Posted by: Jim E | May 30, 2016

Memorial Day…2016…

Last night we watched the National Memorial Concert from Washington DC…we have Memorial Day Concertwatched this special for years, I don’t think we have missed many…it is always good, in fact wonderful in every way…it doesn’t get political, which is hard to find these days…but instead it is directed to the veterans of all wars…and since this is Memorial Day, it is especially pointed at those who have given their lives for this country…and although it is that, it also honors all those who have served and are serving today…it is a well rounded tribute to men and women in uniform…

The stories they highlight are heart-wrenching and powerful, giving stories of those who have served this country…the whole concert can be watched on PBS. and it is worth your time…it is all good, but there were some performances that stood out to me…they emphasized the Viet Nam War last night…those vets are getting old too…but for WWII vets the orchestra played, “Honor” by Hans Zimmer, it is the theme of the movie “The Pacific”…it is a powerful piece of music…

Trace Adkins sang “Arlington”, another powerful song… …emphasizing Arlington National Cemetery and the power of its imagery…

For the Viet Nam vets, they had the Beach Boys singing a medley of songs and then Alfie Boe sang the Bob Dylan song “Forever Young”…that is worth the price of admission…he has a voice for that song…it made me think of all the men and women who have given their lives for our freedom over all the years…they were so young…but Elmquist family WW II 1944it also made me think of my Dad, who served in WWII in the Navy…he was in the South Pacific during his time in service…he was a lucky one, he survived and lived to be  almost 83…but as I think about him today…I seem to see him and my Mom in uniform, forever young…

So as we go about our day, this Memorial Day…let’s not forget those who have gone before us…I honor them today…they said on the Concert last night, that two dozen funerals happen at Arlington National Cemetery every week…and they also happen at National Cemeteries all over the country…my folks are buried at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis, MN…I honor them along with so many others…rest in peace…Fort Snelling 1



  1. thanks Jim. Nicely put as always. Gradually working my way thru the pieces you sent the connection to. Sorry to have missed it…



    • Pete…ya, it is always good…you can see it, if you would like, by going to the PBS website and watch the whole thing…the stories and how they cover them are good…usually the concert has 100’s of thousands watching and taking part on the mall…but it was raining in Washington so the crowd was down…but still a great night of tribute…takes you to highs and lows…patriotism to pathos, if you know what I mean…and without any politics, that’s what makes it so good…they cover Viet Nam, for example, without even mentioning all the protests…and celebrating the Vets of that time without all the negatives of the day…it kinda reminds me of a good-old Golden Valley celebration of our childhood…don’t know if you remember closing one lane of highway 100 (Lilac Drive) from Highway 55 to Glenwood Avenue…rode our bikes all “tricked out” with streamers, “playing cards” for sound, American Legion carrying the Flag, dignitaries…all to celebrate America and the freedom and liberty we have…that happened all over this country, even today…small towns, the Mid-West, who can beat that, I imagine the East Coast small towns are similar…we rode right by one of the old CCC-built roadside parks along “100” (those roadside parks were all along Highway 100, built for another generation of drivers, but used by us too, fire-pits, tables and all…made out of flagstone…they are all gone now, I think they saved one for historical purposes, but the rest gone to road widening, etc.) …you may remember we used to go there for class picnic when we were at Meadowbrook Elementary…we walked up Turners Crossroad, North, down over the railroad tracks and up to the roadside park…played games, ate lunch, I think a bagged lunch, packed by my Mom, Mrs. Jepson and the rest of the “Cooks”…then back to school…that I imagine was our Spring or pre-Summer Break picnic…enough I know…but fun to dredge up some old ground once in a while…Jim E

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