My blog has been changed to make it more appealing for those who have New England ancestors and want to see the area through photos. Things I’ll include are typical white New England churches, libraries showing their genealogical collection, historical societies, cemeteries, war memorials, in general, anything to do with history.

For four years I’ve blogged mostly about my personal genealogy in New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire), New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. I still will, can’t forget my own roots.

Please check out the labels on the right side for articles. The header tabs at the top are a work in progress.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veterans Day at Arlington National Cemetery

Max Cleland

Many of us celebrate Veterans Day in different ways. We have our traditions, whether it is to go to a cemetery to honor a lost soldier or a loved one, go to a parade, or do something else to celebrate or remember. For many years it has been a day of  looking back for me. The picture above is of Max Cleland, taken by me on a Veteran's Day (either 1978 or 1979) at Arlington National Cemetery. He was the administrator of the Veterans Administration (now called U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs). This was taken after the ceremony which is often seen on TV, and that in which the president and the administrator both speak at this amphitheater, and the president also lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns. I remember this day clearly. The president was Jimmy Carter. I had a press pass and a green ribbon, which would allow me to walk about freely. The reason for my credentials was, as an employee of the Veterans Administration in Washington, D.C., I worked in the film library at that time. This department did all the filming of anything newsworthy pertaining to the Veterans Administration, and the staff needed an extra hand, and photographer. They provided my film, but kept the prints. They did give me two copies of the picture above; note the black border, all developing was done in their dark room.

I knew Max Cleland for three years. He was remarkable to say the least, having lost three limbs in the Vietnam War. His car was designed so that he could drive himself to and from work. He also wrote a book, "Strong at the Broken Places" which he autographed for me. He is still out and about in the country or on TV campaigning for those Democrats running for an office. I wanted to see him a five years ago when he campaigned for John Kerry for President in the next town from me, but it was too cold for me. With his phenomenal memory, I like to think he remembered me.

Along with other things I think of on this day are my days that I worked at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, also in Washington, and my years as a soldier. I have very fond memories of this day.

A good friend was also a photographer, and I was able to keep the picture I took of her.