Morning coffee: Memorial Day

This Memorial Day, Let Us Honor but also Resolve

“But, more important, how can we honor and mourn these troops and all the fallen heroes before them if we don’t, as Americans, resolve that our nation will never again send our men and women into harm’s way in distant lands on a whim, on bombast, on a prevarication. Resolve that if and when we do so — as a last resort and only in defense of our nation and our freedom– we will make sure our troops have the nation’s support and the means and leadership to achieve the mission so that we can, quickly and honestly, claim “mission accomplished” and bring our troops safely home. Finally, resolve that when we do send our men and women into harm’s way, we will take proper care of them when they return, especially of those with physical and mental wounds, and in particular of the dependent loved ones left behind by our fallen heroes.”

Always remember the WMD’s, y’all!

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For Memorial Day, go online to go ‘Go Silent’ and honor veterans

The nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America currently has a page on its website for its Memorial Day “Go Silent” campaign. You can pledge online to go silent for a minute starting at one minute past noon. The online page allows you to name a fallen veteran in whose honor you are going silent. Comments by those taking the pledge and the names of the people they are remembering flash across the screen continuously above a stark photograph of well-worn combat boots. The group is also among the chorus of persistent and strong voices urging the Department of Veterans Affairs to work harder to fix the backlog of veterans’ claims that have some waiting more than a year for benefits. In Los Angeles, it can take an appallingly long 600 days. The Times’ editorial board has urged the government to rectify this situation as soon as possible.

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Memorial Day parade cancelled for first time in 152 years because too few older veterans are well enough to march, younger veterans too busy


image: rogerwilkerson

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Remember and honor all those who are currently serving, those who never returned, and those who came back forever changed.

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Classy bunch up there in Montana

At a GOP convention in Montana this weekend (where Newt Gingrich was the featured speaker), Raw Story reports on a proud display of something labeled “Obama’s presidential library” in the parking lot of the venue: a wheeled outhouse, riddled with fake bullet holes [which] contained a fake birth certificate for Barack Obama… stamped “bullshit.” Graffiti on the outhouse read “For a Good Time,” and listed fake numbers in reference to first lady Michelle Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Montana Republican Party Chairman Will Deschamps said, “It’s not something I’m going to agonize over.”

The outhouse was also a Republican float in the Memorial Day parade.

Presidential Proclamation: Memorial Day ‘a day of prayer for permanent peace’

In honor of all of our fallen service members, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved May 11, 1950, as amended (36 U.S.C. 116), has requested the President issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace and designating a period on that day when the people of the United States might unite in prayer. The Congress, by Public Law 106-579, has also designated 3:00 p.m. local time on that day as a time for all Americans to observe, in their own way, the National Moment of Remembrance.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Memorial Day, May 28, 2012, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11:00 a.m. of that day as a time to unite in prayer. I also ask all Americans to observe the National Moment of Remembrance beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day.

I request the Governors of the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff until noon on this Memorial Day on all buildings, grounds, and naval vessels throughout the United States and in all areas under its jurisdiction and control. I also request the people of the United States to display the flag at half-staff from their homes for the customary forenoon period.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this

twenty-fifth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.

BARACK OBAMA

Read it all…


Over 200 volunteers spent Wednesday planting flags for Memorial Day on the grounds of Boston Common in downtown Boston in honor of those who served and died for our country.  The 33,000 flags represent all of the fallen soldiers from Massachusetts who have died since the civil war.MSNBC

World War II veteran Jesse R. Turner salutes while being comforted by Helen Marie Misel at a display of more than 1700 United States flags in Shawnee, Kan., Saturday, May 26, 2012. Turner served in the Army Air Corps. Photo: Orlin Wagner / AP
World War II veteran Jesse R. Turner salutes while being comforted by Helen Marie Misel at a display of more than 1700 United States flags in Shawnee, Kan., Saturday, May 26, 2012. Turner served in the Army Air Corps. Photo: Orlin Wagner / AP — seattlepi.com


A Marine salutes as motorcycles drive past during the annual Rolling Thunder parade ahead of Memorial Day in Washington, D.C., May 27.

From the President’s weekly address, May 26:

Even as we honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice, we reaffirm our commitment to care for those who served alongside them—the veterans who came home.  This includes our newest generation of veterans, from Iraq and Afghanistan.

We have to serve them and their families as well as they have served us: By making sure that they get the healthcare and benefits they need; by caring for our wounded warriors and supporting our military families; and by giving veterans the chance to go to college, find a good job, and enjoy the freedom that they risked everything to protect.


Rolling Blunder: PALIN’S HAND

Care to guess what she wrote? (click for larger pic):

via @Symbolman & @DavidCornDC

Look at our liberal, lamestream media surrounding her… what veterans? This perfectly illustrates the journalistic standards of America in 2011.

See: To honor Memorial Day, Sarah Palin is crashing a veteran’s event with her politics

thedailyfeed:

Dressed in all black, with a leather jacket and dark shades, the former governor of Alaska arrived at the Rolling Thunder bike rally mounted on the backseat of a chopper driven by a fellow biker chick.

“I love this smell!” the former governor of Alaska hollered, as she relished the moment. “I love the smell of these emissions!”

[“Tease-y Rider,” via The Daily]

Best way to honor the troops…

US fatalities in Operation Iraqi Freedom as of May 27, 2011, 10 am EDT: 4,421 (via)

Memorial Day: deaths of US troops via Jake Tapper

Memorial Day: Honoring and remembering those who serve

Memorial Day is not only a time to remember veterans, but also to honor the 150,000 Americans in harm’s way on three fronts. NBC’s Richard Engel reports. (Nightly News)


inothernews: A member of a military Honor Guard stands at parade rest during a Memorial Day remembrance at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument on the Boston Common in Boston.  (Photo: AP via the New York Post)

Army Spc. Justin Immerso places flags in front of head stones at Arlington National Cemetery in preparation for Memorial Day, in Arlington, Va. Photo Credit: Jacquelyn Martin/AP via the Globe and Mail
Army Spc. Justin Immerso places flags in front of head stones at Arlington National Cemetery in preparation for Memorial Day, in Arlington, Va. Photo Credit: Jacquelyn Martin/AP via the Globe and Mail

“Maybe the best way to honor the fallen… …would be to find more ways not to send others to join them.” (via John Cole Cartoons » In remembrance)
“Maybe the best way to honor the fallen…would be to find more ways not to send others to join them.” (via John Cole Cartoons » In remembrance)


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To honor Memorial Day, Sarah Palin is crashing a veteran’s event with her politics

She wasn’t invited, she’s not endorsed. She just wants publicity because she’s a narcissistic famegoblin:

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UPDATE * * * * * *

…and suddenly, the media didn’t care about Rolling Thunder anymore:

 

 

PTSD and the Myth of WW II

When I posted Abandoned hospitals: Greystone Park State Hospital – Morris Plains, NJ yesterday, under the section “Some History” was this fact:

In just four years after Greystone opened, it was already accommodating around 800 patients in a facility designed for 600. …Patient numbers are believed to have peaked in 1953 with an impressive 7,674 people packed into spaces designed for significantly fewer. An explanation for this dramatic increase can be found in the fact that World War II had ended and left many soldiers requiring treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, which included procedures such as insulin shock therapy and electroconvulsive therapy.

With this being Memorial Day, I was thinking about the many sacrifices that have been made by our service men and women, including their mental health and well-being.

Then I found this excellent post from Progressive Historians:

PTSD and the Myth of WW II

Another myth of good wars versus bad wars is that only the combat veterans from Vietnam suffered lasting adjustment problems; the 1945 vet came home to enjoy prosperity, satisfied with a job well done, and with few qualms about the war…But some suffered an anguish that damaged their lives and that of their families. For some, the stress continues even today.-Michael C.C. Adams, The Best War Ever: America and World War II

When do we let go of the myth that only in “bad” wars do combat veterans suffer from mental wounds? When do we let go of the idea that only weak people are affected by the overwhelming mental stress of combat? Because that myth is killing America’s young veterans today, as witnessed by Ilona’s rec’d diary over at dKos.

But history suggests that the inherent justness of the war cause doesn’t cause or prevent PTSD; if it did, then the “Greatest Generation,” fighting in the Second World War,  would have had no problems, right? Yet they did. Below the fold is a look at how PSTD affected combat veterans in “the Best War Ever.”

Read the entire thing. It’s well worth your time.
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Thank you

To honor the bravery and sacrifice of America’s service men and women and their families

A Memorial Day video tribute:

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Richard Sullivan writes:

Sixty-five years ago my Dad shot this film along Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki, capturing [the] spontaneous celebrations that broke out upon first hearing news of the Japanese surrender.

[LGF]

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Photos of Memorial Day 2009 from Boston.com:

Collected here are a handful of photographs for remembrance, acknowledging some of the men and women who have passed in conflicts from the U.S. Civil War through Iraq and Afghanistan today.

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Soliders from the U.S. Army Old Guard place flags at grave stones at Arlington National Cemetery May 21, 2009 in Arlington, Virginia. It took 1,300 soldiers, sailors and Marines about three hours to place a flag at each of the more than 300,000 gravestones at Arlington ahead of the Memorial Day weekend. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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Visitors walk among white marble crosses at the American Cemetery, in Colleville sur Mer. Traces of World War II can still be found across this stretch of Normandy, on the beaches, in the museums and above all, in the cemeteries where President Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkzoy and some of the last veterans will commemorate the 65th anniversary of the June 6, 1944 landings in just a couple weeks. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)

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Laura Youngblood, widow of U.S. Navy Petty Officer Travis L. Youngblood, touches his gravestone while visiting his grave in Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery during the Memorial Day weekend in Arlington, Virginia, May 24, 2009. Youngblood died of wounds received in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in July of 2005 in Iraq. (REUTERS/Larry Downing)

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Joe Landaker poses at his home in Big Bear City, Calif., with a portrait of his son, Jared, a Marine helicopter pilot who died on his last mission in Iraq. Landaker is among more than 300 volunteers who honor veterans buried in Riverside National Cemetery by reading their names leading up to Memorial Day each year. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

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Evelyn Shepherd of Colonial Beach touches the gravestone of her late husband, Korean and Vietnam wars veteran Clarence Shepherd, during her visit to Quantico National Cemetery in Triangle, Va., on Sunday May 24, 2009. (AP Photo/Aleks Dolzenko, News & Messenger)

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Army Lt. Gen. Benjamin C. Freakley, commanding general of the United States Army Accessions Command, presents an American flag to Heather Jackson the fiance of Army Staff Sgt. William D. Vile, 27, of Philadelphia, Pa., Thursday, May 21, 2009, during burial services at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va. According to the Department of Defense, Vile died of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using direct fire on May 1 near the village of Nishagam, in Konar Province, Afghanistan. Vile was assigned to the 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan. Also holding an American flag at left is Donna Vile, Staff Sgt. Vile's mother. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)

See the entire set of photos here: Boston.com

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President Barack Obama will deliver the Memorial Day address

at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery’s 11th Annual Memorial Day ceremony on Monday, May 31, 2010. A prelude to the official ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m. The official ceremony will begin at 11:30 a.m. All Memorial Day activities will be held at the main flag pole within the cemetery. This event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required.

Memorial Day resources: Department of Veterans Affairs

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Outrageous Outrage in Teabagland: Memorial Day Edition

Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs points out something that has the wingnuts in a particular lather this holiday weekend:

The latest Outrageous Outrage to spill all over the wingnut blogosphere, talk radio, and inevitably Fox News is that President Obama has done something uniquely awful again: he’s visiting Chicago during Memorial Day instead of giving a speech at Arlington National Cemetery as every other President has done since time immemorial.

Oh, wait. What?

In 2002, President George W. Bush was in France on Memorial Day and participated in ceremonies at Normandy (site of the D-Day landings) honoring the U.S. soldiers who fought and died in World War II.

President George H.W. Bush (himself a World War II veteran) attended no ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery during his four years in office. From 1990 through 1992 he spent the Memorial Day weekend vacationing in Kennebunkport, Maine, while Vice-President Dan Quayle laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns.

President Ronald Reagan was away from Arlington on Memorial Day on four occasions during his eight years in office.

If giving a speech at Arlington on Memorial Day is [the] measure of patriotism, then the most patriotic president ever was Bill Clinton. He was at Arlington for every Memorial Day of his two presidential terms.

[Little Green Footballs]

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Abandoned hospitals: Greystone Park State Hospital – Morris Plains, NJ

Motts at Opacity recently posted a new set of photos of an abandoned psychiatric hospital, which he’d previously named the “Verden Psychiatric Hospital” (a pseudonym). This is his fourth set of photos at “Verden” and although he posted the prior three photo sets in 2005, 2008 and 2010, all four sets were shot in September and October of 2005.

Have I mentioned before that Opacity is one of my favorite sites? I love his subject matter but especially appreciate his talent for photography, his ability to artistically capture visual elements (color, shadow, texture) and to suggest mood and emotion.

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Seclusion

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Operating Room

So as I did with the last anonymous hospital I posted (Hudson River State Hospital in Poughkeepsie, NY), I wanted to try and find out what the actual name and location of this abandoned hospital was. After some searching, I think it has to be the Greystone Park State Hospital in Morris Plains, NJ.

According to the website Kirkbride Buildings, this hospital has also gone by the following names:

  • State Asylum for the Insane at Morristown
  • New Jersey State Hospital, Morris Plains
  • Morris Plains State Hospital
  • Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital

See comparison photos between Opacity’s “Verden” and two other websites photos of “Greystone Park State Hospital” (click pics to embiggen):

Opacity vs. Kirkbride Buildings (yellow and blue hallway):

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Opacity vs. Kirkbride Buildings (red hallway):

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Opacity vs. Kirkbride Buildings (boiler room):

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Opacity vs. PreserveGreystone.org slideshow (hair salon – same hair dryers, different angles):

First, two from Opacity:

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Compare with this one photo from Preserve Greystone:

Slide 54 of Preserve Greystone slideshow (my screen shot isn’t great):

Then and now

Preserve Greystone, Slide 9 of slideshow (Women’s Ward circa 1902):

Opacity 2005 (same area?):
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Some history:

Greystone is where the TV show “House” with Hugh Laurie was set at the end of Season 5, beginning of Season 6. The fictional Mayfield Psychiatric Hospital is Greystone Park State Hospital.

House Season 6 trailer:

Wikipedia: Greystone opened on August 17, 1876, the hospital was known as the New Jersey State Lunatic Asylum at Morristown.  …New Jersey’s state-funded mental health facilities were exceedingly overcrowded and sub par compared to neighboring states that had more facilities and room to house patients. Greystone was built…  in part to relieve the only – and severely overcrowded – “lunatic asylum” in the state, which was located in Trenton, New Jersey.

In just four years after Greystone opened, it was already accommodating around 800 patients in a facility designed for 600. …Patient numbers are believed to have peaked in 1953 with an impressive 7,674 people packed into spaces designed for significantly fewer. An explanation for this dramatic increase can be found in the fact that World War II had ended and left many soldiers requiring treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, which included procedures such as insulin shock therapy and electroconvulsive therapy.

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Opacity: Although the hospital still functions, large portions of it were closed as it downsized in the 1970s. The original hospital building was partly decommissioned in 1988, then entirely emptied of people in 2008 to move to a new building nearby. That same year, other buildings on the campus were demolished after they were deemed “irreparable.” The future of the remaining buildings is uncertain, and they are currently vacant and deemed state surplus.

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Woodie Guthrie was a patient at Greystone from 1956 – 1961.
Kirkbride Buildings: On May 28, 1956, Morristown police discovered legendary singer-songwriter Woody Guthrie wandering aimlessly in a daze. After a night in jail, Guthrie was sent to Greystone Park State Hospital and would eventually be diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease—an incurable illness characterized by involuntary movements and a deterioration of mental faculties. For about five years, Guthrie lived at Greystone where Pete Seeger and a very young Bob Dylan were among his many visitors. With some humor, Guthrie referred to the hospital as “Gravestone” and the ward he stayed on as “Wardy Forty” (it being, of course, Ward 40). In 1961, he was transferred to Brooklyn State Hospital, and then to Creedmore Psychiatric Center in Queens, NY five years later. Guthrie remained at Creedmore until his untimely death in 1967.

Some unaired video of Woody’s stay at Greystone:

[Opacity]*
[Kirkbride Buildings]*
[Preserve Greystone]
[Wikipedia]

*Note that the websites Opacity and Kirkbride Buildings both sell prints of their photographs..

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Related:

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