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Saturday, May 23, 2015


by George Salamon

This April 1865 photo shows the graves of Union soldiers who died at the Race Course prison camp in Charleston, which would later become Hampton Park. On May 1 of that year, former slaves gave the fallen a daylong funeral. Source: The Library of Congress via The Post and Courier

"Thus, the men and women we honor this Memorial Day are all those who have served this nation from its founding 239 years ago--since the Revolutionary War, we have lost 1,010,485 men and women in combat--as well as all those who defend us now against the threat of global terrorism." --Robert L. Dilenschneider, The Huffington Post, May 19, 2015

Once it was a  day of memory  to celebrate
The valiant art of war for just cause.
Today we march to bad music,
Civilization's enlightenment a puny seed
As the strong wipe out the weak and
The tyrants of the earth annihilate
Human work and sweat.
From desert in Africa to wheat field in Ukraine
The victors are not liberators
But bitter fear, hunger, fire and death.
On Memorial Days past did wise men speak to us?
Today we hear small men with big voices.
Men who know not what they are
And will not become what we know.

George Salamon taught German at several East Coast colleges, served as reporter on the St. Louis Business Journal and Sr. Editor for Defense Systems Review. He contributes regularly to the Gateway Journalism Review, Jewish Currents and The New Verse News.