Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Saluting Our Veterans ~ Saluting the Fallen


https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fort_rosecrans_cemetery.jpg
with the aircraft carrier USS Midway (CV-41) in the background.
(Where Jim's grandparents are buried.)

If you Google a timeline of war, you will clearly see that human beings are warlike creatures, who are constantly in conflict with each other somewhere in the world. Peace is a rare and treasured state that is all too easily cast aside if we feel wronged or threatened. I’m sure you’ll agree that although this is the case, the constant striving to learn, to change, to break that violent cycle and move into a state of balance and peace, where differences can be worked out by non-violent means, is the ideal.

Looking back, though, we are trailed by death and destruction in every era. Even our generations of peace-loving and conscientious objecting Quakers couldn’t avoid getting caught up in the American Revolution and Civil War as the fighting swirled around them. Not willing to take up arms against their fellow man they provided food, supplies, shelter, abolitionist zeal, and medical aid to those who did. Like our Quaker ancestors our most recent generations have chosen not to join the military.  They are peaceful and more interested in the arts than the art of war ‘and I say’ (to quote the Beatles) ‘give peace a chance’ – Good For Them! – It is with these younger generations that we as a human race can begin to break that terrible cycle of war.
Still, humans are aggressive, war-like creatures and no peace is kept without vigilance and for that we are forever grateful for a strong, well-equipped defense.  Looking back on American conflicts we had brave men in most of them from King Phillip’s War to Vietnam.  And, along with them countless women and children were left behind to run the farm and keep the home-fires burning. I’ve drawn up a sampling of veterans from our family history to salute.
Family, I hope you will take a moment on this Veterans Day to thank each of them for the time they served – the men and their wives and children. . .

Vietnam         
Ron, Capt. USAF

WW II
Lyle B Shaffer Jr, 1 Lt US Army
Lloyd E Disney, Radioman RM3

WW I
Lyle B Shaffer Sr – Wagoneer, Hospital Corp (Grandfather)

Civil War
David Shaffer - Union – E.I. Ohio (2nd GG)
William C Cullins – Union, Hospital Corp. (2 GG)
Lorenzo Archer – Union, McKeag’s Battalion, PA, Infantry (2 GG)

William Beer – Union, I 1 PA Cavalry & H & I 2 PA Cavalry (Ron – Great Grandfather)
Charles T Neuhard – Union, D 177 PA Infantry (Ron – 2nd Great Grandfather)

James Hoyt DeLoach – Confederate, D Georgia 61st Infantry, 2nd Lt. (Mike – Great Grandfather)
David Daniel DeLoach – Confederate, Company K, Georgia 47th Infantry Regiment, Private (Mike – Great Grandfather)
Moses J. McElveen – Confederate, Co. D, 5th Reg. Georgia Cavalry, Private (Mike – 2nd GG)

War of 1812
John Cullins – Russell’s Battalion, Ohio Militia, Private (4th GG)
Job Meredith – 2nd Regiment (Evans) Virginia Militia, Private (5th GG)

Post-Revolutionary Volunteers
Matthew Wing – 1st Claiborne’s Regiment, Militia, Mississippi Territory (6th GG)

Revolutionary War
James Draper – 3rd Regiment, South Carolina, Private (6th GG)
George Beatty -  Pennsylvania, Adjutant (5th GG)
Ebenezer Wheeler – 1st Regiment, Massachusetts, Private (5 GG)
William Jay – Pennsylvania, (7th GG)

French and Indian War
Joseph Rogers – 1st Regiment 8th Company Connecticut Volunteers (6th GG)

King Phillip’s War
John Jay and Mercy Bartlett Jay - Civilians

King Phillip’s War  [Just in case you thought New England tribes were peaceful (ala Thanksgiving).]  Our ancestor’s paid for their land with their blood in New England, New York, Georgia, the Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. The natives didn’t go peacefully. Atrocities were committed on both sides. This bloody history was scrubbed from our history books and a much milder version presented to us as elementary school children.

The war [King Phillip’s] was the single greatest calamity to occur in seventeenth century Puritan New England and is considered by many to be the deadliest war in the history of European settlement in North America in proportion to the population. In the space of little more than a year, twelve of the region's towns were destroyed and many more damaged, the colony's economy was all but ruined, and its population was decimated . . . More than half of New England's towns were attacked by Native American warriors. King Philip's War began the development of a greater European-American identity. The colonists' trials, without significant English government support, gave them a group identity separate and distinct from that of subjects of the king.” - Wikipedia

We have many more veterans than those listed above, it is just a sampling. We are left with a deep appreciation for them . . .and the awareness that we are the end result of generations of survivors. These are the men who returned from war to father children and create more generations. And it leaves us with a deep sadness for the thousands upon thousands of bodies left behind, snuffed out, and ended – never to contribute to future generations. To them we owe reverence and respect, sorrow and regret. What would the world be if all the rows of tombstones in all the National Cemeteries were blank? What changes might have been made if Obediah Smith or John Jones had lived? We’ll never know – but we salute you – we survivors. We hope we can do better with our present and our future. Peace.

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