Tag Archives: Florida

Memorial Day 2011

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. (Memorial Day History)

When I was a kid, growing up in the American South, the day we now call Memorial Day was called Decoration Day. Families went to the local cemeteries to clean up the grave sites of relatives and leave fresh flowers. If it was known that there were no family members left in the community, those graves also were cleaned. I don’t recall when I first began to hear, or think, that the day was intended to honor those fallen in war.

Like many holidays, the original purpose has changed. Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Christmas, Easter, and other holidays, have become times for picnics, trips, vacations, and assorted non-related practices. Every holiday has become a time for stores to have sales.

I like the idea of Memorial Day. I am pleased to join in the remembrance of troops fallen in battle, and all of the dead who have played a significant role in my life.

I have chosen a photograph that I made at the Gettysburg National Military Park of the monument erected to the men of Florida who fought in the American Civil War.

Gettysburg monument to Floridians who fought in the Civil War. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Gettysburg monument to Floridians who fought in the Civil War. Photo: F. Jenkins.

On July 2 and 3, 1863, the 700 Floridians of Perry’s Brigade suffered 445 casualties. The monument reads this way:

Like all Floridians who participated in the Civil War, they fought with courage and devotion for the ideals in which they believed by their n0ble example of bravery and endurance. They enable us to meet with confidence any sacrifice which confronts us as Americans.

The photo below is another I made on the battlefield. It has been converted to a pencil drawing using a program called Topaz Adjust.

The Gettysburg Battlefield. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The Gettysburg Battlefield. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony! (Psalm 133:1 CSB)

The first portion of this post has been repeated from a year ago.

Bok Tower in Florida

This week, through Wednesday, I am presenting a series of lectures at the Lake Wales (Florida) Church of Christ. When I drove into the parking lot yesterday morning I looked to a distant hill and saw Bok Tower. I recall visiting Bok Tower one time as much as 5 decades ago. It is certainly a place to remember.

The tower and gardens were envisioned in the 1920s by Dutch immigrant and humanitarian Edward W. Bok. This site, set among orange groves, is one of the highest spots in Florida. The National Historic Landmark was dedicated by President Calvin Coolidge in 1929. In the afternoon we went by Tower so I could capture a photo.

Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales, FL. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales, FL. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

According to the brochure available at the entry this tower houses one of the world’s finest carillons. Concerts are presented daily.