in Washington, D. C.

The name of Jesus has been removed from all literature including poems, songs and other historical writings once referenced in the literature, according to Mr. Starnes. He said the patriotic hymn, “American The Beautiful,” also has been removed because of its reference to God.Read More