Memorial Day and Trains

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  • Member since
    June, 2009
  • From: Dallas, TX
  • 3,050 posts
Memorial Day and Trains
Posted by CMStPnP on Monday, May 15, 2017 1:44 AM

Approx 6-7 years ago, I met a Marine on a military forum named Howard.   I won't mention his last name as he might be on these forums or the MR Forums. Howard came across as very polite and respectful of everyone, one of the first things I noticed.    

Rarely had any heated disagreements and later as I got to know him, found out he was a former Milwaukee Road engineer somewhere on the Chicago to Twin Cities main and close in to the Twin Cities.    We talked as much as we could about the Milwaukee Road and his fond memories working for the railroad.   I introduced him to HO Scale model railroading and he was both surprised and very happy to find the Walthers line of Milwaukee Road prototype equipment and started a mini-spending spree.   Somehow he came upon a model of the SD-40-2 Bicentennial unit #156.    He discussed his few times it came through MN and he got to sit at the throttle.    Was happy I could help a fellow Vet into the hobby that was also a former railroader.    Later I found out via the Internet that Howard earned the Silver Star in Vietnam via the Marines and a particularly vicious battle.    He never mentioned it and when I brought it up, he didn't want to talk about it as it brought back too many bad memories and after the Milwaukee Road experience Howard did another stint in the Marines in the early 1980's and had to deal with the fallout of the Marine barracks bombing in Beriut.    Howard is retired now and via that military board the board participants put together a small group of people to travel with him East on the Capitol Limited to go see the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C.........he was very grateful for that trip and the people that accompanyied and met up with him.

The only reason I bring this up is as Memorial Day approaches it is important we keep people like Howard in mind and the sacrifices they made for all of us.   Howard, if your out there, thankyou for your wartime service and keep the memories of the Milwaukee Road alive.Smile

  • Member since
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Posted by wanswheel on Monday, May 15, 2017 11:17 AM

That’s fine. As you know, Memorial Day was never supposed to be a particularly happy occasion, but it was only human nature to exploit the opportunity. The old 6-day work week probably contributed, and Congress making it a guaranteed 3 consecutive days off practically sealed the deal to forget the war dead.

  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • From: Northern New York
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Posted by tree68 on Monday, May 15, 2017 11:22 AM

Many of my forebears referred to the day as "Decoration Day."  It was originally set aside as a day to decorate the graves of the Civil War dead. 

As you note, it is now just another three day holiday, during which some are inconvenienced during their drive from here to there by a parade honoring all war dead.

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  • Member since
    December, 2007
  • From: Southeast Michigan
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Posted by Norm48327 on Monday, May 15, 2017 12:42 PM

I see Memorial Day as much more than simply a three day holiday. It is in memory of those who fought for our freedoms and those who gave their all in defense of it.

We who have those freedoms should give thanks to those who sacrificed their lives so we can still enjoy them. There are affronts to that freedom that are constantly assulting us. Some wish to take those freedoms from us and they will not stop till they accomplish their mission or are vanquished. Some of them are postesr here who espouse their beliefs. I've stated mine and disagree with some.

Pick your side. Civil war is near. The difference between liberalism and conservatism wil come to a head shortly.

Schlimm, Regardless of our political differencs  I think my statement  bears weight. I profess to be neutral on most matters, and try try my best to do that but do have to take sides on some. Thanks for understandin the other side of the eqaution.





  • Member since
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  • From: US
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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, May 15, 2017 3:05 PM

Memorial Day was May 30.  And even then it was not universally observed.  When in school at Purdue in 1965 I had a final exam scheduled and held on that date.  It was just another school day, despite the Purdue University Marching Band performing down the road at the Indianapolis 500.


Never too old to have a happy childhood!

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