Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans Day Remembrance

It's Veterans Day in the United States (or as the old-timers would call it, Armistice Day), and it is Remembrance Day for our neighbors to the north.  As such, I'd like to take a moment to honor the brave men and women who have served so proudly in the armed forces.  It is often a thankless job to serve your country, and it's not something you do for money or praise.  You do it because it's right.

I, myself, have not served.  My health and temperament were never up to the task, though I have great respect for those who have sacrificed for the safety and security of America over the years.  While I didn't take up the charge, many in my family have over the years, so I feel obliged to mention them.

Going back to the American Revolution, several direct ancestors served to found this nation, including Conrad Hoyer (7x great grandfather), and John Hubbell (6x great grandfather).

Only known photograph
of Sylvester T. Counts

In the Civil War, my 3x great grandfather Sylvester Tobias Counts was a Corporal with the 1st Company, 42nd Regiment of the Ohio Infantry, while my 2x great grandfather Charles W. Bailey fought for Wisconsin.  Charles' father, William Sullivan Bailey, may have also fought in the war.  Charles Bailey took a bullet in the leg at Gettysburg while repelling Pickett's charge, and Sylvester Counts caught encephalitis, all to preserve the Union and stomp out slavery.  No doubt, I'll get some ribbing from the Rebs for my Yankee Republican ancestors.

Moving on to World War I, my adopted Great Grandfather, Edward S. "Ned" Ingham, took up the charge to stop the Kaiser.  He was rejected by the U.S. Army for having "poor eyesight," so he hopped a ship and volunteered to drive ambulances, and eventually wrangled himself a position with the French Army.  Despite his allegedly bad eyes, he could hit a man-sized target at a mile with his issued rifle (or so the story goes).

The Mighty Eighth!
In World War II, my grandfather, Raymond W. Ingham, served with the 8th Army Air Force, and helped to flatten most of Europe in order to stop Hitler.  My grandmother (Ray's wife) Esther Counts Ingham, served as clerical staff on the Manhattan project, thereby helping to create the first atomic bomb.  And a while back I told you about my cousin, Ned Nelson, Jr., who gave his life as a bomber pilot during WWII.  My wife's grandfather, Harry Roll Short, fought for Canada during the war.

To all the men and women who have served and continue to serve, I salute you!

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