Memorial Day – The Eagles of Merritt Island Veterans’ Center

Today’s birds are beautiful works of art , eagle statues from the Merritt Island Veteran’s Center Memorial and Museum exterior courtyard area. The paved square outside is flanked with memorials of various wars and is a work in process. One of the most recent is the memorial for the Military Chaplains who served. This of course is important to my family as my paternal grandfather was a Colonel and Chaplain and served in WWI and WWII. I also have a nephew who serves today in the marines/navy as a Chaplain.  These images focus mainly on the eagles although I did have an image of their Korean Memorial to include. The Korean War was my father’s first war time duty as a young Lieutenant fresh out of West Point. As the story goes my mother had just hung her last curtain at their quarters in Fort Benning when Dad received orders to leave immediately for California to board a ship, The Sultan I believe, bound for Korea.  Mom had to pack up and Dad’s 17 year old brother came and drove my mother back to Fort Hamilton, NY to be with her parents while Dad was in Korea. There was to have been 6 months of training first but we sent over many young soldiers with little preparation as Dad found once he arrived and began his tasks. They’d been together just long enough to be expecting yours truly. Dad’s tour was rather extended in Korea and he arrived back home just in time for my first birthday. I have many wartime letters exchanged between my parents about sweet things like choosing my name and longing to be home and together again .

My father was one of the founding fathers of the Merritt Island Veterans’ Center and Museum where these birds grace the places of remembrance for the soldiers of many wars. I refer to it in my eulogy post for my father which I shared HERE. This place was very dear to his heart.

 

So many times when Memorial Day or Veteran’s Day comes around many poignant war poems just spring to mind. This poem was written by Alan Seeger who was born in New York on June 22, 1888 and died in WWI in 1916 on July the 4th. This one always seems to break my heart and is just as poignant over 100 years later as the day he put his thoughts on paper.

I Have a Rendezvous with Death

I have a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
When Spring comes round with rustling shade
And apple-blossoms fill the air.
I have a rendezvous with Death
When Spring brings back blue days and fair.

It may be he shall take my hand
And lead me into his dark land
And close my eyes and quench my breath;
It may be I shall pass him still.
I have a rendezvous with Death
On some scarred slope of battered hill,
When Spring comes round again this year
And the first meadow-flowers appear.

God knows ’twere better to be deep
Pillowed in silk and scented down,
Where Love throbs out in blissful sleep,
Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,
Where hushed awakenings are dear…
But I’ve a rendezvous with Death
At midnight in some flaming town,
When Spring trips north again this year,
And I to my pledged word am true,
I shall not fail that rendezvous.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With grateful thanks to all who have served and stood in harms way so that we might remain safe and free.

 

Judy

 

Links to the Merritt Island Veteran’s Center and Titusville Veteran’s Cemetery:

Merritt Island Veteran’s Center:       http://veteransmemorialcenter.org/

Titusville Veteran’s Cemetery:         https://www.friendsofthecemetery.com/

Both sites offer information about the organization and a Donate link if the cause touches your heart.

 

 

 

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~ by Judy on May 26, 2019.

9 Responses to “Memorial Day – The Eagles of Merritt Island Veterans’ Center”

  1. All of this combined made a perfect post for the weekend, Judy. I’d forgotten that poem — truly heart-breaking — and it was nice to read again about your father’s service, your parents’ sacrifices, and the later involvement of your dad with the Veterans’ Center.

    The sculpture are remarkable. I would not, under any circumstances, want the eagle in that third photo headed in my direction. I’d forgotten that the 101st Airborne was called “The Screaming Eagles.” That statue certainly brought it to mind!

    • I had been meaning to show those eagles for awhile. These particular pictures I took at the Veteran’s Center when they paid their respects to Dad and had the caisson there. His ceremony coincided with the announcement of the new Chaplains Memorial Celebration which was perfect as Dad’s Dad was a Chaplain. So the two on the same day was so fitting. The Chaplain ceremony was planned, Dad’s not so planned but maybe meant to be.

      The eagle sculpture there are certainly most beautiful. Being a bird nerd as you know, I enjoy the sheer detail and grace they put into the work. Yeah, I agree on the third image…..wouldn’t want that zeroing in on you for sure!! Called bird of prey for a reason….good symbolism of freedom and power!!

      Yeah on the poem, That young soldier left us something beautiful, real and enduring in those words.

  2. Beautiful birds, beautiful statues … and as you know, I’ve a thing for eagles. And moving poem. And a beautiful post. All in all …. beautiful.

    • You will be glad to know I finished Part 5 of book 4 before I worked on that post!!! Wow on Part 5…still dwelling on it all. Glad you enjoyed those gorgeous sculptures!! Grace and power!!

      • Hey, brilliant. Await the completed questionnaire.
        The rewrite of Book 5 goes apace, but I doubt it’ll be ready before end of July.

  3. What a wonderful tribute to those who fought for our freedom. The poem is beautiful.

    • It does seem that some of the best poetry comes out of times of trial when we turn our realities and fears and feeling into words. Thanks for paying me a visit here, I’ve been so absent of late and always enjoy getting caught up with everyone again.

  4. That’s a great statue reminding us not to take our freedoms for granted!

    • It is a great bird sculpture for certain. I’ve visited the center many times without my camera and every time I’d see that bird I’d marvel at what a good job the artist did with making it live. I find after I started taking pictures of bird and watching their daily activities, I began to appreciate art like this even more. Thank for stopping by and yeah, I do think we need reminders as daily life has its own demands and it is good to look back and be thankful.

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