Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month, 1918

I can't find the photo I wanted to post.  It's in the box of pictures somewhere - it just must have been stuck in the wrong folder at some point.  So this will have to do:

Patrick Henry Felton: 1885 - 1979

The picture I was looking for is one of Uncle Pat in his WWI doughboy uniform.  Ramrod straight, so handome.  And even in a sepia-tinted photo eyes so clearly blue, so blue, looking right at the camera.  The same blue eyes I remember so clearly.

He was my paternal  grandmother's brother.  His own grandfather Henry was 60 years old when he dyed his hair, lied about his age, and in 1861 enlisted in what would become the 6th WV Infantry,  Henry was mustered out in 1864.  He was killed in a train wreck on his way home, laid to rest beside a son-in-law who was killed in battle during his second enlistment, eventually joined by the daughter and children that they had left behind.

Others from the family also served and survived to sit Uncle Pat and his siblings on their knees and tell them stories about the battles they had fought during the Civil War- Antietam, Gettysburg, Fredericksburg.   Surviving Little Roundtop.  Marching into the hail of hell that was the Sunken Lane.  A minie ball into a foot, a boot filling with blood.  He lived with time machines, and then he became one himself.

Dad was a medic in the Philippines during WWII, patching up the chewed up bodies as they flowed back from the front.  Uncle Lynn was at Iwo Jima and had the scars to prove it.  I have pictures of Uncle Franklin in uniform but I never thought to ask were he ended up - I think the war ended before he got shipped overseas.

And out in the middle of a cow field just west of Cathedral State Park and just north of U.S. 50 in West Virginia lie a pair of my great greats, father and son.  Both Lieutenants in George Washington's Continental Army, serving with others whose family they would eventually join, veterans of Lexington in Massachusetts, all responsible for every freedom we have ever known. Their headstones are broken and beaten down, but ask at the house and make sure you close the gate and you can visit them and pay your respects - I have.

The battles were over for Uncle Pat at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918.  This is for him and for all veterans, in gratitude for their service:

And my heartfelt thanks to all who have served. 


  1. Agreed.

    I'm wearing my "poppy" today (need to get back to the craft store, and make one that doesn't look like the cat puked it up). Had one or two ask about it, and one comment that I'm the only one who seems to remember to wear one. Many thanks to all who have served!

  2. I remember vets sitting outside local stores, selling those little paper poppies every year. We always bought a couple, and I even wore them to school. I haven't seen any in a long time, more's the pity.

  3. Great Tribute Thank-You for sharing