A Bit on Memorial Day 2009

Another ‘StoryCorps’ offering from NPR this Memorial Day weekend.NK Hoe

Allan Hoe was a medic in Vietnam.

His son, Nainoa K. Hoe,  was an infantry officer killed in Mosul, Iraq in 2005 while on foot patrol.

On a visit to the The Wall – Vietnam Veterans Memorial -a few months after his son was killed, something incredible happened there.



Following the Civil War came this order to call recognition for a day of memorials and testimonials.

The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land.  In this observance no form or ceremony is prescribed, but Posts and com­rades will, in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit……

And here – here is yet another story ‘testifying’ to the lack of recognition women have typically received for their contributions, including flygirls this from CNN on women pilots during WWII.

The Women’s Airforce Service Pilots was born in 1942 to create a corps of female pilots able to fill all types of flying jobs at home to free male military pilots to travel to the front.

Eventually 1,102 women completed the program and were assigned to one of 120 bases across the country to start their missions.

Depending on the base, they did everything from participating in ground-to-air anti-aircraft practice; towing targets for air-to-air gunnery practice with live ammunition; flying drones; conducting night exercises; testing repaired aircraft before they were used in cadet training; serving as instructors; and transporting cargo and male pilots to embarkation points.

There was a ceremony when the exhibit opened in Arlington, VA on Nov. 14th of  2008 -“‘the same day the first woman was promoted to the rank of four-star general, the “Fly Girls of World War II” exhibit opened in honor of the first U.S. military-trained women aviators.”  There’s a Cafe Press shop with everything from postcards & posters to ornaments, caps to calendars.

Check this shit out!  Before Dora The Explorer, there was Fifinella – a Walt Disney creation, originally designed for a film adaption of Roahl Dahl’s book, The Gremlins – that was appropriated for use by the WASPs.

During WWII, the WASP asked for permission to use her as the official mascot and the Disney Company generously agreed. Official Fifinella ‘went to war’ and was worn in the form of patches. Some were leather, some were cloth…worn on WASP flight jackets.”

Perfect teaching moment for my 3 year-old granddaughter as well as my 12 year-old nephew, plus a T-shirt.


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