(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY MEMORIAL DAY, MAY 27, 2019) — Nothing long or ponderous today, just a remembrance of all veterans who died in service to the country. THE PLANET offers our respects and honors for their sacrifices, for which we shall ever be grateful.

Probably few if any of those who died would have thought of themselves as heroes or in heroic terms, but the ones who came back would tell it differently. The somber simplicity of the notes in “Taps” capture well the proper mood of this day. If you let them, the notes shrink to proper size the daily cares that we blow out of proportion, rightsizing our priorities. What is important in life? For what and whom do we give thanks.

This weekend, The Wall Street Journal ran a terrific piece about Medal of Honor winners. The ranks include the 72 who are still alive. Those interviewed spoke of the terrible burden of that medal, which often is a reminder of the worst day of their lives. Medal of Honor winners can’t shake the events that led to the honor. They came back alive. Each has a possession — hauntings, really — of the dead that populate their stories. May they find peace.

That’s it. Keep in mind at some point the reason why you have this off-day. If done properly, it will refresh your spirit and let your soul take a kind of pure oxygen, rarified air born of strife and our inability as humans, after all these years, to truly realize and live by the words: Love one another.

THE PLANET asks one thing today: Please restrict your comments to Memorial Day. That is our topic. STAY ON TOPIC, please, as part of this honoring.

Happy and safe keeping, my dear friends.


“It’s not something you can ever put down”Ed Byers, 2016 Medal of Honor winner



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  1. Jonathan Melle
    May 26, 2019 at 5:35 pm #

    Happy Memorial Day! God Bless America! Thank you to all who have served our great country in the U.S. Armed Services.
    – Jonathan Melle

  2. Mr. Fritz
    May 26, 2019 at 7:00 pm #

    Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure our liberty. Thank you to those who serve or have served in the U.S. military to protect our freedoms. May God continue to have mercy on our country!

  3. Ron Kitterman
    May 27, 2019 at 1:17 am #

    There’s a sort of awkwardness to being a hero.
    The real hero’s are the ones who made to ultimate sacrifice.
    or the ones who suffered the injuries of war – losing a limb or their eye sight. or the unseen scares of addiction to drugs or alcohol to ease the pain.
    Yet, years later we’re the ones celebrating – Cookouts- grilling – unofficial start of summer and all that
    The day after the V-J celebration was declared a holiday at City Hall by Mayor Fallon. Almost all stores and offices gave their employees the day off. Whether they did or not, most of their employees took the day off. The General Electric and other larger factories granted their workers a two-day absence.
    In 1947, recorded 5,761 names. This was a large number for a community of Pittsfield’s size, representing more than a tenth of the population. The names of the city’s sons and daughters who died in service—197, in all—are preserved in the Book of Memory, also in the Athenaeum.
    The response from Pittsfield’s Police Chief John Sullivan seems almost comical in our PC world.
    There were reports of armistice for several days so when the official word came it was sort of anti climatic when the official word came. The celebration was orderly with few serious incidents and few arrests, one reason is Chief Sullivan declared, the bars and saloons should be shut tight,
    principally because so many women frequented them. In those days it was almost exclusively masculine saloons, and “ I don’t need to tell you that a drunken woman in a parade is dynamite “
    Anyway, have a great memorial day!

    • danvalenti
      May 27, 2019 at 6:48 am #

      Great comments. Thank you.

    • Thomas More
      May 27, 2019 at 9:52 am #

      I was 11 yo and I was there that afternoon and evening. Pittsfield has never seen such a celebration. We rode on the running boards of strangers cars on North and South streets and the whole scene was wild. I had 2 brothers in the war both entering at 17. Three neighbors were killed. As a child I didn’t realize the gravity of it. I later put in a few years but was too young for Korea and two old for ‘nam. I remember MacArthur’s farewell speech, “old soldiers never die”. He was so spot on, young soldiers die.

  4. Johnny Absurdo
    May 27, 2019 at 1:21 am #

    I thank and respect all veterans. For those still alive I hope you have found a way to deal with wounds both physical and mental.

    I have to add that it bothers me immensely that much of the suffering of veterans and their families comes as a result of unnecessary conflict which America chose to engage in for all the wrong reasons. I am not talking about the world wars.

    And to any current or future armed services member if you choose not to fight in a senseless unnecessary war you have my blessing and respect.

    And for context, I speak as one who participated in one of these ridiculous absurd and totally unnecessary wars.

  5. Joe Bloe
    May 27, 2019 at 6:52 am #

    Thank you to all the veterans of the United States of America. Thank you for the cost you paid the ultimate price so we could live in freedom and safety. Thank you that we have the freedom to pursue happiness, we have freedom of speech, we have all the freedoms other people only dream of. And sorry that some of us take these freedoms for granted.

  6. CC The Maze Sun
    May 27, 2019 at 7:10 am #

    Remember who you are. Be in touch with your higher self. Wake up. Finish the run.

  7. The school committee
    May 27, 2019 at 7:27 am #

    May our military be treated with the same respect a lawful gun owner must treat his own gun.Lock it up and never wave it about and never use it to threaten anyone.May we honor them today.May we remember who really fights wars.

    • X-Lachs Lounge
      May 27, 2019 at 5:14 pm #

      A really stupid comment TSC.

      • Mad Trapper
        May 28, 2019 at 6:24 pm #

        Our Vets fought even to protect stupid morons like TSC for freedoms they do not understand.

        If the 2nd falls, so will the rest of our RIGHTS.

        Meanwhile, people like TSC ,will use those freedoms, to dinigrate patriots at their will.

  8. Pat
    May 27, 2019 at 8:17 am #

    Thank you to all our veterans!!! Have a happy, peaceful day everyone!! Get along with your neighbors by being respectful.

  9. Bill Sturgeon
    May 27, 2019 at 9:35 am #

    Excellent post for Memorial Day! So many young people never got the opportunity to grow old!
    Thanks again Dan for remembering the real meaning of Memorial Day!

    • danvalenti
      May 27, 2019 at 6:51 pm #

      Thanks for the comment. Thanks for your service. Good man.

  10. Reignbow
    May 27, 2019 at 10:07 am #

    It was a nice a Memorial Day celebration honoring our Vets,everyone involved. Great speeches by John Harding and Craig Gaetani ! Well done .

  11. Johnny99
    May 27, 2019 at 10:27 am #

    Thank you Dan and very well said. Veterans Day is for honoring veterans many of whom never saw conflict but of course plenty did. Today is about honoring and remembering military members who died in war. Remember always that more Americans died in the Civil War than all the others combined. Let us stand united as the greatest nation on earth, even as we remain divided in our politics.

  12. M Frew
    May 27, 2019 at 11:13 am #

    Thank you for your service Bill. Great Show l

  13. 12 Gauge
    May 27, 2019 at 5:17 pm #

    Many veterans from many wars suffered death and terrible injuries. God bless them.

    • danvalenti
      May 27, 2019 at 6:54 pm #

      Yes, the ones who came back with injuries, many of them horrific, must live with it everyday. God bless them, indeed. May they find strength and resolve. We can never walk in those shoes. We can never TRULY know. This includes physical injuries but also mental, emotional, psychological, and spiritual.

    May 27, 2019 at 9:23 pm #

    I lost my Dad (mentally) to the South Pacific and my Uncle (physically) in Europe.

  15. Paul
    May 28, 2019 at 3:46 am #

    Armed Forces Day: A day when we honor our active duty military.

    Veterans Day:. A day when we honor all who have served in the Armed Forces.

    Memorial Day: A day when we honor those that made the ultimate sacrifice of losing their life in defense of our country.

  16. Van Jonz
    May 28, 2019 at 10:36 am #

    Thank you for Veterans for the great sacrifice.

  17. Mad Trapper
    May 28, 2019 at 6:12 pm #

    Thank God and bless all our Vets for their service and Americans freedom.

    My Dad was 8th Air Force.

    I watched a lot of 12 O’clock high and Audie Murphy this weekend……

    I’m so sorry for the Vets that have come home, alive, only to be pizzsed on and mistreated.