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NATIONAL NUTTY BUDDY DAY: Delightful Memories

FOREWORD:

My apologies to The Covert Letter subscribers, but we are taking editorial license today to remember that Fayetta Covert Stansbury (Nov. 23, 1954-June 3, 2010) died of a cancerous brain tumor two years ago today. It was a sad day. I was unable to be in attendance with the family at her home or in services in Florida.

Last weekend we featured poignant commentaries, poems and tributes of fallen warriors, marking National Memorial Day. This is no less important to offer. There are no more words I could write to remember my late baby sister than those published here one year ago.… Read More

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: 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:

“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

Drones, Spitters & Flogging Rooms

By Harry M. Covert

We can’t let National Police Week pass without honoring the participants.

This commemoration and celebration drew thousands of policemen/women, sheriff’s deputies, Border Patrol, Secret Service, Marshals and all types of the law enforcement officers and their families to greater Washington.

Honors were for all those who gave their lives in the performance of their sworn duties to protect the public.

I’ve always thought there ought to be code sections in state criminal law that would just be filed as dumb or stupid. These are the types of violations that cause law enforcement the most trouble.

It’s a good thing, too, that use of drones (remote controlled planes and cameras) are being considered for law enforcement.… 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