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Memorial Day 2011

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Time unfolds around me in a swirl of memories as I sit here in today with a vision of tomorrow. I sit in the middle room of our little farmhouse in Southeast Ohio. My wife is here and my two children, the sun shines in the meadow in front of the old house and it could not get much better than this. As an American, I enjoy this relative perfection as a result of the many who have fought and died so that my family and I could be here to enjoy this day. As I have said many time before, It was not my path to serve in this honorable way. With that in mind, I have learned so much in the seventy some years I have been on this planet and I am not the man I was when I was in my twenties. My father and his two brothers served in WW II. Uncle Tarmo died in the service in 1945. I never met him. I inherited his flag from my Grandmother Ida and it rests here in the farmhouse in a mahogany case. She just kept it in an old trunk. Uncle Pentti died in 1972… still a young man in his fifties. He passed in a VA hospital in California. He never talked about the war, but it was always with him. My Dad landed in Japan in 1945 and wandered through the ashes of the country translating documents of interest. They are all gone now… and so many more.

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And I truly believe that I and my family and friends are here because of them and all the others who served through the years. As time passes, the gardens of stone grow at an alarming rate and we must honor them, not just on this day, but every day.

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And so with a vision of the guards at the Tomb Of The Unknowns at National Cemetery I will hold onto these thoughts. When my Dad was in the service in WW II, my mother took me here many times. It meant a lot to me then, and does now.

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Let us not forget!

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  1. Frank Filipo
    May 30th, 2011 at 17:55 | #1


    Beautiful words, as always. Hopefully, few of us are “the man I was when I was in my twenties”. To be so would be a denial of the experiences, good and bad, that life has so generously provided in subsequent years. may we all keep movin’ on!

    Frank Filipo

  2. Kathy
    May 30th, 2011 at 20:55 | #2

    I guess the peanut gallery graduated. I’m Sticking to MY story too. “MARTY did it.”
    and off he went, lol.
    Seriously. Memorial day and all that goes along with it … a day to remember
    those who went to war for a reason, and all of us here that could not fight in
    any wars these days are feeling.
    And as you are to water I am to Motorcyles.
    It’s remembering. And being part scottish, Indian, Welsh, Itallian, French, and g a geneologist I know I have anscestors from Isreal, Ireland as well.
    I hope you bring back phospherescant rat and play that again, Like you did come back baby this year faithfully. Bring it back.

  3. Ed W
    May 31st, 2011 at 09:17 | #3

    Nicely said Jorma; I appreciate that you can bring your feelings to life via writing here.
    I reflect that the knowledge of a man (or woman ) in their twenties may lack the wisdom of seeing life unfold around us. While I believe that war is essentially a bad thing; the soldiers who fight are not, they are noble. Their sacrifices let us have our own in freedom.
    So my wish is that all here (and all) can find integrity of being by doing good and a life well lived.
    I look forward to the NY shows, thanks.

  4. Brett
    May 31st, 2011 at 09:24 | #4

    My Dad was born in Sweden in 1922 and come thru Ellis Island with his family when he was just a few months old. He lived on Staten Island as a kid.

    He served his country during WWII in the Merchant Marine. I always knew that.

    He was in a supply ship off Omaha Beach on D-Day. I did not know this until after he passed in 1994. My Uncle told us this after he died, and also told us my Dad VERY rarely talked about Omaha Beach, because when he did he would always break down in tears.

    Uncle George also said that my Dad was not at all the same person he was before he was in the service.

    I many times wish I had known the man he was before he served.

    He did not give his life in service per se’, but definitley lost a part of himself for his country.

    Yesterday afternoon, I spent the end of Memorial Day with my wife and some of my kids at a Durham Bulls game. It too was “relative perfection”…..Lots of acknowlegement of the troops at the game. They more than deserved all the cheers they got.

    I kept wishing my Dad was still here so I could thank and acknowlege him for his sacrifice.

  5. Eaglesteve
    May 31st, 2011 at 12:11 | #5

    Well put. HOORAH!

  6. Joe Moore
    May 31st, 2011 at 20:08 | #6

    As usual , Jorma hit it right out of the park . I used his thoughts on my FB account , giving all credit to Jorma , because I could not have said it better . At 61 about to turn 62 , I get my spiritual food from a number of places . This place , Jorma’s Thoughts and Blog , is so filled with spirit and soulful nourishment ! Thank you . The men and women who come back from wars bear heavy burdens and sometimes can’t adjust . We had a friend , Dave , who went to Viet Nam twice . He came back as an angry man. This anger eventually ended his life . He’s not on The Wall but he is a casualty of that terrible conflict . Thanks again, Jorma

  7. Kathy
    June 1st, 2011 at 23:16 | #7

    In a way we all fight now, it’s like a war everyday. And my question is, who
    is the United States fighting. In my search of relatives I have found that many were revolutionary war soldiers. I think its the original fight to establish this country that remains a mystery. why did so many have to flee here to find freedom and will they find it here. I wonder.
    I love David Crosby’s “I wish I could remember their names”.

  8. billy bob Mckenzie
    June 2nd, 2011 at 04:43 | #8

    While i am listening to …? “dont you cry dont you cry, dry your eyes on the wind,” I am thinkin about a train ride, in 82 listening to europe 72, ironic.. and eveything that went along with that trip to Europe. “Birdsong”… I’m thinking about the train ride and my walkman with the cassete in it. The castles on the horizon as we traveled along the Rhine… The way it flooded for the first time, in one hundred years. We were there in Germany. I’m wonderin why I want to keep
    posting on this blog and I know why now. So. There I go on the road again. Um, Waitng….. for…. the New York….. shows. While Nietchie was about one thing
    his best friend was Richard Wagner. The wierd thing about not being the same as you were is.. when the ball is knocked out of the park. . .. where does it go ?

  9. Joanne
    June 2nd, 2011 at 15:47 | #9

    Very well said,Jorma.

  10. Doug Israel
    June 2nd, 2011 at 23:05 | #10

    Your wisdom is as much a pleasure to read as your music is to listen to. I look forward to seeing you at Mt. Jam tomorrow.

  11. Ken
    June 3rd, 2011 at 07:46 | #11


  12. gregg
    June 3rd, 2011 at 14:40 | #12

    Jorma just wondering, in your travels around have you ever come across some one with the same first name as yourself.

  13. The Tobe
    June 5th, 2011 at 13:22 | #13

    Thanks for being here, without you the world would be a poorer place. It’s a favorite punch line of mine from a New Yorker cartoon…but in your case…it’s the Truth with a capital T…as are your words written here…your music last night and words today as I scroll through these entries…warming my heart.
    Thanks, Tobey Ritz

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