|National Cemetery in Elmira, NY|
On Veteran's day I always think of my dad Captain Domenic J. Messere who was a veteran. Dad served in so many different capacities that it is unbelievable to me. He was an original member of the 27th Infantry that was a Federal National Guard started in 1940. He then was assigned to the 108th regular Army Infantry and Signal Corps in Europe, and then he went on to the 1301 Engineers with Patton and still on to the Pacific being in Japan’s waters when the surrender was signed.
When he came back to the states he returned to the National Guard again.. this time with the 208th Tank Battalion serving as second in command of the Armory in Syracuse (This is the one I enjoyed) eventually ending up in the Reitred Reserve attached to the 10th Mountain Division.
As a child I would go with him to when he visited the different Armories (Oswego-Rome-Oneida) when they had special occasions. From his office in Syracuse I can remember looking down to the large room below and watching them drill and practice.
My favorite "Army" memory was the time my brother and I riding in a jeep with his Sargent driving ...at a parade in Syracuse where the Guard had set up communications… We couldn’t believe we were in a jeep!
Dad also took us to Arlington Cemetery and this trip I will never forget. Visiting the graves of men who had died some in battles he fought in. Thousands and thousands of white markers in rows lying in the gleaming sun.
We saw the changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers an occasion that brought tears and sadness to me. To this day visiting a National Cemetery does the same thing.
Dad survived…but so many more didn’t. 600,000 died in the Civil War, thousands and thousands since… all in Wars to end all Wars, which of course can never end.
It is human nature I guess. People can’t get along with their associates or neighbors let alone with other countries and other cultures.
My dad’s ideas in spending time with us and in taking us traveling I think was not to make us rich… but to make us “Cosmopolitan”… This word and view has been forgotten, but today it is a reality in our world that is shrinking because of media and fast transportation…Cosmopolitan – a person of the world – diverse – well traveled- cultured… and understanding in depth the world around us not just our little corner of it.
Here is a video and a clip from a Gordon Lightfoot song I have always wanted to do a video of..maybe I will some day..
The songs of the Wars are as old as the hills,
they cling like the rust on the cold steel that kills
they tell of the boys who went down to the tracks...
in a Patriot manner with the cold steel on their backs..
Listen to the words...it is a trilogy of sorts so follow it to the end..written during the Viet Nam era..it is a treasure telling the truth..straight out..not a protest...