HEAR YE!!!
HEAR YE!!!
Next Tea Party Friday March 4th

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day 2012 - Spinning Wheel


By: Carla Gade

On this, the last Monday in May, we observe Memorial Day - a time to remember the men and woman who lost their lives serving our country. Originally known as Decoration Day, the name Memorial Day came into use after WWII. The day of tribute was established in 1868 to honor the Union soldiers who died during the Civil War, inspired by the way southern people honored their dead soldiers. Over the years it came to serve as a day to commemorate the men and women killed or missing in action while fighting for what we now call the United States of America.

In our Spinning Room today imagine a group of colonial women gathered preparing their wool and flax for homespun textiles to aid the cause of liberty. Perhaps many, if not all, are longing for a loved one who is away during the war.



Please join the conversation by answering any of the following questions:

Is there a war hero in one of your colonial era novels? Is he/she an historical person or an imaginary character? Can you share briefly how you treated this in your novel?



Do you have an early American ancestor that fought for our country's freedom? Or perhaps someone who has fought in more recent years who you would like to pay tribute to?

One of our commenters today will win a copy of Laura Frantz's The Colonel's Lady, an American Revolutionary War story with a fictionalized happy ending for the hero, Colonel McLinn, inspired by George Rogers' Clark.

34 comments:

  1. On Memorial Day I reflect on, and am very proud of, the military service my grandfather, uncles, father, brother, two husbands, son-in-law, and two sons have given to our country. Our brave service members often deal with the scars of war, visible and invisible, long after their return from the battlefield. It's a day to honor them, and their families who also sacrifice.

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    1. Janet, I have been so blessed to know you personally and hear about your family's military background, which is so impressive. Thank you for being such a wonderful mom, including time as a single parent, to these two boys serving our country now!

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    2. Thanks Carrie. You've been a blessing to me also.

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  2. Carla, thank you so much for introducing this very timely topic! I'm afraid we often forget how abundantly blessed we've been in this country by the heroes, both men and women, who sacrificed their lives to guard the freedoms we all enjoy. We really need to remember their sacrifices and honor them more often as well as to cherish the veterans and servicemen and women who are with us today.

    In my American Patriot Series, the hero, Jonathan Carleton, serves as an officer in the American Revolution. My heroine, Elizabeth Howard, is a courier, smuggler, and spy aiding the patriots. Many real historical soldiers also appear on both sides of the conflict. On the American side are officers such as George Washington, Nathanael Greene, Henry Knox, among many others as well as some of the common soldiers such as sergeants Joseph White and John Greenwood.

    Although I don't have an ancestor who fought in the Revolution, I want to offer a tribute to my father, Alvin Hochstetler, who served in the South Pacific during WWII, and my brother, Donald Hochstetler, who served in Vietnam. I praise God that both survived to return home to their families. So many of their comrades did not, however, and I pray that we'll never forget their faithfulness to duty and their heroism.

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    1. We are blessed that the wars returned so many of our loved ones to us, though many did not come home. My father and husband and many cousins have served our country.

      I think it is a marvelous tribute you have paid in your American Patriot series and that you have included so many real life heroes within the pages of your novels.

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  3. On Memorial Day, I remember my son Ben who is actively serving our great country ( and has for ten years now), making many sacrifices along the way. Huzzah to you, my son—I am so proud of you!

    In "The Road to Deer Run," I patterned the character of the young James Thomsen after my son Ben. James Packard (his real name) was a soldier in the American Revolution who survived the war and settled in Maine, as did many of the veterans who were given land for their service in the U.S. Army.

    The character of Daniel Lowe in the same book was based on my own ancestor, Daniel Prince, who was a British soldier under General Burgoyne. After the surrender at Saratoga, Daniel escaped the line of prisoners and somehow, met and married my 4th great-grandmother, Mary Packard. They settled in Williamsburg, MA and raised 8 children. Daniel Prince did become an American. :-)

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    1. Huzzah, indeed! What a great way to honor not only your son, but the other soldiers you mentioned, including Daniel who I'm sure served with honor as well (but glad he became an American!).

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    2. I'm so glad Daniel became an American as well! ;-) My son is actually the first in the direct line from Daniel Prince to go to war. Such a sobering thought. He now works side by side with our British allies.

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  4. Thank you for this post and giveaway!!

    I have two grandpas that both served as mechanics during wars. One of my uncles is an engineer in the Navy and another uncle is a lawyer in the Air Force.

    It is so important to remember what happened during each war, to remember why we fought. If we forget, history will repeat itself.

    Thank you!
    ks4readin@yahoo.com

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    1. Thank you to your grandfathers for serving. And your uncles, too! You are right about history. My dad used to say that a lot.

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  5. What a great post on such a wonderful holiday. God bless our veterans and their families!

    My great grandfather served in the Marines and I have several friends I went to high school with who are now serving in branches of the armed forces. Including a family friend who is now safely home from his tour of duty in Afghanistan!

    ecriggs1990(at)aol(dot)com

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  6. Thank you for this thoughtful post, Carla, and for reminding me of the reason for this holiday. God bless all those who are serving now and who have served in the past in defense of our country. I offer my prayers for them all.

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    1. Thank you for the reminder that we should continually keep them in our prayers. Blessings!

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  7. In my Revolutionary War novel, The Chamomile, Nicholas Xanthakos fights with Francis Marion's partisans. Lilyan Cameron and Nicholas eventually wed, and she becomes a camp follower. Because I was never taught about the role of women in the Revolution (except for Dolley Madison, Betsy Ross, and Molly Pitcher), it's become a passion of mine to make sure that my writing will highlight their contributions, especially those of SC backcountry women. One such woman was Rosanna Farrow who lived in the SC upstate. She road on horseback through the wild backcountry to negotiate with the British for the release of three of her sons, trading two British prisoners for each son. She told the British, "I have given you two for one, but understand that I consider it the best trade I ever made, for rest assured, hereafter the 'Farrow boys' will whip you four to one.”
    I'd like to honor my father John Ford, now deceased, who was a major in the US Army and served with the 101st Airborne in WWII. My brother, John Ford, Jr., (West Point, class of 1966)was a Lt. Col, and served two tours of duty in Vietnam. My husband (at the time my fiance) was a Sergeant E6 who was drafted and served in Vietnam. God bless them and all our military men and women and God bless the USA.

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    1. God bless them all, Susan! What a rich military history your family has. I think it is wonderful how you are paying tribute to the role of women who were active during the American Revolution. Very interesting to hear about, especially that Mrs. Farrow!

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  8. Beautiful post, Carla. And a million thanks for the giveaway, Carrie, too. I've become more aware since researching the Revolutionary War (and other wars) just how much we owe those who gave their lives, fortunes, reputations and more to win the freedoms we continue to enjoy.

    In The Colonel's Lady, my hero is a Revolutionary War soldier modeled after George Rogers Clark. What I didn't mention in the novel is how Clark funded most of his own endeavors for his country and was never repaid or given the credit he was due. Thankfully, his bravery and fortitude and overcoming impossible odds lives on today. I remember him and many others who have fought and died since today.

    Bless you, Carla, and others here for the reminder of why today is so very significant.

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    1. I enjoyed so much reading The Colonel's Lady. It brought the war to life for me. The life inside the fort and in battle. I cherish that story. Clark (and McLinn)remarkable men!

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  9. My ancestor, Johan Rousch, also known as John Rousch or Rausch, was father to ten sons, nine of whom served in the American Revolution. His daughters also were married to men who fought for our freedom. I wrote a MS inspired by Johan.

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    1. My father was a WWII vet, as were his three brothers. He was National Guard and in Arkansas when Pearl Harbor was bombed. From there he went on to the army and served out the duration of the war. The teacher on Saving Private Ryan reminded me of my dad - looking after the younger men like my dad tried to do, having been the oldest on. But more haunting was the PBS Battle of the Bulge documentary. My father served in every major European battled and had his birthday during that. He'd been wounded and in England when called (a sharpshooter and scout) back to the front. His father was dying and they did not send him home despite him having enough "points" - he never forgave the doctors for that. After watching the documentary, I "got it" and it was devastating looking at the footage of those young injured men.

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    2. That is remarkable, Carrie, to have had so many ancestors who served in the Am. Rev. What a heritage. You must be quite proud of your father's service to our country as well! I mentioned in a comment that my great uncle Phil was also in the Battle of the Bulge and a POW. I've done some research on that and it is just amazing. I've found some actual video footage online and it touches my heart. Tough times and PTSD for many of them.

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  10. Wow, what stories you have told today.

    My uncle Billy Rhea died over the Pacific during WWII. He was a pilot with those blue eyes all pilots seem to have, twenty years old. I wish I had known him.

    My cousin served in Afghanistan and is now back in the States. Every young man or woman who is in the military these days is a hero in my eyes. They risk so much. Their life, health and future dreams.

    I do have relatives who fought in the AR but need to go back into the genealogy to find them. But I still always think of my worn copy of Johnny Tremain when it comes to reading about those who sacrificed for the creation of our country. That book and Williamsburg made me a colonial fiction fan forever.

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    1. I am sorry your uncle didn't come home, Julie. Your poor grandmother! And then you have all those family events missing a family member. Glad your cousin came back okay. I bet lots of people have Am Rev ancestors if they'd look a little. Not my hubby, his family on both sides were immigrants in the late 19th century.

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    2. JULIE!!!! Do you feel like a Revell book winner today? Because you are! You won Laura Feagan Frantz's "The Colonel's Lady" on the Colonial Quills blog! Congrats!

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  11. Thank you all for joining us this Memorial Day.

    Many of my early New England ancestors fought proudly for our country's protection and freedom beginning with those who fought in the Indian wars in the 17th century including my 10th great grandfather Maj. Charles Frost who was head of the Maine Militia. On July 4th, 1697 he was ambushed and killed by Indians on the way home from church exactly 47 years to the day that he began his long personal battle against the Indians for kidnapping and murdering his mother and sister. His story is one I hope to write about someday.

    Others fought in the French and Indian War. My great-great-great grandfather, George E. Currier, fought in the Civil War. My great uncle, Philip C. Walton survived WWII, although during the Battle of the Bulge he was captured and held as a prisoner of war. I'm blessed to have a copy of his remarkable memoirs.

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    1. CARLA, we have to find our mutual Frost and Fancett connection. Wow, what a powerful story that would be. PLEASE write it!!! I wonder if your uncle ever came alongside my dad. I think one or more of his brothers, my uncles, were in it, too, and he never saw them - different units.

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    2. We'll have to check into that Carrie!

      My uncle was in the 110th infantry, 28th regiment. Amazing that your dad and uncles all fought in the same war. What a sacrifice for the whole family.

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  12. Wonderful post Carla, and thanks for providing opportunity for so many to share their persona stories, whether family or fiction.

    I seem to have fictional heroes AND real ancestors fighting on the "other" sides of two of our most significant wars. My maternal ancestors fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War, some of them in the 14th Virginia Infantry.

    In my debut novel are many veterans of the Revolutionary War on the New York frontier, a particularly brutal arena during that war. I've taken pains to portray them with the physical and psychological scars one would expect (and a few one might not), after coming through that terrible time.

    One of my heroes, a young Mohawk man, fought with the war chief, Joseph Brant, on the side of the British, while several other characters, all fictional, are militia veterans of the Battle of Oriskany.

    My father is a veteran of the early years of Vietnam. I didn't learn about this until I was grown, and he was finally allowed to talk about it.

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    1. LORI, was your dad Special Ops? My cousin's husband had the same thing - not allowed to discuss until some certain point or time.

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    2. Lori, I'm anxiously awaiting the opportunity to read your novels as I'm sure you portray your soldiers with great dignity and accuracy. How blessed we are as authors to have the opportunity to make a small contribution in remember the men and women who served in this way.

      I, too, have a few lines of Tories in my family tree. Not sure if they served or not though, but they did all move to Canada.

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    3. It was difficult for many to talk about their time served. My uncle talked little about his time, but am glad he did record his memoirs so we could understand and appreciate (at least somewhat) what he went through on our behalf.

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  13. My family has always been a military family in every generation someone has served. My great great great was in WWI, my great great uncle was in WWII, my grandfather was in the in the Navy during the Korean war. My great uncle was a Marine during vietnam. I had a uncle in the Navy and another in the army. My dad went into the Marines right out of high school in the early 80's and saw combat three different times.

    I have three cousins serving now and I am thankful for all of our service man and woman past and present. Those who gave some but especially the ones that gave all.

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    1. Thanks for sharing that with us, Carissa. You must be very proud of your family with that great heritage!

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  14. Doing some genealogy research today and at last discovered my many times grandfather, Ebenezer Eaton of New Hampshire who was a Revolutionary soldier, ranking corporal, in the Northern Continental Army. He thankfully survived the war, his children being born after his several terms of service. Huzzah!

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  15. JULIE is our winner of The Colonel's Lady, paperback, by Laura Frantz! Congrats and thanks to all for sharing in the Spinning Wheel!

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