Memorial Day 2017

‘The muffled drum’s sad roll has beat The soldier’s last tattoo; No more on Life’s parade shall meet That brave and fallen few. On Fame’s eternal camping-ground Their silent tents are spread, And Glory guards, with solemn round, The bivouac of the dead.’

The above is taken from Bivouac Of The Dead, by Theodore O’Hara. Many plaques in our National Cemeteries display stanzas from the O’Hara poem. I saw verses displayed in Arlington, Gettysburg, Antietam and I think Cold Harbor as well; probably many more.

Memorial Day, which is observed on the last Monday of May, commemorates the men and women who died while in the U.S. military service.  In observance of the holiday, many people visit cemeteries and memorials, and volunteers often place American flags on each grave site at National Cemeteries.  A national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time.

The History of Memorial Day -Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country. The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.   Additional history can be found here.

I visited Fort Snelling National Cemetery this morning in an effort to avoid the large crowds this Memorial Day weekend will bring. Ground crews were working feverishly to get the grounds cleaned up. I heard the rifle volleys at least four times as veterans were still being buried. Many families and loved ones were already visiting grave sites -a very solomn setting over the next few days! RIP


Ft. Snelling National Cemetery

Ft. Snelling National Cemetery


Ft. Snelling National Cemetery (2)

Ft. Snelling National Cemetery (2)


A proud American family - the Rangers!

A proud American family – the Army Rangers! They’re known to take the high ground!


Medal of Honor recipients

Medal of Honor recipients buried at Ft. Snelling


Blue flags designate Medal of Honor recipients

Blue flags designate Medal of Honor recipients. The plaques describe their brave, courageous and selfless actions; they are heros all!


Also see my post on Memorial Day 2016; it includes many original photos, and few words.


  73, de Mike, KEØGZT







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Amateur Radio Volunteers Support 2017 Boston Marathon

Nearly 280 Amateur Radio Volunteers Support 2017 Boston Marathoncomplete story , as reported in the ARRL ARES E-Letter, May 17, 2017. Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) members/volunteers helped with on-site radio communications to coordinate medical services, logistics, and security for this years Marathon which was held on Monday, April 17th -on Patriot’s Day… just weeks ago. The 121st Boston Marathon!  [Note –Patriot’s Day (or Patriots’ Day) commemorates the battles of Lexington and Concord, which were fought near Boston in 1775. Patriot’s Day is annually held on the third Monday of April. It should not be confused with Patriot Day, held on September 11 to mark the anniversary of terrorist attacks in the USA in 2001.]


2017 Boston Marathon

2017 Boston Marathon


We can all remember the terror event of April 15, 2013, when two bombs went off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three spectators and wounding more than 260 other people. Four days later, after an intense manhunt that shut down the Boston area, police captured one of the bombing terrorists, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, whose older brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, died following a shootout with law enforcement earlier that same day. Investigators concluded that the Tsarnaevs, who spent part of their childhoods in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan but lived in the United States for about a decade prior to the bombings, planned and carried out the attack on their own and were not formally connected to any terrorist organizations.( I guess they were ‘unaffiliated’ terrorists, aka just plain old ass holes, and they demonstrate why the Second Amendment is so important.

I think it’s safe to say that the Boston Marathon, and thousands of similar events held across our country every year are no longer the soft targets that they were four years ago. ARES volunteer Matt Knowles, KC1AEI, was among those helping out. “I feel like Amateur Radio plays an important role in the safety and security of the Boston Marathon,” said Knowles. “Our net operators were succinct, clear, and very patient, as we took care of our individual responsibilities on the course. All of the communications volunteers put forth a unified effort on Monday, which made for another successful race.”


2017 Boston Marathon, Edna Kiplagat

2017 Boston Marathon -Edna Kiplagat, of Kenya


While there are no guarantees regarding security at these and other such events, it’s nice to know we can all play a role even if only providing added eyes-on-the-ground/roof-tops, even on streets and sidewalks, or enhanced communications capability. We do what we can do. Don’t just say something, do something if you can! It’s our responsibility!


Jose Sanchez, 2017 Boston Marathon

Retired Marine Sgt. Jose Sanchez, of San Antonio, injured in Afganistan, carries the United States flag, signed by his patrol unit, across the finish line, after carrying it 26.2 miles. 2017 Boston Marathon. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)


Another Wounded Warrior crosses the winners line! 😉

73 de Mike, KEØGZT



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SOTANA, just may help

Summits On The Air, aka SOTA, has been growing in popularity among the amateur radio community in recent years, and I’ve had several posts here in recent months that deal with low-power radio and SOTA.  See the recent article by Bob, KØNR, posted on his blog –The KØNR Radio Site, describing a recent SOTA ‘activation.’

As described, Bob and Alice ‘activated’ the summit by broadcasting/transmitting from the summit to followers below who were ‘chasing’ them (actually their radio signal), and then exchanging some basic information in the process (call sign, location, signal report, power being used, etc.) Some SOTA climbs/activations are relatively simple like this one, others require a bit more climbing and hiking. In the end, all SOTA activity is fun and challenging -mentally and physically, and some even say it’s ‘addictive.’

Many of my long time hiking and backpacking friends are not involved with amateur radio, and are somewhat puzzled with my new interest and involvement as a Ham Radio operator. I’ve gone from miles-hiked per hr. to radio-miles traveled per watt! They know I love backpacking in the high country, and I know they would like this SOTA action if they only gave it a try. But I have to admit, sometimes I do wonder about my new-found interest/hobby, and the time and money it consumes. Recently a friend told me about a new product he thought I should check out –SOTANA.



SOTANA advertisement, courtesy Bob KØNR


It sure sounds interesting. And there’s no warnings about associated blurred vision, headaches, diarrhea or constipation –Hmm! …just may help! Good for the body and soul!

Ya’all have fun in Dayton/Xenia!  [The Annual Hamfest with new product announcements, classroom sessions and a big amateur radio gathering -for you non-radio folks reading 😉 ]

73, de Mike, KEØGZT


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