Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The War Horse Memorial: Richmond, Virginia

The War Horse (photograph from The Virginia Historical Society)
Recently a friend of mine handed me a thick, blue folder inside of which was articles, photographs, postcards, souvenir booklets, and magazines all relating to Civil War themed topics.  Because I have recently joined the United Daughters of the Confederacy, she wanted to share some things with me that she knew I would be interested in.  The folder is a treasure trove of interesting topics and now that my Cammie Henry manuscript is in the hands of the publisher for round two of scrutiny, I have a little time to delve into my blue folder.

One of the photographs that caught my eye was of The War Horse memorial which is located at The Virginia Historical Society in Richmond, Virginia.  The monument is a memorial to the horses and mules, both Union and Confederate, that were lost during the Civil War.  It is estimated that between 1,300,000 and 1,500,000 horses and mules were lost during the conflict either through injury or disease. At Gettysburg alone, it is estimated that 3,000 horses and mules were lost.

The monument in Virginia is a life-sized bronze horse who still wears his saddle and bridle.  His head hangs low, his ribs are exposed, and he is exhausted.  His back foot is slightly raised, which according to philanthropist and horse breeder Paul Mellon who commissioned the monument, is "what horses do when they are tired."

In doing a little research on the monument and the artist who created it, I learned that this monument is actually one of three War Horse monuments.  The other two are three-quarter sized and stand at The National Sporting Library and Museum in Middleburg, VA, and at The United States Cavalry Museum at Ft. Riley Kansas.

By the time Paul Mellon commissioned the one for the Virginia Historical Society, he had decided that 3/4 size was not large enough and so the artist's mold had to be enlarged for a life-sized monument.

The artist is Tessa Pullan of Rutland, England. She is well-known for her work in portraying animals and Mellon knew her because she had created a monument for his Kentucky Derby winning horse, Sea Hero, in 1993.  According to "The Origin of the War Horse" by Lisa Campbell of the National Sporting Library and Museum, Mellon was acquainted with artist John Skeaping under whom Ms. Pullan had studied. Skeaping highly recommended Ms. Pullan and so she was hired to do the Sea Hero commission.

In creating the War Horse monument, Ms. Pullan was aided by vast numbers of photographs and input from Paul Mellon.  Mr. Mellon knew exactly what he wanted this horse to look like and had been inspired by this photograph he saw in a book: it is "The American Tommy Atkins in a Montana Blizzard" by Remington.  The horse in that painting is also exhausted, gaunt, and has his back foot slightly raised.

In Lisa Campbell's article, Tessa Pullan says Mellon "supplied the photographs which were of a horse used for battle reenactments. He also sent a couple of photocopies of prints or paintings to give me an idea of what he was after. One was a horse in a snow storm which is the one I based the sculpture on."  Pullan also studied photographs of abused and starved horses, a process she describes as "horrendous," but that helped her get the effect she and Mellon wanted.

The horse was intended to represent both Union and Confederate sides and a great deal of research went into the gear on the horse so that it could represent either side.  It is also interesting to note that the scabbard is empty, indicating that the rider did not survive the battle.

The monument at the Virginia Historical Society was unveiled in September 1997; at the base of the monument is the inscription:

In memory of the one and a half million horses and mules of the Confederate and Union armies who were killed, were wounded, or died from disease in the Civil War.

Some say that the best time to visit the monument is at night; the lighting on the horse causes a huge silhouette on the wall behind him which is a striking sight.


Tessa Pullan's website is here.

More about animal mascots of the Civil War.

The War Horse photographs.

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Monday, June 27, 2016

Stitch Fix: How to get Better Fixes

Let's talk about Stitch Fix -- the personal styling box service in which you receive great new clothes selected just for you by a personal stylist.

I signed up for this service in January 2016; compared to those ladies who have received twenty and thirty fixes, or more, I'm a novice.  But in all of my fixes, I've only returned three items: I returned one purse because even though I requested a purse, I didn't care for the color.  I returned one top because even though it was very close to one I pinned on Pinterest, it just wasn't flattering on me, and I returned a pair of distressed jeans. I requested distressed jeans, but after looking at them in person, I decided I liked naturally distressed jeans after all.

Everything else I have received has been great!  That's about a 91% "keep" percentage.

So, what is the secret to getting great fixes?

First, the background: what is Stitch Fix and how does it work?  My standard blurb:

Go to the Stitch Fix site and fill out a personal profile. This is where you can set your price points and provide basic information as to your likes and dislikes.

You can schedule a "Fix" at any time or set up a recurring date if you wish. You pay a $20 "styling fee" for each box which applies to your purchase should you keep anything in the box. If you buy all five items in the box you also get a 25-percent discount on the total. 

The box includes a pre-paid bag for you to return what you don't want to keep. Just drop the clothes you're returning into the bag and drop the bag into a mailbox.  Easy.

 For each referral, or friend you get to sign up, you also get a $25 credit to your account once their "Fix" ships. The service uses your profile that you fill out as well as access to a Pinterest board you give them (optional) where you have pinned styles and clothes you like. 

If you Google "Stitch Fix Review" you'll find lots of blogs with lots of women sharing photos and reviews of their boxes. There are also multiple Facebook pages/groups where people buy/sell/trade and discuss their boxes.

If you look at those Facebook boards, you will probably see a lot of negativity.  Don't read the comments or posts, as a rule.  Just look at the pictures of the clothes, and find what you like.

Rule No. 1:  Create a Pinterest board that you will link to your SF profile.  Before you request a Fix, take some time to pin current Stitch Fix clothes to that board.  If you pin something that is a year old, you probably won't get it.  If you pin something from Zulilly, Nordstrom, Belk, or some other site where you like to shop, you probably won't get it.  Stitch Fix has their own brands, for the most part.

When you pin something, "Edit" the picture to leave commentary for your stylist about what you
like about the pin.  "Pinning this for the purse - don't like the dress but I love the bag!" Or "Love this top but would prefer it in yellow if possible."

Where do you get these pictures?  Check the Facebook boards.  Here is one called Stitch Fix B/S/T and Discussion.  Here is another called Stitch Fix b/s/t Large and XL.  Here's one called Stitch Fix Jewelry and Accessories.  There are lots more.  Follow them, and pin clothes that you like to your Pinterest board.

Where else can you get pictures?  Follow Stitch Fix on Instagram.  Follow the Stitch Fix blog.

The more Stitch Fix clothes you pin to Pinterest the better off you will be.

Rule No. 2:  Leave detailed notes for your stylist.  Once you request your fix, you are prompted to leave a note for your stylist.  Do not underestimate this step.  This is where you tell the stylist what you would like to receive or if you have any special events coming up you'd like to prepare for, if you're pregnant, if you want to receive all tops, if you want a Kate Middleton inspired fix, if you don't want to receive any shoes....leave it in the note.  Leave it in the note even if it's already in your profile.  If you just say "Surprise me!" in your note, do not complain if you don't like what you get.  Be as specific as possible.  If you ask for something you can wear to the office - how formal or informal is your office?  Do you work at a veterinarian's office washing dogs all day or as an attorney?  Be specific.

Rule No. 3:  Leave detailed feedback when you check out.  If you return something, explain exactly why. If it's a fit issue, explain what that is: was it too long? Too tight?  Where?  Wrong color?  Too loose?  This refines your profile and helps your stylist pick better for you in the next fix. If you return something and don't leave feedback, how will your stylist know what to avoid next time?  Don't just say, "It's not me."  Why isn't it?  Leave specific feedback.

Rule No. 4:  Do not confuse Personal Stylist with Personal Shopper.  If you know you want a fringed top you saw at Ann Taylor, go get it.  If you know you want a pair of yellow shorts, go buy them.  Stitch Fix is a styling service and will send you clothes that fit a profile you submit and refine. It's not a personal shopping service.  From time to time you will get something that you initially think is not "you".  Give it a try before you rule it out.  You might be surprised.

Rule No. 5:  Update your Pinterest board each time you get a Fix.  Take off what you have received.  You might want to shuffle items bottom to top or rearrange them.  I try to put my most current "wants" at the top of my board.  The stylists don't have all day long to work on just your fix, so the easier you make it, the better.  Do not expect them to scroll through your Facebook page and Instagram page to try and figure out your style.  Can I emphasize enough the importance of the Pinterest board?

Rule No. 6:  If you like your stylist, you can keep your stylist.  If you want to keep your stylist, SAY SO in each note when you schedule.  The system is designed to keep you paired with your stylist if you keep a certain number of items, but never assume that it will work that way.  If you request a certain stylist and it by chance goes to another one, your fix will be bumped over to the one you have requested.  Always say so if you want to keep your stylist.  Alternately, if the relationship just isn't working for you, say so.  Ask for a new stylist.

Rule No. 7:  Keep your expectations real.  Inventory is sometimes limited and just because you request a Stitch Fix blouse you saw on Facebook does not mean you will get it, but your stylist will try to pick something similar.  Keep in mind seasonal changes.  They probably won't have shorts in fall.  In fact, they may not be able to send you four pairs of shorts in the summer because everyone wants shorts and inventory is limited.  Be open minded to new things.  So often I see on the Facebook boards, "I requested this top and didn't get it!  My stylist didn't even read my note!"  More likely is that the stylist just didn't have that top in inventory.

That's basically how to get fixes that will be successful.  If you get something that doesn't fit, the company will usually be able to swap sizes with you.  Just email customer service, explain the problem, and wait for an answer.  It's usually within two days.  You can hold off on returning items until you hear from them.  Stitch Fix is known for excellent customer service.

Now, go update your Pinterest board and request a perfect fix!

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Epperson's Continued Attack on the Confederate Monument

Commissioner Ken Epperson and Lady Justice
Caddo Commission member Ken Epperson has a guest column in The Shreveport Times today - as of this writing it isn't on the website that I can find, but it is in the print edition.

You may recall that Mr. Epperson is attempting to have the Confederate Monument removed that stands in front of the courthouse on land given to the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1903.  I attended the Caddo Commission committee meeting when this was discussed and wrote about it here.  You can watch the video of that meeting here.  If you just want to skip to Mr. Epperson's wandering, profanity laced tirade at the end, it starts at about 1:20 in the video.

In today's column, Mr. Epperson still contends that the monument is located on Caddo Parish Courthouse property, ignoring the 1903 donation by the Caddo Parish Police Jury in which the land was given to the UDC.  He writes:
"This should settle the issue, the Confederate monument is placed illegally on Caddo Parish's property and should be removed immediately by the owners. I am not looking to suppress history only to put it in it's proper place."
He contends that the debate about the monument so far has been "lots of rhetoric, most of which is not factual, but just emotional and misleading comments by the proponents of keeping the monument in place."

Only two people spoke to move the monument at the Committee meeting, beside Mr. Epperson.  Two dozen spoke to keep it.

The bulk of his article is the text of a title search done in 2002 which actually found no deed whatsoever on the property.  Apparently Caddo Parish doesn't even own it.

Historian Gary Joiner noted at the Caddo Commission committee meeting that any attempt to move the monument would likely be tied up in courts for years as ownership of the land is debated and it would open "a can of worms."  He suggests if anyone owns the land it would be the heirs of Indian interpreter Larkin Edwards who was given large chunks of land by the Caddo Indians.

In related news, Mr. Epperson had his portrait removed from the wall of the courthouse, stating that its presence there indicates that he agrees with everything that goes on there.  He wants his picture and name replaced with that of Lady Justice, a request which was honored this week. Before and after pictures can be seen here:
Ken Epperson’s is serving his 20th year as Commissioner in Caddo Parish. This morning his photo was removed from the Caddo Parish Courthouse, at his request. Commissioner Epperson says, “My picture up there now represents that I agree with everything that goes on on that particular ground and I do not.” Epperson gave an ultimatum before having his picture replaced with Lady Justice, asking for the confederate monument outside of the courthouse to be removed or remove his photo from inside the courthouse. Officials chose the latter and removed Epperson’s photo this morning. 
The Caddo Parish Commission Long Range Special Projects Committee will form a sub-committee at a later date to debate the monument issue.

Meanwhile, Mr. Epperson will remain on the Caddo Commmission, apparently now representing the voice of justice.

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Thursday, June 9, 2016

Report from the Caddo Parish Commission Committee Meeting on the Confederate Monument in Which Ken Epperson Blasts "Jake-Leg Bloggers"

The Caddo Parish Commission Special Projects Committee met this afternoon to discuss the issue of removing the Confederate monument that sits on the north side of the Caddo Parish courthouse.

 Proposed Ordinance No. 5587 put forth by Commissioner Ken Epperson intends to provide a $300,000 appropriation to remove the Confederate monument and replace it with a monument honoring the USS Golet.  That there is already a memorial to the USS Golet at the American Legion Post 14 on Cross Lake is apparently of no concern.

The monument stands on a plat of land donated by the Caddo Parish Police Jury to the United Daughters of the Confederacy for use in perpetuity back in 1903. The land was never officially deeded to them, likely because back in those days people did business on a handshake and your good word.

The monument was constructed with a $1000 donation by the Police Jury and funds raised by the UDC.

The issue of moving the monument has been raised before (at least two of those times by Epperson), and always the legal issues over who owns the land opens "a can of worms" as it was referred to today.  No doubt if it ever comes to pass that the monument be moved, it will be tied up in the courts for years and cost thousands of dollars, the beneficiary of which will only be the lawyers.

The meeting room was packed this afternoon with numerous interested citizens who wanted to share their thoughts with the Commission. Almost twenty-five people walked up to the podium to share their thoughts and only two of those supported Epperson's proposal.

Esteemed local attorney and historian Art Carmody was the first to address the Committee and noted several legal defects in the proposal and affirmed that in his opinion, the property on which the monument stands belongs to the UDC.  He pointed out that the proposal as written does not specify what would happen to the monument, whether it would be moved, dismantled, or fall at the hands of a wrecking ball.

The speakers that followed all reiterated the same idea: you can't erase or sanitize history and that to allow removal of this monument opens a slippery slope for the future.  Where does it end?

Notable comments were given by Retired Army Maj. Ron Chatelain who is recognized as the most decorated living war veteran in the State of Louisiana. Ron is a personal friend of mine and is one of the kindest, most gentle men I've ever known.  He thanked the military veterans on the Committee for their service and he pointed out that all races fought for the South during the Civil War.  With emotion quivering in his voice, he also cited the depiction of the muse Clio on the statue to represent the sacrifices and work of women at home.  Chatelain suggested that Shreveport would be recognized as a more progressive city by leaving the monument where it is as a sign that as a community we can unify and work together.

Lane Callaway of the Shreveport Historic Preservation Commission made the point that if the monument is moved it would lose its listing on the National Register.  Part of its historic significance is the site upon which it sits -- Shreveport was the last place that the Confederate flag flew over a public building after the Civil War and the beginning of Reconstruction.  The site itself is therefore historic.  Local professor, author, and professional historian Gary Joiner affirmed this.

Former Shreveport Times writer and military historian John Andrew Prime also noted that Reconstruction began here and pointed out that Union monuments in the north are also under attack.

Benjamin Arnold suggested that balance is the answer.  He suggested that if the Commission wants to create balance they should build a monument on the other side of the courthouse which celebrates civil rights heroes or other black heroes. He proposed citizen contributions for this project with matching funds by the Commission which would make the community more invested in the project.  "Our nation was founded on compromise," he said, and suggested that we need to find a way to do that.

Several speakers called for those who are intent on inciting racial division in our city to remove themselves from office.

Only two people spoke in favor of moving the monument: attorney Henry Walker (who in a previous meeting called the statue just a bunch of concrete) suggested that we dismantle the statue, removing the four busts and placing them in Greenwood Cemetery. It will be "a place of prominence," he said. Oh, and the female figure too, he said, referring to Clio. It was not without notice that Mr. Walker received no applause at the end of his comments.

The other speaker in favor of removal was community activist Artis Cash who insisted, "that monument represents traitors to United States!"  He said that "for people to come here with their melodious voices and talk about how great this was is just wrong!"  He rambled on for his three minutes and said we should "honor some real heroes" in its place.

At the conclusion of his speech, Mr. Cash turned to the crowd and said, "Now y'all clap for ME now."  Nobody did, and a few offered "Boo" in return, prompting him to call them "unchristian."  Childish.

Mr. Cash's speech inflamed SCV member John Long who spoke after him and was furious that Cash called Confederate soldiers "traitors."  "My family members weren't traitors!"  he passionately insisted.  "If you want to talk about traitors, let's talk about Abraham Lincoln," and then went on to quote the Emancipation Proclamation at length noting that Lincoln failed to free slaves where he had the power to.

The high emotion prompted one audience member who had not intended to speak to approach the podium after all.  Andrew Stevenson suggested that the statue should be treated as a tourist site and that we have much bigger problems to deal with such as the steadily climbing murder rate and street violence. "Reverends need to go to their congregations and tell them to quit killing each other," and
Ken Epperson
suggested that the Ten Commandments should be at the courthouse and that we need to "bring God back" into our community, an observation which earned him much applause.

After the public input session, Committee members had 7 minutes to express their thoughts and most it seemed were opposed to moving the monument citing concerns about the cost, other more important issues, and a need for compromise.  Many cited the need for unity rather than division.  Matthew Linn suggested that the vacant top floor of the courthouse be used as a civil rights museum.

Things got interesting when Mr. Epperson had his say.  In a profanity laced tirade, he blasted "jake-leg bloggers" for blowing the issue up and making it all about race, which was "Bullcrap" he said repeatedly.  In a grammatical mess of English he insisted, "Hell, I never said nothing about race." Then he called for members of each military branch to raise their hands. He called next for the Daughters of the Confederacy, then the United Daughters of the Confederacy to raise their hands, apparently not aware that its the same group.  Then he called for the members of Chapter 237 UDC to raise their hands, and the same people put up their hands.

Epperson called for various SCV members to raise their hands as well and then he recited the Pledge of Allegiance.  Following that bizarre turn, Epperson then read the military Oath of Enlistment although he left out the "so help me God" phrase which he said wasn't on his copy because his was the "official version."

When Epperson's time ran out, he asked for an extension then complained that the three additional minutes given him was not enough.  In his additional three minutes Epperson talked about the merit of a USS Golet monument, again apparently not satisfied with the existing one at the American Legion post.

In the end, the Committee elected to table the motion for now and to form a subcommittee of community leaders and historians to discuss, share ideas, and present suggestions to the Commission at a later date.

Although he does not represent my district, as a Shreveport resident, I'm embarrassed for Mr. Epperson's behavior today. Between his profanity laced tirade, apparent attempt at intimidation by calling out groups, and general bully-ish behavior, and then Artis Cash attacking the crowd and accusing them of not being Christians, it's clear our level of government has reached a new low.

Thank goodness for the level heads in that room: Commissioner Chavez was gracious, calm, level-headed and sensible.

Personally, I don't know what the motivation behind Epperson's desire to get rid of the monument are.  Most people today addressed the issue of race although he insists that isn't it.  He said the brouhaha over the monuments in NOLA have nothing to do with it either. I find it hard to believe that he has such a burning desire to memorialize the Golet though.  This "jake-legged blogger" just isn't buying it.

KSLA News coverage and video.

Monday, June 6, 2016

D-Day 2016: Remembering the Kelley Brothers

On this anniversary of D-Day, I'm running a version of one of my columns at DaTechGuy; here in Shreveport, one family lost three sons in less than two years in World War II.  During that war many families across our nation lost more than one son, but as far as I know, the Kelley family is the only family in Shreveport that lost three sons-- one of them in the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944.  

Like all of America, Shreveport watched the unfolding events at Pearl Harbor in 1941 with horror.  

In February 1942, William G. Kelley (his friends and family called him “Bob”) felt the call to service and enlisted in the Army Air Corps.  He had graduated from the local high school, attended Louisiana College, and was attending seminary.  He was ordained at the First Baptist Church in Shreveport by Dr. M. E. Dodd.  When he enlisted, Bob was preaching at the Evangeline Mission, a new church in town that he helped build with the assistance of the Queensborough Baptist Church.

William "Bob" Kelley
Bob Kelley went to officers’ school and became a bombardier; he went with the Eighth Air Force to England.  Lt. Kelley had been overseas only six weeks when his plane crashed near Fontainebleau, France and claimed his life on November 10, 1944.  He was twenty-four years old.

The Evangeline Mission, where Bob was a preacher, was renamed for him as Kelley Memorial Baptist Church.

A second Kelley son, Bose, Jr., died in the D-Day invasion.  Al McIntosh, writing for the Rock County Star Herald, wrote on June 8, 1944, after learning that the expected invasion of France had finally taken place:
“This is no time for any premature rejoicing or cockiness because the coming weeks are going to bring grim news.  This struggle is far from over – it has only started – and if anyone thinks that a gain of ten miles means that the next three hundred are going to go as fast or easy he is only an ostrich.”
He was correct:  the grim news was only beginning.

Bose F. Kelley, Jr.
Bose Kelly, Jr. enlisted in May 1942.  Bose graduated from Fair Park High School in Shreveport.  He was married to Betty Miller and working as a mechanic at Central Motor Company, a car dealership.  Bose volunteered for the Army Airborne, went to jump school and became a paratrooper.  Bose was part of the 507 PIR which became attached to the 82nd Airborne in 1943. The 507 PIR was activated at Fort Benning, Georgia on July 20, 1942 and trained there and in Alliance, Nebraska.  In 1943, the 507th PIR shipped out to Northern Ireland, then England, and it was in Nottingham where they prepared for the coming Allied invasion of France.  They studied sand tables, drop zones, and were given Hershey’s chocolates and a carton of cigarettes.

Bose was on a C-47, number 13 in his stick, as the plane lumbered through the fog banks toward Drop Zone T, near the west bank of the Merderet River.  Because of the fog and the incoming German flak, the C-47s flew faster and higher than anticipated which caused almost all of the paratroopers to miss the drop zone.  They were scattered over a 15 mile area.  The 507th was the last regiment to jump and by the time Bose Kelley’s C-47 was over the Cotentin peninsula the entire area was stirred up with flak coming from every direction. There were sixteen men in Bose Kelley’s stick and at least eight of them were killed that night.  The Germans had flooded the valley as a defensive tactic and some paratroopers, weighted down by equipment and unable to swim, drowned.  Bose Kelley was killed by a direct hit from an artillery shell.

Major General Paul F. Smith wrote in his Foreword to Dominique Francois’s history of the 507th,
“This regiment unquestionably received the worst drop of the six US parachute regiments dropped that night.”
Howard Huebner, who was number 3 in Bose’s stick, survived that drop.  He wrote:
I am a Paratrooper! I was 21 yrs old when we jumped into Normandy. 
We knew the area where we were supposed to land, because we had studied it on sand tables, and then had to draw it on paper by memory, but that all faded as our regiment was the last to jump, and things had changed on the ground. Most of us missed our drop zone by miles.  As we were over our drop zone there was a downed burning plane. Later I found out it was one of ours. The flack was hitting our plane and everything from the ground coming our way looked like the Fourth of July. 
When I hit the ground in Normandy, I looked at my watch.  It was 2:32 AM, June 6, 1944. I cut myself out of my chute, and the first thing I heard was shooting and some Germans hollering in German, "mucksnell toot sweet Americanos". 
We the 507th, was supposed to land fifteen miles inland, but I landed three or four miles from Utah Beach by the little town of Pouppeville. I wound up about 1000 yards from a French farm house that the Germans were using for a barracks, and about 200 feet from a river, an area that the Germans had flooded. If I would have landed in the water, I may not be here today as I can’t swim. A lot of paratroopers drowned because of the flooded area.
Local writer Gary Hines spoke to Bose’s widow, Betty, for an article he wrote for the August 2000 issue of SB Magazine.  She told him, “He was going to win the war and come back home.”  Betty was married at 18 and a widow at 20.  She told Mr. Hines “We were both young enough to feel that he was coming home.  He wasn’t going to be one of the ones who was lost.”

Edgar Rew Kelley
A third Kelley son, Edgar Rew, was drafted into the Army in 1943.  He was sent to Camp McCain in Mississippi where he died five weeks later from an outbreak of spinal meningitis.  He never made it out of basic training.  He was 27 years old; he left behind a wife of five years.

The remaining Kelley brother was Jack.  Jack Richard Kelley was serving in the medical corps in Washington at Fort Lewis.  His father, Bose Kelley, Sr., wrote to U.S. Representative Overton Brooks and pleaded with him to prevent his oldest son from going overseas.   It is reminiscent of the scene in Saving Private Ryan where General Marshall reads the Bixby letter to his officers.  In this case, in a letter dated December 8, 1944, Mr. Kelley received word that his son Jack would remain stateside for the duration of the war.  Jack Kelley died in 1998.

Sunday, May 18, 2014
The bodies of Bose Kelley, Jr. and his brother William (Bob) were buried in separate military funerals in France but were returned to the United States in September 1948.  Bose and his brother now rest side by side in the veterans section of Greenwood Cemetery in Shreveport.  Their brother, Edgar Rew Kelley, is in a civilian cemetery across town, the Jewella Cemetery on Greenwood Road.  Their father, who pleaded for his fourth son to be spared, died just one month after Bose and William’s bodies were buried in Greenwood Cemetery.  It’s as if he was just waiting for them to come home.

For sixty-five years their sister, Ruby, tended the graves of her brothers.  There has never been a time that I visited the graves that there was not a crisp American flag flying over each and flowers.  Ruby died last year and the graves are now tended by Ruby's daughter.  I visited the graves of Bose and William last week and sure enough, there were two new flags and flowers steadfastly in place.

As we observe this 70th anniversary of D-Day, we remember the sacrifices of young men like the Kelleys all across the country. Their name belongs alongside the Sullivan brothers, the Borgstrum brothers, the Niland brothers, and the Wright brothers.  It is their heroism and their sacrifice, along with that of so many others, that we remember and honor.

For further reading: