View Full Version : Memorial Day article

bill watson
05-26-2006, 09:33 AM
Just as a change of pace.

Moderators, I may not have it in the right forum.


I got to write the editorial for Monday's edition, too. It should resonate in here and I'll post the link when it's up.

Hope everyone has a safe weekend.

05-26-2006, 10:13 AM
As a former editor and writer, I can only say that was a very well-written piece, and thanks for doing it.

B.C. Milligan

05-26-2006, 03:57 PM
Well said. I sent it to a few friends because it speaks very eloquently the same sort of thoughts I've had.

Thanks for linking it here.


05-26-2006, 04:11 PM
For those of you going to or living near D.C., take the time to go to the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington Cemetary. Watch the Changing of the Guard. That will bring Memorial Day into focus. There's fewer more sobering moments.


05-26-2006, 04:21 PM
This is an admirable suggestion. And without beating the drum too much -- I hope -- you can also join us in honoring them as part of the National Memorial Day parade on Monday.

B.C. Milligan
Company K, First Penna. Reserves

bill watson
05-29-2006, 01:25 PM

Curt-Heinrich Schmidt
05-29-2006, 03:00 PM

Today I am doing something different than our Civil War event.
I am remembering Harry Michaels and Harvey Byler.

Harry Michaels was my grandparents' elderly neighbor when I was growing up. He would come across the yard for a cool drink on a summer's day or to play checkers with me. Or wave out of the tiny window that was above his kitchen sink that faced our side porch and narrow yard.
He was a WWI U.S. veteran who still had pronounced shakes and tremors from Shell Shock, and who had two German Stahlhelms he used as flower pots. That was as much as we knew. He never said anything about the War. No one ever asked. Such things were "not done."

A modern highway project claimed our street and houses, dispersing neighbors. He vanished from my life. Where he went, what happened to him, when and how he died, are not known to me. He had no family, no children. Just his wife's sister who moved in with him after his wife died of untreated breast cancer in the early 1960's.
Now as an adult, I regret not talking to him more when I was a kid other than over a game of checkers or a wave at the small face in the small window. If he would have talked and shared, the questions I could have asked had I not been a kid.

And Harvey Byler...

Here in the next county, Geauga, at the far edge of an Amish Cemetery off of Ohio Route 87 in Hayes Corners, leans the crooked grave stone of Harvey J. Byler. Byler died on May 19, 1944 when his B-24 from the 576th Squadron of the 392nd Bomb Group was shot down over Brunswick, Germany on a mission to destroy the Waggum airfield and plant. Of the ten man crew, five parachutes were seen leaving the plane, but the Germans recovered eight bodies including Byler's.
The military notifed the family he was missing in action. Two years later he was confirmed dead.

This is not that much of an unusual story, except Harvey Byler was Amish. Of the 50 some WWII era Amish who broke with their pacifist views and rejected the core values of their community, roughly half were from Geauga County.

When Byler's coffin was returned to Ohio, he was not eligible to be buried in the local cemetery for his having abandoned the Amish Community. His mother appealed to the local bishop, who ruled that Byler could be buried in the cemetery, but only at its farthest western edge, alone and by himself, and well beyond the main burials.

Some Amish veterans returned and after a few years were allowed to confess their sins, renounce their shameful military service, and rejoin the Community.

I remember you, Harry Michaels and Harvey Byler.

Curt-Heinrich Schmidt