By Edith Morgan
They’re getting older and there are fewer of them; but every year at this time, they are at St. John’s Cemetery on Cambridge Street and other places to put American flags by the graves of those who died in battle. I am referring to our veterans, members of the American Legion, who have for many years put flags by 3,000 graves each year. This year they are getting help from the South High School and the Burncoat High School members of the ROTC.
I can remember many years ago, when there were parades down Worcester’s Main Street, featuring the marching bands of the various services, in full uniform. Many of us lined up along the street waving flags along the sidewalk. But year after year the crowds got smaller, the parades shorter, and the enthusiasm less. It is almost like “battle fatigue,” with so many wars, so much death, so many killed or maimed, year after year, war after war … .
As I look back, I think much of the disenchantment started with the disastrous Vietnam war. And has continued through the many wars we fought, wars whose burdens were not borne equally by all, under the draft, but were fought by a “volunteer army” representing a smaller segment of the American people, often for many years and in faraway places.
I have always strongly believed that, regardless of whether you are drafted, or whether you a a volunteer, we who send you out to fight our battles, to die or return damaged in body and/or soul, deserve quality support and care, for you and your families.
Even when I have opposed some of these wars, I have always believed that it is our duty to properly care for those who returned, as well as those who gave their lives.
So this special day, the last Monday in May, should be given over to remembering these dead, making sure that their loved ones are being looked after and perhaps giving thought to how to prevent the incessant slaughter that makes such a remembrance necessary.
But what I miss at this time is a day commemorating the civilian dead and injured, those in both sides of a war, who are just “in the way” – whose homes are bombed, whose air is poisoned, whose vital services are interrupted and who are not reimbursed for any losses – who are left to the tender mercies of charities, committees or government bureaucracies. They are generally women and children, left to fend for themselves, chased here and there, usually unarmed and uncounted.
I recall one Memorial Day parade in Worcester, when some of us who were members the WILPF (Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom) wanted to join the parade with a large poster enumerating the number of civilian victims of World War II – who outnumbered the military dead about 10 to one. We were told we could not join, and had to walk along the parade route on the sidewalk. If all these wars were fought to “protect” us, the people, then why are we not counted (our numbers are always given in figures – like “60 million died in World War I.” So on Memorial Day, I remember the innocent, the civilian dead, also – and hope we have learned something.
A Memorial Day Water Ceremony will be held at Elm Park at 2 p.m., Sunday
The 129th Memorial Day Observance Remembrance Ceremony will be at 9 a.m. Monday at Hope Cemetery, Webster Street. Meet at 8:45 a.m. inside the main gate for a short procession to the G.A.R. veterans’ section.
Wreath-laying ceremony at 11 a.m. at the Massachusetts Vietnam Veterans Memorial – Green Hill Park.
Korean War Veterans of Central Mass will hold a memorial service at 2 p.m. at the Korean War Memorial Monument – Foster Street.
From PETA.ORG! Veggie yum yums!
Black Bean Veggie Burgers!
By making your own burgers, you can stretch your dollar pretty far and you can completely control the flavor. For black bean veggie burgers, the only real requirement is, well, black beans.
After mashing the beans, you can throw in just about any spices and veggies you like to create a tasty mix for your patty. Try these with onion rings! Enjoy!
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup diced bell pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, minced
2 cups black beans
1/2 cup corn
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. cumin
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup flour
In a saucepan over medium heat, in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, sauté the onion, bell pepper, garlic, and jalapeño for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, mash the black beans, then add the sautéed vegetables, corn, and bread crumbs and mix well. Season with cumin, cilantro, and salt and mix again.
Shape into 6 patties, then coat each in flour.
Place a pan over medium-high heat and add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Cook each patty for about 5 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned.
Makes 6 small patties
‘Spring Into Summer’ Pasta Salad
The words “refreshing” and “filling” rarely go together when describing food. Let’s be honest: Most of the time, food is either one or the other, not both. But with this tasty cold pasta salad, you can have the best of both worlds.
This salad is the perfect dish to take to summer barbecues, potlucks, and get-togethers with friends and family. The recipe is versatile, as you can use the veggies that you (or your guests) enjoy and leave out the ones that you don’t care for. So get creative and dig in!
8 oz. vegan spiral or bowtie pasta
1 cup vegan Italian dressing
Assorted chopped vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, red onions, red bell peppers, carrots, green olives, grape tomatoes, etc.)
Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package.
Strain and let cool.
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
Chill in the refrigerator and serve cold.
Makes 8 servings
Here is the perfect dish … cool, creamy and satisfying potato salad will have even the most carnivorous guests coming back for seconds.
The secret here is to use fresh ingredients, especially when it comes to the dill — none of that dried stuff!
Now get cooking, then sit back and relax as you revel in your vegan infiltration of the neighborhood cookout!
Creamy Dill Potato Salad
3 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 celery stalks, finely diced
1 cup vegan mayonnaise (try Vegenaise)
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1 1/2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1-2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
Place the potatoes in a large pot and fill with enough water to cover completely. Add some salt and bring to a boil. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes, until just tender but not falling apart.
Drain the potatoes in a colander and let cool.
Combine all the remaining ingredients in a large bowl.
Cut the cooled potatoes into 1-inch cubes and add them to the bowl, stirring carefully until coated.
Makes 6 to 8 servings
Super easy, for your Memorial Day get together!
Text and photos by Chef Joey
Caprese salad can be an easy serve or a self-serve!
The Easy Way!
The easy way is tomatoes and mozzarella, over greens, mixed with basil and a balsamic drizzle, olive oil and some salt.
Mini mozzarella balls, cherry tomato and a dusting of basil – speared into a half of a watermelon! Once assembled, SPRAY with an olive oil mister and sprinkle some salt.
EASY! Enjoy! Happy holiday!
From the greatest newspaper in the world:
Frozen Fudge Pops
Amber Fouts for The New York Times
Time: 10 minutes, plus freezing
Yield: 8 small pops, fewer if larger molds are used
These easy fudge pops, with a mix of cream and milk, combine the fun of an ice cream truck Popsicle with the sophistication of a rich chocolate ice cream touched with salt. The key is making sure the ingredients are well-emulsified in a blender. These will melt quickly so enjoy them right out of the freezer.
Featured in: Fudge Pop Perfection.
Chocolate, Cream, Unsweetened Cocoa
6 ounces good-quality chocolate, at least 54 percent cacao
2 cups whole milk
½ cup cream
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Break up chocolate and put into a blender. Bring milk, cream, sugar and cocoa to a light boil and immediately remove from heat. Pour milk over chocolate, add vanilla and salt and allow to sit for a few minutes to soften chocolate. Blend until chocolate and milk are emulsified and the mixture is smooth.
Pour into eight 3-ounce paper cups (there may be a little left over), or use ice pop molds. If using the small cups, place in freezer for about 1 hour before inserting wooden craft sticks so the sticks will stand straight.
Freeze well for 24 hours. Pops may be taken out of paper cups and stored in a heavy freezer bag.
To see more easy summer dessert RECIPES CLICK HERE!
SOUTH WORCESTER: A few days ago I was driving down Southgate Street and saw this very patriotic front yard! Go, inner-city Worcester, go!!!!!!
– R. T.
10 AM – 11:15 AM:
Memorial Day Ceremony and Parade starts at the Paxton Public Safety Complex and finishes at the Paxton Town Common
The parade will celebrate Paxton’s 250th birthday!
and the 150th anniversary of the Civil War’s end
12 PM – 1:30 PM:
Memorial Day Parade in Northboro starts at Civil War Monument and will proceed to the World War II/Korean War/Vietnam War Memorial.
The parade will continue to the First World War Monument and conclude at Howard Street Cemetery Veterans Memorial.
Congressman Jim McGovern, State Senator Harriette Chandler and state representatives Danielle Gregoire and Harold Naughton, Jr. will speak.
Deb wrote this piece for us last year. We re-post it today for all our brave military canines who are working to keep Americans safe and for the beloved “vets” who made the ultimate sacrifice! – R. Tirella
US Military’s war dogs must be reclassified! They are not “equipment” to be discarded!
By Deb Young
Dogs have been an important part of the U.S. Military for decades.
In fact, the only member of the team that raided the Osama bin Laden compound we know anything about is a war dog, named Cairo.
Canines have been used in the U.S. Military ever since the Revolutionary war. These dogs saved lives, boosted morale and have contributed greatly to our fighting forces.
War dogs began their military service working as pack animals. During World War 1, their major task was killing rats in the trenches. One of the most famous WW 1 military dogs was Sergeant Stubby . He was the first war dog to be used on the Western Front, and during his 18 months of service, this plucky, unknown stray dog took part in seventeen battles.
Stubby, was a bull terrier mix, as a small stray he was smuggled aboard a troop ship in France. He served in battles at Chateau Thierry,the Marne and the Meuse-Argonne with the men of the 102nd Infantry.
During his career, Sgt. Stubby comforted wounded soldiers, saved a regiment from surprise mustard gas attacks and even captured a German spy; literally by the seat of his pants.
One night in February 1918, he roused a sleeping sergeant to warn of a gas attack, giving the soldiers time to don masks and thus saving them. Gen John “Black Jack” Pershing awarded him a special Gold Medal. He was given a Life Membership in the American Legion and the Red Cross. He met Presidents Wilson, Harding, and Collidge. He died of old age in 1926. Sergeant Stubby was the most decorated war dog in U.S. history.
Throughout World War II, over 10,000 highly trained military dogs were deployed to serve as sentry canines, scouts, mine detectors and messengers. Many of these dogs were family pets who had been “volunteered” by their owners to serve their country. Today, there are an estimated 2,700 military dogs serving alongside U.S. military personnel. About 600 military dogs have been deployed to Afghanistan and Kuwait. One of their most significant imperatives is sniffing out bombs.
25 Marine War Dogs gave their lives liberating Guam in 1944 and many more served as sentries, messengers, and scouts, exploring caves, detecting mines and booby traps, and bringing vital information across the battlefield.
Nearly 4000 dogs served in Vietnam and saved up to 10,000 American servicemen through their scouting and sentry duties. When withdrawing from Vietnam in 1973, the military classified the dogs as surplus equipment to be left behind during evacuation. Many dogs were left with South Vietnamese allies who were afraid of the dogs and didn’t know how to handle them. Many of the dogs were euthanized, and many more perished at the hands of their inexperienced South Vietnamese handlers. Only a handful of Vietnam war dogs made it back to the United States. Many handlers and trainers who worked with these dogs were traumatized by having to leave their faithful companions behind, stating that the dogs saved their lives and often did more work than they did.
Virtually all breeds of dogs have been used at one time or another. But later, with more experience, the list was narrowed to five: German Shepherds, Belgian Sheep Dogs, Doberman Pinschers, Farm Collies (short coat) and Giant Schnauzers. The vast majority of U.S. military working dogs in recent times are German and Dutch shepherds and Belgian Malinois, breeds chosen because they are very aggressive, smart, loyal and athletic. For specialized roles, detector dogs in particular, other breeds are used. Retrievers (Labrador, Golden or Chesapeake Bay) are the preferred breeds for One Odor Detector dogs.
Military canines complete a 120-day program featuring positive rewards, (with a preferred rubber toy or ball rather than food). It is designed to teach obedience and how to “sniff out” dangerous substances. These dogs become trusted partners and companions to the fellow soldiers with whom they are assigned.Not only can these military dogs smell up to two miles away, they are trained to rappel down buildings, jump out of airplanes and swim long
Although Military dogs are living, breathing animals, the defense department classifies them as “equipment. ”distances.
Approximately 300 dogs a year are retired. But what future do these loyal and courageous canines face once their tour of duty has been completed?
According to the Washington times these canines have been classified by the military as “equipment”. Upon their retirement they fall into the “surplus equipment” category – much like any obsolete military appliance, therefore are not returned back to the United States. While these dogs may not be euthanized, (which was one of the options facing these hero dogs after the war in Vietnam was over), the United States is not willing to defray the cost of the dogs’ return home. Instead they are given away, put up for adoption or even abandoned much the in the same way as a broken Hum-Vee or crashed helicopter.
Being classified as equipment means:
- Retired Military Working Dogs are stranded at their final duty station.
- Military Working Dogs receive no medical benefits after retirement.
- Military Working Dogs receive no recognition for their faithful service.
But it’s the wording of this classification that has bothered dog-lovers across the country, not to mention veterans who have served with these marvelous animals.
And, of course, in our budget conscious environment today, there’s always the cost factor.
However, it is estimated that the dogs could be shipped back to the United States on cargo planes at little cost to taxpayers.
If anyone needed evidence of the frontline role played by dogs in war these days, here is the latest: the four-legged, wet-nosed troops used to sniff out mines, track down enemy fighters and clear buildings are struggling with the mental strains of combat nearly as much as their human counterparts.
By some estimates, more than 5 percent of the approximately 650 military dogs deployed by American combat forces are developing canine PTSD.
Many War Dogs help veterans better manage the invisible and lifelong challenges of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury (PTSD/TBI) by being paired back with their human soldier counterparts . The dog becomes the veteran’s partner in the struggle to achieve confidence, reconnect with their loved ones, and resume normal activities in their communities. In a sense becoming each others life line!
Recently S.2134, (The Canine Member of the Armed Forces Act) was passed by the US House and Senate to honor military dogs, declaring them as Military Working dogs, (of all breeds) and will no longer be classified as “Military Equipment.” Instead they would be returned to Lackland Air Force Base with the classification of “Military Veterans” and in recognition of their service; United States heroes. They will be evaluated, retrained or if necessary, re-homed.
The Canine Member of the Armed Forces Act was amended into and passed in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013. But due to political snafus, the bill’s title was changed to “”Military Working Dog Matters” and their reclassification was deleted to keep them in the “military equipment” category.
This act if passed would include the following.
Section 1 – Short Title
• Designates this act as the “Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act.”
Section 2 Findings
• Explains that military working dogs have served honorably in the armed forces and other government agencies in ways that go far beyond their current designation as “equipment.”
• Notes that military working dogs have prevented injuries and saved lives.
Section 3 – Retirement and Adoption of Military Working Dogs
• Reclassifies military working dogs as canine members of the armed forces and states that they shall not be classified as equipment.
• Authorizes the Secretary of the appropriate military department to transport retiring military working dogs to the 341st Training Squadron or another suitable location for adoption, if no suitable adoption is available at the military facility where the dog is located.
• Authorizes the Secretary of Defense to accept travel benefits such as frequent traveler miles to facilitate the adoption of a retired military working dog.
Section 4 – Veterinary Care for Retired Military Working Dogs
• Directs the Secretary of Defense to establish and maintain a system to provide for the veterinary care of retired military working dogs beginning on the date on which the dog is adopted.
• Directs the Secretary to operate the system through a contract awarded to a private non-profit entity. The non-profit entity would be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the system; no federal funds would be used to operate the system.
• Directs the Secretary to consult with the board of directors of the non-profit to establish standards of veterinary care, including the types of care to be provided, the entities qualified to provide the care, and the facilities in which the care may be provided.
Section 5 – Recognition of Service of Military Working Dogs
• Directs the Secretary of Defense to create a decoration or other appropriate recognition to recognize military working dogs that are killed in action or perform an exceptionally meritorious or courageous act in service to the United States.
Public input is needed to help get the bill passed and signed by the President. It will restore the bill’s original intent; removing their classification as “equipment”, changing it to “military veterans”.
Our courageous military dogs, who are living and breathing animals deserve so much better than being classified as “equipment.”