Monday, May 26, 2014

Monday Morning Grandma: Memorial Day

Today is Memorial Day. It’s time to think about our military men and women and their sacrifice to make/keep us free. I only know of 4 vets on my family tree, but I’m sure there are more.

James Hakes born 15 May 1754. He fought in the Revolutionary War in Capt. Martin’s Co., of Col. Sippitt’s Regt. which was raised Jan. 18, 1776 for one year. They were induced to continue 30 days longer, and were at Trenton and Princeton, NJ. Later in the war General George Washington visited his home in Renesselaer County, NY. (I know I get the “George Washington Slept here” comments you must be thinking.) He also fought in the War of 1812. My great-great grandfather was Weeden Vander Hakes James’ 13th child.

Mom had the sword her grandfather used in the Civil War, but I’m not sure which grandfather, or even which side he fought on. They lived in Missouri, and in that part of the state, it depended on who was coming through town that drafted the men. I couldn’t find anything specific when I looked. I haven’t checked for many years, so they probably have more information now. I wish I knew who has that sword now.

If my printer/scanner wasn’t so ancient, and not compatible with my old computer in spite of my son-in-law’s best efforts, I’d scan in a picture of my late Uncle Johnny, and one of my late brother-in-law Donald Venne.

Uncle Johnny fought in World War II from 1940-1945. He was an officer, but I don’t know what he did. I wish I had asked while he was alive. Mom probably would have known something about her brother’s service, but I didn’t ask her either. He must have spent some time sitting around because he crocheted. We had the tablecloth he made during the war for Mom. We used it for all special occasions from the time I can remember. I inherited it, and used it for a few years, but as cotton thread will, it eventually fell apart.

My sister had the audacity to marry my elementary school principal, Donald Leo Venne. I didn’t know until he passed away that he was a gunner in a B52 bomber during World War II. He flew a near record 40 + missions. His missions were not dropping bombs, but pamphlets, money, & food in Germany and elsewhere.

Come on people, ASK ABOUT YOUR ANCESTORS. I know I’m shouting again. I’ll try not to make it a habit, but how I wish I had more information on these brave men. My father was too young for World War I, and too old for World War II. He spent the war years (WW II) as a contractor for the US government, but that’s for another day.

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