In Celebration of MHS Class of 1958

In Celebration of MHS Class of 1958

A Tribute and Celebration

We were the class of 1958, members of the Greatest Generation as well as children of the Greatest Generation. Born in 1940, we are also called members of the Traditional Generation.

Our childhood, post World War II, "was the best of times . . . it was the age of wisdom . . . it was the epoch of belief . . .it was the season of Light . . . it was the spring of hope . . . we had everything before us . . .we were all going direct to Heaven . . . ." (A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens.) At least, that's the way I felt about it. We were truly blessed.

- Ouida Tomlinson -

This blog is a place for 1958 graduates of Meridian, Mississippi, High School to stay in touch, post their news, items of interest and photographs.

CLASS OF 1958 MEMORIES (Click to read all posts relating to sports, honors, graduation and other memories of our class in 1957-58.)




Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Honoring Our Deceased Veterans

When my Son In Law went to enlist in the Army about 12 years ago, he was almost immediately signed up because he played a trumpet and the Army had only a few trumpet players at the time. Not long afterwards, there was a news segment on TV about the shortage of military trumpet players and since World War Two veterans were dying at the rate of l,OOO a day, in addition to the men and women being killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, there was no way the military could provide someone to play taps at all military funerals. The news showed someone placing a boom box on the ground to play a recorded version of taps at a funeral. I remember thinking what a shabby tribute to those who have served this country. It's my understanding that this problem has since been resolved and I, for one, am thankful. My Son In Law is currently in the Army Band, 82nd Airborne, stationed at Bagram, Afghanistan. This is his second tour and we're very proud of him.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Happy Birthday to Michael Gay

Happy Birthday, Michael
On the Road - Somewhere in America

Saturday, June 27, 2009

More Memories of World War II

As we grow older we tend to look back in our memories for events that shaped us, our families, and our country. For many of us, even though we were young children, it was World War II. Many of our dads, uncles, and maybe even big brothers, served our country in some fashion during WW II. The men and women of the Greatest Generation are leaving us at an alarming rate everyday. We need to thank them now while they are still with us.

I have several early childhood recollections of World War II in Meridian. I remember troop trains going through Meridian. There were also trains coming through that were loaded with tanks, trucks, and artillery pieces. A War Bond Drive event sticks in my memory.

The instance I suppose that I remember the most revolves around Dickens' Store which was at Royal Road and State Boulevard. On occasion my mother or dad would stop there and buy me a half-pint of chocolate milk. One day when I was about three or four years of age we stopped at Mr. Dickens' store. My mother asked for a chocolate milk for me. There was none available. I still remember what Mr. Dickens told her. "With the war on most of the chocolate milk has been going to the schools here lately." I was one disappointed young fellow!

Two of us in our church, who both have Air Force backgrounds, take an elderly man, who is also a member of our church, to lunch from time to time. When we find an aviation book having to do with the B-24 bomber we'll buy a copy and give it to him.

Why do two sixty-something men take a ninety-something man to lunch now and then? It's quite simple. This ninety-something man is one of our heroes. This man was a navigator on a B-24 bomber in the European theatre. He flew on the 1 Aug 43 bombing raid of the German oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania. The Ploesti mission was one of the most difficult and dangerous bombing raids of the entire war. This elderly gentleman – when he was a lad in his twenties - was risking his life several times each week to preserve freedom for people everywhere. He did this while we were just small children.

Again, be sure to thank our veterans while we still have the time.

Bob Chatham
MHS Class of '57

Friday, June 26, 2009

Best Old House Neighborhoods 2009: The South

Photo: James Harwell
Poplar Springs, Meridian, Mississippi
"Meridian no longer exists," General Sherman told Ulysses S. Grant after all but destroying the city in 1864. But try telling that to the people who live here today, especially those who continue to breathe new life into the outstanding old homes in the city's Poplar Springs neighborhood. This leafy, distinctly Southern streetcar suburb is known for its elaborate Victorian-era houses with wide, wraparound porches, built on large lots encompassing mature trees and gardens. Poplar Springs has a diverse community of young couples looking for a small, family-friendly town, in addition to retirees.

The Houses
Homes include shingled Queen Annes with original doors and beveled-glass windows, Arts and Crafts–style bungalows, and Mission-style homes. You can get a beautiful old house for between $110,000 and $225,000.

Why Buy Now?
Meridian is reinventing itself as a "destination city," says Realtor James Harwell. Recent examples of this include the multimillion-dollar restoration of the city's former opera house and the conversion of a neighboring department store into a performing arts center.
Submitted to This Old House by James Harwell, son of Ouida Tomlinson

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson

Jackson's early 1982 contribution, "Someone In the Dark",
to the film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, won him a
Grammy for Best Album for Children.

Michael Jackson (Ease on Down the Road - from The Wiz) In 1978, Jackson starred as Scarecrow in the musical The Wiz (one of my favorites).

Ease on Down the Road

Michael Jackson, Live Motown - Part 1 (1983)

Beat It

Billie Jean



Blood On the Dance Floor

We Are The World

Jackson co-wrote the charity single "We Are the World" with Lionel Richie, which was released worldwide to aid the poor in Africa and the US. He was one of 39 music celebrities who performed on the record. The single became one of the best-selling singles of all time, with nearly 20 million copies sold and millions of dollars donated to famine relief.

Jackson donated and raised millions of dollars for beneficial causes through his foundations, charity singles, and support of 39 charities.

Michael Jackson website (includes music for listening and videos)

Oprah Interview of Michael Jackson (Part 1) The interview is in 8 parts on YouTube, done in 1993. I found the Oprah interview of Michael Jackson very good. It took place in his home. Often, it is hard to determine fact from fiction about his life, but I like this person I met on her show. I’ve spent many hours the last week reading about him and watching videos, originally only to do a simple post on our blog. I started only with memories of his trial on TV. The research transformed me into a fan with the hope that he was truly innocent of the child molestation as the jury found. The last couple of nights, as I’ve turned off my light to go to sleep, I’ve prayed that he rest in peace in the Love and Mercy of God.

News from Chuck (Stuff) McCraney

I was at Starkville last weekend with my son Mike, and grandson, Matt, from Maui, Hawaii.
Matt is going to be at Miss.State in August with the baseball team, just as Mike was from 1983 -1987. Mike played right field and when he graduated in 1987, their now head coach, played right field. They have remained great friends, and now Matt will be on his team.

They have lived in Maui for the last 9 years where Mike is the Director of the Maui High Performance Computer Center. Jeirenne and I go there twice a year and it is really heaven.They have a home that overlooks three islands and is like a dream.

Matt is looking forward to being here in Miss. in the fall, and our being here in Dublin, Ga. is great for Matt to have a "home away from home".

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Thoughts About War

Some of your thoughts on WWII (quote from e-mail from Ouida to class): "I often wonder about my great interest in WWII. Is it because there was so much talk and so many images around us about WWII while we lived our babyhood and early childhood? Is it because the war took from us our fathers, uncles and grandfathers for such a long time or forever? Is it because this war shaped so much the world we were born into and our parents who raised us?"

Some of my thoughts: I agree with you on all of your points about WWII. I think the WAR had a big impact on all of us as children. I remember my Mother having a big Atlas and she would try to keep up with where my Uncle was during the War. Uncle Clarence was in one of the Armored Divisions that fought during the Battle of the Bulge. As a result of studying the maps in that Atlas when I was 3 and 4 years old I always just about made an A on every Geography test I ever had at South Side Elementary.

My uncle was one of my big heroes. When he returned from the war he gave me some of his medals and patches and I showed them off to all my buddies. (I think from then on I wanted to be in the armed forces). Of course I lost the patches and wish I had them today.

My uncle did not talk much about the war but did tell me a couple of stories about the horrors of the war. One really stuck with me. He told me when the Germans fired the 88s (artillery rounds) at his half track that the hair on the back of his head stood up.

When I experienced my first artillery and mortar attacks at Dong Ha (Vietnam in 1968) my hair stood on end and my heart was in my throat. I thought I had been scared before but nothing ever came close to that! And I vividly remembered my uncle's story and knew he was flat telling the truth. This will sound corny but I thought at that time about our old "Wildcat Spirit" and no way in hell were those damn Commie punks going to scare me so I would not fight back. I pulled myself together and after surviving those first hours I was always scared but kept under control (I think my animal instincts really took over). Anyway, I was able to function and work with the team to help control numerous air strikes against the enemy who had become to me just a bunch of wild animals.

I had nightmares about my war experiences off an on for a few years before I finally got over it. However, I will never fully forget some of it and of course there is always stuff on TV about it. I really get mad when I think about the traitor Jane Fonda and how the press and Walter Cronkite and the liberal hippie punks said we lost the war when I know better. The Marines clobbered the enemy at Hue. We gave the Marines close air support on the DMZ and especially around Khe Sahn and Dong Ha. At Dong Ha (24 miles east of Khe Sahn) during that Spring Offensive we lost around 200 mostly Marines. I was told that between the Marine grunts and USAF, Marine, and Navy air strikes our forces killed an estimated 2,000 of the enemy (I think it was more, the B-52 strikes I witnessed a few miles out from us looked like the end of the world). Anyway, I know as a result Charlie (NVA) retreated across the DMZ (8 miles away) into North Vietnam.

During one day of the 1968 battle at Dong Ha, we were shocked when we heard LBJ's speech saying he would not run again. And he said that they had signed an agreement with the Commies in Paris that we would not run air strikes on the North above the 17th parallel. He added that the enemy would not shell our units on the DMZ. Well, they must have sent that message to Charlie by canoe because on that overcast day we were shelled for about 6 hours which was one of the more intensive attacks.

My experiences were bad but nothing to compare to the much greater HORROR those men on D-DAY had to endure. My final thought is that Americans can and should honor those who died for our country by supporting our troops today and to ensure the traditional core values that have made America the greatest nation on earth will endure.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I'm Proud To Be An American

Feast Day of St. Thomas More
June 22, 2009

Come go with me, as I share my journal of this day's thoughts, all sparked by watching the video of the homecoming of an American soldier who gave his life for his country. As the mind goes here and there, especially when inspired by the nobility of others, so shall we go here and there, if you will go with me.


I have been reading an assortment of books this year. Recently I read Render Unto Caesar (Serving the Nation by Living Our Catholic Beliefs in Political Life) by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap (the second Native American to be ordained bishop in the United States). What a great book! In fact, this book is so good, I have begun reading it again. It is a power-packed mini-course in American history, politics, citizenship and constitutional law and suitable for all people of Christian faith.

Our country has a monumental heritage! How tragic and how dangerous that studies show that Americans have a poor sense of our history. America was born Protestant, not a secular state. If we cut God out of our public life, we also cut the foundation out from under our national ideals. Being ignorant of our history, probably many are surprised to learn that the common metaphor "separation of church and state" is not found in our Constitution but was coined in a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists on January 1, 1802, when he was trying to calm their fears. The metaphor was used exclusively to keep the state out of the church's business, not the other way around.

Being good students of the 50's, many of us know that the First Amendment's religion clause merely states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." It bars any official federal religion. Think Church of England. In addition, at the time of the framing of the Constitution and the First Amendment, various states had tax-supported established churches and wanted to keep them. Some continued to support their churches for decades after the Constitution took effect. The "establishment clause" does not and cannot mean for religious believers and communities to be silent in public affairs.

As to being silent, did you know that tolerance is not a Christian virtue and that tolerating grave evil within a society is itself a form of serious evil? (Examples of Christian virtues are prudence, justice, fortitude, temperance, faith, hope and charity.) Christians should not be silent in the public square about serious matters because of some misguided sense of good manners. Convictions should be expressed peacefully, legally and respectfully.


I'm writing this on the feast day of St. Thomas More, June 22, 2009. Perhaps you have seen the movie about him, "A Man For All Seasons." I have a copy which my husband and I watched this year. More was a literary scholar, eminent lawyer, gentleman, father of four children and chancellor of England. He was an intensely spiritual man, devoted to prayer and penance. He believed that no lay ruler has jurisdiction over the Church. It cost him his life. He did not compromise his own moral values in order to please the king, knowing that true allegiance to authority is not blind acceptance of everything that authority wants. He was beheaded on Tower Hill, London, July 6, 1535, when he refused to approve Henry VIII's divorce and remarriage and establishment of the Church of England.


Going on to the next books I am reading this year, as always, I have a book nearby on St. Francis. One of the good biographies is The Perfect Joy of Saint Francis by Felix Timmermans. St. Francis who impacted the social, economic, political, military and religious forces of his day - St. Francis who saw the imprint of God upon all creation and was an environmentalist long before the term was used - St. Francis who reached out to the Muslim world in respect and to the lepers in love and care - St. Francis who gave up everything to become everything. Second only to Jesus Christ, no other individual has ever made such a positive influence on the Church and the world we live in. He could change our world as he did his own.


At the moment, I am reading The Longest Day (The Classic Epic of D-Day, June 6, 1944) by Cornelius Ryan. What tragedy and sorrow there is in these pages for humankind and the loss of lives. Again I am reminded of St. Francis and that he wanted to become a knight during his youth. He could relate to our fallen warriors. In fact he participated in one of the bloodiest battles of his time when he was 20 years old in the year 1202. The war was between Perugia and Assisi.

The Battle of Collestrada that November was a massacre. The hills were covered in blood. Assisi was beaten. The slaughter was great. Assisi was appalled, and everywhere there was weeping and mourning for those who were lost – the brightest and the best, the old and the young, the noble and the common. Many from Assisi were taken prisoner, including Francis. He was released after about a year and was sick for a very long time. All in all, he was one of the lucky ones as he came home alive.


Today I watched the video of the homecoming of Staff Sgt. John Beale to Georgia. I wept. (Mary Jane Kelly Heisterkamp, who sent me the link to the video, was fortunate in that she was present to see his homecoming and the tribute made.) War is not good. But I was proud too as I watched. I was proud to be an American. The video exhibited some of the best traits of this country, often found in small towns of mostly simple folk, but no less so in our cities. As I finished watching, I thought a while and then began writing here, in this stream of consciousness, to conclude that each generation stands at the crossroads and must choose its path. Let us "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls'." (Jeremiah 6:16).

For myself, I am
  • a member of a family
  • a Catholic
  • a Franciscan
  • an American

and though family, Church, Order and Country have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God, I am not ashamed for God is love and I am his child, walking down the ancient paths.


Also published on Our Lady's Little Scribe

An American Soldier Comes Home

All –

We live in Henry County, Georgia. Our county is named for Patrick Henry, one of our founding fathers and a one of our nation’s greatest patriots. The citizens of this county understand the patriot’s heart.

Last week Nelle, a neighbor and I were discussing how we are always amazed at the patriotism, valor and honor our servicemen demonstrate every day and how proud we are of their service.

A couple days later we heard that we recently lost one of our own in Afghanistan. SSG Beale.

He served proudly while his family and our communities prayed for his safety waiting nervously for his return. Last week he came home a hero. An American patriot. An inspiration and a solemn testament to the great sacrifices some must make each generation for the next.

When we heard of SSG Beale’s return, the citizens of our county rose up, stood on their feet and gathered at every street corner along the nearly 20 mile course from Falcon Field in Peachtree City in Fayette County to McDonough in Henry County.

Our neighborhood gathered at the corner with our flags waving and our hearts pounding as much with pride as sorrow as we ushered the procession down Jonesboro Road.

There were no community organizers. We didn’t need them. We instinctively know what to do. It’s a small thing to gather a few flags and a few friends together and stand in honor of a hero. A patriot. A neighbor.

Our communities are a wonderful blend of ethnic, religious and political orientations. On that day there were no whites or blacks, no Jews or Gentiles, Christians or Muslims, Democrats or Republicans, Liberals or Conservatives. We were all Americans. We understand the patriot’s heart. It beats in our chests.

The link below is a video shot from one of the patrol cars in the procession. This video will never win an award. But it’s a powerful testament to a community of citizen patriots, a tribute to our home town hero and the family who loaned him to our country as a down payment for the freedoms so many don’t appreciate.

Tears welled up in my eyes as SSG Beale’s procession passed – and again each time I watch this video.

Most of the people standing along the procession’s course probably didn’t know SSG Beale. But we knew his heart. We stand proudly in support of his family and raise them in our prayers.

You have a voice – the voice of a patriot. Stand proud and speak clearly. You are an American. You are not alone.


More Videos:

Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Birthday to Ralph Abraham

Happy Birthday, Ralph

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Honoring All Fathers

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Bear

Sent by Millie Majors. Scene from one of my favorite movies. Lessons on compassion and mercy.

Posted for all those great fathers and father figures who nurture and mentor "Little Bears." Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Walter McLemore Parker

Services for Walter McLemore Parker will be held today at 10 a.m. at St. Patrick Catholic Church with Father Frank Cosgrove officiating. Burial will be in Magnolia Cemetery with James F. Webb Funeral Home in charge of arrangements. Mr. Parker, 68, died Wednesday, June 10, 2009, at his residence in Enterprise. He was born August 28, 1940, in Birmingham, Ala.

Survivors include his wife, Suzanne Otnott Parker, of Enterprise; daughter, Suzy Parker Johnson and her husband Bruce; son, John David Parker and his wife Kelly; five grandchildren; sister, Nona Rhodes, of Augusta, Ga.; and brother, Dr. Paul Parker Jr., of Jackson.

He was preceded in death by his son, Mac Parker.Family and friends may sign an online register book at was held Friday, from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.


O God our Father, Creator of all the living,
we entrust to Your gentle care
all those we love who have gone before us;
and have gone to their rest in the hope of rising again.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Eternal rest, grant unto Mac, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon him.
May the souls of the faithful departed
through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

O God our Father,

Creator of all the living, we entrust to Your gentle care all those we love who have gone before us; and have gone to their rest in the hope of rising again.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Eternal rest, grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

Mac Parker

Tonight, let's remember the smiling face of our friend and classmate Mac Parker and the last time many of us last saw him at Coty's during our class reunion. Mac died in his sleep Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning of an apparent heart attack. Nona, his twin, spoke with her brother Sunday night, and he had never been happier, she says. He and his wife, Sue, were restoring an old house in Enterprise. Nona said that Mac had converted to Catholicism and he and Sue are devout Catholics.

When Mac went to bed Tuesday night, he was complaining about not feeling well but refused to go to the emergency room. He went to bed and never woke up.

Visitation will be Friday, June 12th, at Webb Funeral Home, Meridian, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Services will be Saturday morning at 10:00 at St. Patrick's Catholic Church with burial to follow in Magnolia Cemetery.

The family is staying at the Hampton Inn in Meridian.

Sue Parker's address: County Rd # 367, Enterprise, MS 39330

Happy Birthday to Mary Jane Kelly Heisterkamp

Happy Birthday MJ

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Lyle McLellan Morehouse

Happy Birthday, Lyle

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Beginning of the Allied Invasion of Normandy

Today, June 6, 2009, we have been graced with the beautiful words and scenes of the speakers in Normandy, all delightful to eyes and ears, as they commerated this special day. Nice though this was, it seemed somewhat sanitized at times, as ceremonies like this often do. Sanitized compared to June 6, 1944.

Did you know that some 215,000 Allied soldiers, and roughly as many Germans, were killed or wounded during D-Day and the ensuing nearly three months it took to secure the Allied capture of Normandy?

The purpose of the D-Day landings in northern France by the Western Allies was to open the Second Front against Adolph Hitler's Germany. The Allies had been fighting in mainland Italy for some nine months, but the Normandy invasion was to set the stage to drive the Germans from France and ultimately to destroy the National Socialist regime.

On D-Day, the allies landed on five beaches, code named:

Sword Beach (British)
Juno Beach (Canadian)
Gold Beach (British)
Omaha Beach (American)
Utah Beach (American)

At Omaha Beach, American casualties numbered around 5,000 out of 50,000 men, most in the first few hours, while the Germans suffered 1,200 killed, wounded or missing.

What were the first few hours like at Omaha Beach? Better than the written word, the opening scene from the movie, "Saving Private Ryan," might help us understand. It focuses on the massacre on Omaha Beach. Certainly there are images here which one can never forget. So let's watch and remember and pray. This is D-Day, June 6, 1944, the beginning of the Allied invasion of Normandy.

The Year We Were Four

D-Day June 6, 1944
Photographs of Robert Capa

American Soldiers Land on Coast of France

D-DAY JUNE 6, 1944

The invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe begins as American soldiers land on the coast of France under heavy German machine-gun fire during D-Day. June 6, 1944. (Photo credit: Courtesy US National Archives)

Download and watch a 9-minute National Archives video (30 megs mpeg4 format) produced by the US Office of War Information detailing D-Day preparations and showing troops practicing for the attack. (You need QuickTime to watch. Download here. Free.)

Prayer of Franklin D. Roosevelt, June 6, 1944, D-Day

Listen to the entire speech - 6:33

My Fellow Americans:

Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our Allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.

And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:

Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest -- until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men's souls will be shaken with the violences of war.
For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and goodwill among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

And for us at home -- fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas, whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them -- help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

Many people have urged that I call the nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

Give us strength, too -- strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.

And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. Let not the keeness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment -- let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace -- a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

Thy will be done, Almighty God.


Franklin D. Roosevelt - June 6, 1944

Ronald Reagan, Speaking on 40th Annivesary of D-Day

Listen to the entire speech - 12:59

We're here to mark that day in history when the Allied armies joined in battle to reclaim this continent to liberty. For 4 long years, much of Europe had been under a terrible shadow. Free nations had fallen, Jews cried out in the camps, millions cried out for liberation. Europe was enslaved, and the world prayed for its rescue. Here in Normandy the rescue began. Here the Allies stood and fought against tyranny in a giant undertaking unparalleled in human history.
We stand on a lonely, windswept point on the northern shore of France. The air is soft, but 40 years ago at this moment, the air was dense with smoke and the cries of men, and the air was filled with the crack of rifle fire and the roar of cannon. At dawn, on the morning of the 6th of June, 1944, 225 Rangers jumped off the British landing craft and ran to the bottom of these cliffs. Their mission was one of the most difficult and daring of the invasion: to climb these sheer and desolate cliffs and take out the enemy guns. The Allies had been told that some of the mightiest of these guns were here and they would be trained on the beaches to stop the Allied advance.

The Rangers looked up and saw the enemy soldiers -- the edge of the cliffs shooting down at them with machineguns and throwing grenades. And the American Rangers began to climb. They shot rope ladders over the face of these cliffs and began to pull themselves up. When one Ranger fell, another would take his place. When one rope was cut, a Ranger would grab another and begin his climb again. They climbed, shot back, and held their footing. Soon, one by one, the Rangers pulled themselves over the top, and in seizing the firm land at the top of these cliffs, they began to seize back the continent of Europe. Two hundred and twenty-five came here. After 2 days of fighting, only 90 could still bear arms. . . . (Read entire speech.)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Meridian Elects Its First Woman Mayor

Cheri Barry, Republican mayoral candidate, smiles as she talks with guests that gathered at the Quality Inn Tuesday evening to show their support and await final results from the election. Barry claimed a victory with 304 more votes than Percy Bland, Democrat, after all electronic and absentee ballots were counted.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Remember Maxine Reeder Strickland In Your Prayers

As many of you know, Maxine (our favorite story teller) was not able to come to our reunion because of problems with her left foot. She had to have surgery and was still recovering. It was her third surgery on this foot, each requiring complete bed rest for weeks at a time.

The surgery was not a success. She continues to have problems with this foot and is in pain.

To make matters worse, now she is having problems with her right foot. Surgery is recommended, but for now, Maxine is wearing braces on both feet which she will have to wear for the rest of her life or until surgery repairs the problems. Her doctor said that actually she should be confined to a wheelchair. Her doctor is trying to obtain a scooter for her, but is having difficulties with red tape. Let's pray for the scooter too.

Please keep Maxine in your prayers and stay in touch with our dear friend.

Does Cat Come With It?

I'm trying to convince Maxine Strickland to buy a iRobot Roomba (vacuum cleaning robot). What do you think, Maxine? iRobot is an interesting company to read about. I noticed that it has military contract for robots.

1. iRobot Roomba 560 for $379.99.

2. Hammacher Schlemmer offers a lifetime guarantee and money back if not happy.

3. Here is buyer’s guide on a blog:

Monday, June 1, 2009

Happy Birthday to Becky Nicholson Brumlow

Happy Birthday Becky