Honoring and remembering my family members who served our country. Both my grandfathers in WWI, my father, my uncle and father-in-law during WWII and my brother during Vietnam. They were the fortunate ones that returned home while so many others were lost in fields and seas across the globe. And, on our own soil.
HISTORY LESSON: Since my historical fiction spans the years of 1897 to 1957, life during wartime must be addressed. And with Eliza growing up in Philadelphia with a grandfather who was an abolitionist lawyer, there needs to be some time spent in recognizing the toll which the Civil War took on families. After all, as the story opens, it is only 30 years after the end of the Civil War. I was lucky to have found a reference book available on Kindle, Germantown in the Civil War, which has been invaluable providing details, names, battles and post-war information, including these tidbits: In 1868, General Order Eleven of the GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) called for May 30 to be designated as a day of memorial for Union veterans; originally called “Decoration Day,” this later evolved into the U.S. national Memorial Day holiday. And, that a war monument was built in 1883 in Market Square, close to Eliza’s home.
These pieces of information have helped shape a scene.
Their brothers in battle were the men Eliza and her family honored every May 30th when they walked to Market Square to lay a wreath at the remembrance monument, her Grandfather leading them in a prayer of silence lasting 197 seconds, one second for each of the men in the 150th who never returned home to Germantown.
I hope you will join me to pause for a few seconds and remember all those from our country who served, those that came home, and those who didn’t, and those who are currently serving in the name of honor, freedom and unity.
Photo footnote: We only have a photo of my Grandfather Davidson in uniform, lower left, Army engineering in WWI. My Grandfather Robinson, due to poor eyesight, was assigned ambulance driver duties, just like Ernest Hemingway and Walt Disney.