The unvoiced thoughts and ideas of a septegenarian.


Memorial Day seems an appropriate time to write of something memorable. I have a lousy memory but for some reason I cannot fathom I remember the lyrics to hundreds of songs.  I’m also an avid fan of the Chicago Bulls and it upsets me greatly if I miss the first few minutes of any game being telecast. – not because I’ve missed the tip- off but because I’ve missed hearing our National Anthem sung.  I have no idea why I am drawn to songs about our country but waves of nostalgia wash over me when I hear them.




Have never been political,

Knocked on doors, made campaign phone calls,

Worn political buttons, stuck slogans on my bumper.

Haven’t seen a fraction of this country.

Know little about Adams or Jefferson

Our Civil or Revolutionary wars.


I’d never host a Fourth of July party,

Don’t own a flag,

Think it’s crazy to close schools on Columbus Day,

And Valentine’s Day is only for chocoholics.

I willingly skip holiday parades.

Thanksgiving is no more than a turkey.

But I wouldn’t miss rooting for theU.S.

When the Olympics are in play.


I’ve only to hear “Amber Waves of Grain

Home of the Brave,SweetLandofLiberty”

And my eyes become misty.

“This Land Is Your Land, This Land Is My Land,

The Stars and Stripes Forever,

I left My Heart inSan Francisco,

Chicago,Oklahoma,New York,New York”

Gladdens my heart.


I can still recite a poem learned in childhood:

“Breathes there the man with soul so dead,

Who never to himself hath said,

‘This is my own, my native land’

Whose heart hath ne’er within him burned

As home his footsteps he hath turned,

From wandering in a foreign strand!

Boundless his wealth as wish can claim,

Despite those titles, power and pelf,

The wretch, concentered all in self,

Living, shall forfeit fair renown,

And, doubly dying, shall go down

To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,

Unwept, unhonored and unsung.”  (Sir Walter Scott)


I haven’t the foggiest notion what ‘pelf’ means but I am grateful not to be that wrench, and wouldn’t recitation of that poem on Memorial Day be in keeping with the purpose of the day?


I often wonder where immigrants find the courage

To wave goodbye to the land of their fathers,

Cradle of their youth.

Bid farewell to family and friends,

Venture forth in search of freedom.


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Julie Rose






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