Home > Diary, Friends, Thoughts, trips and journeys > Every Day Is Memorial Day As Life Goes On!

Every Day Is Memorial Day As Life Goes On!

The house where I grew up...

The house where I grew up...

Every now and then when I go back to the DC Metro area… I just have to make the roots trip. I’ve inflicted this on my son Zach, a number of times and he bears it with quiet dignity. This time I was in the area with my buddy Jerry B. and after checking out his stamping grounds in Southern Maryland, we drove up Northampton St. in Chevy Chase D.C. and I showed him the house we owned from 1948 to the early 70’s. I lived there, went to Lafayette elementary school across the street, Alice Deal Junior High and graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School… in and around Dad’s postings.

At the wall... things they left behind...

At the wall... things they left behind...

I had three days to visit the Wall… and in an odd way, it was a homecoming in time.

Piece of my heart... nurses waiting for dustoff...

Piece of my heart... nurses waiting for dustoff...

You should read ‘A Piece Of My Heart,’ stories of 26 nurses who served in Vietnam. Also read, Lynda Van Devanter’s ‘Home Before Morning.’

Thanks brother... dustoff pilots

Thanks brother... dustoff pilots

The story of combat is not mine… the story of trying to live in humanity as an American is. Yet all these things, struggles, sacrifice, smiles and tears shape our collective worlds.

Things that might have been...

Things that might have been...

Our lives go on… the Fallen exist in a moment frozen in time.

Still standing...

Still standing...

Indeed, life goes on as memories are the cement that join the bricks in our house of dreams.

Ohio boy...

Ohio boy...

I saw a motorcycle with Ohio plates and this picture was on the seat… As long as there is life, there is memory.

Thoughts manifested...

Thoughts manifested...

Forever young...

Forever young...

They gaze from the tree line to the Wall… perhaps to see if their names are there…

Uncle Tarmo in Sicily... 1944 or '45

Uncle Tarmo in Sicily... 1944 or '45

My Uncle Tarmo… North Aftrica… Sicily… Italy… His flag rests in it’s mahogany case in our living room. Couldn’t find a picture of Uncle Pentti in time for this blog. He fought his way up through the Pacific with a flame thrower on his back… winding up in the Philippines.

Jorma Sr. when he got out of OCS

Jorma Sr. when he got out of OCS

Born in 1910, they considered Dad a little old for the service. He busted his ass to pass the physical… with Mom’s help he made it. He went to Japan after VJ Day with MacArthur’s staff as a translator. They cracked safes in the ashes of a firebombed Tokyo and perused documents.

Son Jorma, Grandson Zach and brother Jerry B.

Son Jorma, Grandson Zach and brother Jerry B.

Three generations of Kaukonen blood… and a good friend. This is something to remember too…

And for the Fallen… you are not forgotten. We honor your service!

Categories: Diary, Friends, Thoughts, trips and journeys Tags:
  1. HOGAN
    May 28th, 2013 at 09:49 | #1

    Dear Jorma,

    Thank you for remembering and keeping traditions and family roots alive.

    Hogan
    :)

  2. John B
    May 28th, 2013 at 10:07 | #2

    Thank you for sharing with us Jorma.

  3. Steve Singer
    May 28th, 2013 at 11:40 | #3

    Wow Jorma! That’s a very moving post. Perhaps a song is in there.

  4. johno
    May 28th, 2013 at 12:34 | #4

    Wow. Great pictures. Must have brought back lots of good memories – the old homestead where you played as a kid. And to share that with your son had to be so special. And the Wall, everytime I go there I’m saddened and staggered by all the names, all the souls who never came back. God bless each and every one of them.

  5. May 28th, 2013 at 12:49 | #5

    I can definitely see the family resemblance in your Uncle and Father. Thanks for sharing. And thanks to them and all the other veterans who have made great sacrifices.

  6. Barbara Jacobs
    May 28th, 2013 at 16:18 | #6

    Great writing and very moving photos (and photo captions).
    Your dad was a good guy and I like that photo of him in his younger years.

  7. Cyndy Consentino
    May 28th, 2013 at 18:44 | #7

    Dear Jorma ,
    Thank you for sharing your trip and memories.
    Your post and the pictures are very moving!

    See you on Saturday at City Winery!
    Cyndy
    p.s. can’t believe Zach is as tall as you!

  8. William
    May 29th, 2013 at 00:25 | #8

    Great post Jorma. The Wall is a place that always leaves me speechless.

    I thought of you when I came across an article in today’s NYT about a father and son motorcycle trip across this great land of ours to meet veterans of our recent wars and tell their stories in photographs. Worth checking out.
    http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/28/father-and-son-travel-across-america-to-meet-veterans/

    Thanks for sharing your memories.

    Look forward to your shows later this week in NJ and NY.

  9. George Henn
    May 29th, 2013 at 11:03 | #9

    Hello Jorma, I thought of you on Monday, namely all that you’ve done to inspire us to remember and to never forget, when my wife and I attended the ceremony at the Vietnam Memorial here in NJ. It’s on the grounds adjacent to the Arts Center in Holmdel. It wasn’t here when you opened for Emmylou Harris in 1986 or in 1989 for the Airplane tour, but it was here when you stopped here on the Blue Country Heart tour. If you ever have the time, you’d really enjoy this special place. God speed! http://www.njvvmf.org

  10. John B
    May 29th, 2013 at 12:57 | #10

    You are right George. It is a very special place here in NJ . One of my boyhood buddies brothers name can be found there . I was only in the 5th or 6th grade when he shared with me what had happened to his older brother.

  11. Cyndy Consentino
    May 29th, 2013 at 13:40 | #11

    My Cousin, Donald Mollicone’s name is on that wall in Homdel. He is the only one to have died on 12/20/63 from NJ,. I had mistakenly thought he died on 12/25/63, but it was actually 12/20/63. He was one of the first casualties of the Vietnam War.
    May he and all other brave soldiers taken from us too soon RIP.

  12. Jeff
    May 29th, 2013 at 13:55 | #12

    Jorma,thanks for sharing your experience. I recently visited the Vietnam Memorial – in person,the magnitude of death and sacrifice is staggering.

  13. John B
    May 29th, 2013 at 17:55 | #13

    Have you ever been to Gettysburg Jeff? This July is the 150th anniversary. When visiting there ; absorbing all that happened ; listening to the descriptions of the battles that raged all around where your standing will brings tears to even the most hardened of people. @Jeff

  14. HOGAN
    May 30th, 2013 at 08:19 | #14

    Hey Jorma,

    Was going to both City Winery shows but family coming to town and you know how that goes so making the show on Saturday bringing my brother who hasn’t seen you play in quite some time I know he is in for a real treat. “IF” and that;s a big “IF” you do “New Song” can you PLEASE do it both nights…just sayin….
    Thanks
    Take Care
    Hogan
    :)

  15. Jeff
    June 5th, 2013 at 11:36 | #15

    John, I have been to Gettysburg but it was many years ago, along with Valley Forge. Agree with you about the experience.

  16. John Foote
    June 10th, 2013 at 21:35 | #16

    A very PROUD American lineage indeed, Jorma- thanks for sharing. The blood resemblance in these old photos is remarkable!