Saturday 9: Battle Hymn of the Republic

Unfamiliar with Judy Garland’s rendition of this week’s tune? Hear it here.

Memorial Day is the federal holiday designated to honor American service people who died in battle. 

1) On May 30, 1868, President Grant presided over the Memorial Day observance at Arlington National Cemetery. Have you ever visited Arlington Cemetery? I have.

2) On Memorial Day, it is customary to fly the flag at half-staff until noon and then raise it to the top of the staff until sunset. Will you be flying the flag at your home this weekend? We don’t have one, no.

3) Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day, because flowers and ribbons were left on graves of soldiers.  Do you find solace in visiting cemeteries? I don’t know. I guess a little bit. We’re going to my dad’s grave on Monday.

4) The lyrics to this week’s song were written by Julia Ward Howe in 1861. Her inspiration was a White House visit with Abraham Lincoln. In 2020, under normal circumstances, public tours of the White House are available but you must request your ticket in advance from your Member of Congress (House or Senate). When you travel, do you plan your trip weeks before you go? Or do you decide how your days will unfold once you reach your destination? First of all, I remember back when anyone could get a ticket, you just had to get up early in the morning and line up for it. As for the actual question, it depends who I’m traveling with. Personally, I like a mix of pre-planned things, if it’s that kind of place, with some free days to explore or just hang out. Most of our traveling in the last couple years has been for weddings, and for the most part, what we did was take a few extra days off to enjoy the area. In Erie, we spent time on Presque Isle, and in Virginia Beach about two years ago, we took a couple extra days to enjoy the beach.

5) Judy Garland performed this week’s song before a live audience as a tribute to President Kennedy, who had been assassinated just weeks before. She knew Kennedy personally and considered this a farewell to a friend. While the performance was difficult for her — at one point she flubs the lyrics — she believed it was important, and could perhaps help the country heal. Tell us about a song that reminds you of someone you loved who is no longer with us. Since I mentioned my dad, I made this playlist after he died.

6) John F. Kennedy served in WWII and was awarded a Navy and Marine Corps medal and a Purple Heart. His brother Joe also served and was awarded the Navy Cross, but he received his citation posthumously, having died during a flying mission over East Suffolk, England. Here at Saturday 9, we consider everyone who serves a hero and want to hear about the veterans and active military members in your life. I’m surrounded by them. Both grandfathers served, my dad and one of my uncles did, my brother and my best friend’s boyfriend is National Guard, I have some distant cousins in, some of my husband’s college friends, my brother-in-law was in the Marines for a few years…we’ve got someone in every branch.

7) Memorial Day is considered the beginning of the summer season. Will you be enjoying warm weather this weekend? Oh, yeah. We’re still social distancing, so we won’t be hosting or attending anything like we have in the past, but we’re definitely having summery weather, finally.

8) Berries are especially popular in summer. Which is your favorite: strawberries, blueberries, blackberries or raspberries? Raspberries and strawberries are probably about tied, then blackberries. I like blueberries the least. We have blackberry bushes at the back of the yard, and we planted some strawberries in the garden this year.

9) If you could attend a Memorial Day picnic with any fictional character, which would you choose? I don’t know.

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