Memorial Day: We Remember You

I never understood why people add “happy” in front of the words “Memorial Day.” It’s more than a day off of work. It’s more than a day of picnics and barbecues and fun in the sun. Memorial Day was originally started three years after the Civil War ended by the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) as Decoration Day. They decorated the graves of those who died in the war with flowers. Not exactly a warm, fuzzy feeling kind of day.

I took a walk in our local cemetery the other day. I found some GAR star graves. I found graves from World War I, World War II, Vietnam and the Persian Gulf Wars. There are others; I just remember these. I thought of each family as I passed another little flag placed by each veteran’s grave. I thought of the family of Cpl. Matthew Wallace. I thought of my grandpa, finally reunited with his brother who was killed by a sniper in World War II. I thought of the countless others.

Northwood Cemetery, Cambridge, Ohio

I don’t care what your thoughts are on the current war. I don’t care what your thoughts are about the military in general. Today I honor those that gave their lives, something that I’m not particularly willing to do myself, so that we can have picnics at our leisure. So that we can rant about the government on our blogs. So that we can tuck our overtired children into bed on a Monday night after a long “holiday” weekend.

I will never be able to thank them for their ultimate sacrifice. I will never be able to repay their families for their loss. But, as always, we will strive to make sure my children understand why we go to a parade on Memorial Day morning and why we stay for the speech and the 21 gun salute afterward.

Northwood Cemetery, Cambridge, Ohio

We are grateful. And we remember you.

 

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Music & Concert Review: One EskimO

One eskimOI was lucky enough to receive a copy of One Eskimo‘s album from One2One Network. I started listening and I haven’t stopped. Quite honestly, I’m really enjoying the music. I can’t quite explain it when my friends ask me what they sound like. It’s just something I know that my ears like. Not too loud. Not too boring. Not too soft. Not too busy. It’s just what I need right now to escape from the kids’ music that has invaded my house. I’m not always that great at seeking out new music so I am more than pleased to have found something that I like without doing much work on my own. I feel kind of cutting edge.

You might have heard their song Kandi on the radio (video here). It’s a catchy little tune that gets stuck in my head and that my kids seem to like to sing along with at the top of their little lungs. Me too, really. The rest of the album provides other great sounding songs. Here is the track listing:

Hometime
Astronauts
Kandi
Slip
Simple Day
Givin Up
Chocolate
All Balloons
Chosen One
UFO
Amazing

I really like the songs Astronaut and Givin Up. My oldest son, taking the occasional break from any one of his kids’ song listening sprees, really likes Astronaut and UFO. Then again, he’s infatuated with Buzz Lightyear so when I told him the names of those songs, he was all about it. That’s one thing I like though: the kids don’t make me turn off the album while we’re driving in the car. I like it when we can agree on music. (I know that won’t last forever.)

I was lucky enough to attend the One eskimO show in Columbus, Ohio this past Friday. I took OutnumberedMom along with me. We were both very impressed with the drummer in the band. He was simply phenomenal. I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. While I won’t explain it properly, he basically sat on a box, drummed on it, the drums, stepped on a tambourine and generally was percussive god. Add in the solid vocals, the addition of a horn and some great guitar playing and it was a very enjoyable night of music.

They’re touring elsewhere. I suggest you catch them!

Jun 01 Toronto, ON The Guvernment
Jun 03 New York, NY The Beach at Governor’s Island
Jun 04 Boston, MA House of Blues
Jun 05 Essex Junction, VT Camplain Valley Expo
Jun 06 Hunter, NY Mountain Jam Festival
Jun 08 Royal Oak, MI Royal Oak Music Thtr
Jun 09 Grand Rapids, MI Orbit Room
Jun 12 Memphis, TN Minglewood Hall
Jun 13 Kansas City, MO Crossroads
Aug 14 Denver, CO Mile High Festival

If you want to catch a listen, we’re giving away the album and a t-shirt thanks to One2One Network. Go ahead and leave a comment on this post telling me whether or not you attend concerts in the summer and, if so, which ones you’re planning to catch this summer. The giveaway will be open through June 4th at 12:00 noon. I’ll need the winner’s info ASAP so be sure to keep an eye on your inbox!

My overall feel for the band is that I’ll likely purchase what they put out in the future. And if I’m purchasing music, you should know I like them. A lot. Check them out. You can download Astronaut for free and like them on Facebook. Get to commenting!

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[Disclosure: I received a free album and attended the show for free.]