It’s the 11th!

Wow, I’m actually writing on the 11th!

My tribute to the Marines during the Tet Offense of ’68 is marching along…the “tank” is build and I’m working on the “men”.  The tank is a member of the 1st Marine Division, 1st Tank Battalion, Alpha Company that was en route to Hue at the outbreak of the offensive.  I’ve been corresponding with a former Marine M48 tanker who saw action in the Battle for Hue.  It was a pleasure corresponding with him and gaining insight into their operations.  He gave me a few pointers on my M48.  I did take a hit on the name that I stenciled on the 90mm gun barrel; MS JUNE.  I chose June because Heather was a June baby, but the “MS” to quote the old Marine; “did not appear until Gloria Steinem & the sweethearts from N.O.W. had not burned their first bra”.  Other than that he thought the tank was a piece of art and that I did a good job…


My daughter & I took a road trip up to Nashville at the end of June.  She wanted to get away for a few days before school starts in August.  Her husband couldn’t get away, so I used it as an excuse to visit some Civil War National Park sites.  She on the other hand saw some of the Nashville music industry – “Grand Ole Opry”, the “Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum”, “Country Music Wax Museum”, etc.

1st up was Brice’s Cross Roads National Battlefield Site in the upper northeast corner of Mississippi along with Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center – mainly focused on the battles in and around Corinth, MS.  Brice’s Cross Road was not well laid out or organized as other Civil War National Parks.  Not to mention the temperature was over 100!

Next came the bigger one, Shiloh National Military Park in Tennessee.   This battlefield is well laid out and easy to travel & visit the sites.

 Shiloh National Military Park

Then we made our way into Nashville: spent one night in a 5-star hotel a few blocks from the 5th Grand Ole Opry – the Ryman Auditorium (from 1943-73) and the main street where all the honky-tonks were that the greats all hung out at either before or after their show at the Ryman.  As I mentioned we went to the “Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum” which included a tour of the RCA Studio B where Ellis produced over 200 of his songs and other great legends got their start making the “Nashville” sound.  Then we took the tour of the 6th Grand Ole Opry which was built in ’73 because the Ryman was getting pretty old and rundown. 

The picture of Kathleen & I is center stage.  The round circle was cut from the Ryman and set in place to “continue the legend” that current members of the Grand Ole Opry would be able to perform on the same stage as the “Legends” did.  The group that owns the Grand Ole Opry recent bought the Ryman and had it restored.  Concerts are still held there today.

The Grand ole Opry, center stage!

On day four, we headed for Stones Creek National Battlefield Park – southeast of Nashville a smaller park like Brice’s Cross Road, but better laid out 7 organized!  Plus by now the weather is a bit cooler which makes visiting this site a pleasure.

 Stone’s River National Battelfield Fort Donaldson National Battlefield

Our last day of the trip was visiting Fort Donaldson National Battlefield Park – northwest of Nashville.  This battle would bring to Lincoln’s attention of a general who wasn’t afraid of fighting and could win battles – U.S. Grant.  Side note what does the U.S. stand for?  For most it is Ulysses Simpson, but to the southerners it was Unconditional Surrender.  It was at this battle that he penned the words; “No terms except an unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted.”

As we watched the short videos at the different battlefields, I was and still in awe of the sacrifices made to keep this nation together…the mere fact that men would go line abreast and walk/charge into deadly cannon & musket fire for their beliefs, whether to preserve the union or states’ rights.  It still is humbling to walk those hallow grounds.

O’ BTW…my daughter graduated from LSU-S in education and was hired by the school she student taught.  She’ll be teaching Ancient World History.

Unitl next time…

Fly Safe!


3 Responses to “It’s the 11th!”

  1. The Chuck says:

    Ancient World History … my favorite.

  2. Bob says:

    Thank you for sharing a very nice family story. Wishing you many more, and a great rest of 2009. Bob

  3. villagranfam says:

    I found your blog by googling for any new info on the Obama birth certificate issue. I’ve never visited a blog site (I don’t think), and I definitely have never made a comment on one. Your article on the birth certificate issue was interesting and well written. I found something you should look at, at this web site:
    This is one of several articles about a recent murder of someone involved in the passport fraud case in Washington, DC. Scary stuff!

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