Today is Veteran’s Day which was once called Armistice Day to commemorate the ending of World War I, “the war to end all wars” How naive were those fools back then, to think that mankind had the wisdom to stop the useless slaughter of the innocents. Just a short time later the world was again appeasing a tyrant.There was a call by Nevil Chamberlain for “peace at any cost” but millions of soldiers died in their endeavors to rid the world of cruel dictators like Hitler and Japan’s imperialism. It wasn’t just soldiers but women and children dying from bombs, famine and cruelty, in a malaise of apocalyptic torment.
I am reminded that war is just an extension of our politics. Different ideologies not being able to reach a compromise ensuing into an armed conflict to determine whose right. Each proclaiming God and right being on their side and the other side as the consummate evil. It happens far too often, such as in our Civil War. Try to imagine the Democrats and Republicans going to war over their differences. One side defending the LBGT, same sex marriage and illegal aliens and the other defending their Christian Faith and the abolishment of abortion. There are a lot more issues but you can see the disparity.
It is idiotic to romanticize war but every generation does. The young men feeling their boisterous manhood and dreaming of victory and fame, glorious battle raging in their imaginations but then the realization that “there is no glory in war but just uncommon valor”. They suffer, bleed and die and their heroes are heralded and songs written to honor their sacrifice. I was reminded of this in church today as we all stood and sang “The Battle Hymn of The Republic” and one of the stanzas which said” that we might die to set other men free”
So much for my title paragraph, I started this post to recount the service my ancestors have contributed to this nation of ours. Now my namesakes were mostly Quakers and thus didn’t war but we all have many ancestors and I will mention the ones I know served. I don’t have any record of my European ancestry but rest assured with my Nordic (Viking), German (Gaelic) and English (Saxons and Normans) I am sure they battled and were strong else I would not be here.
I have researched my ancestry on Ancestry.Com and everyone should do the same. Beginning with the Revolutionary War I had two patriots on the colonial side. A Billy Maness, in the line of Mary Maness who married my 5th Great Grandfather, George. I had Robert Morris, who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and the Continental Treasurer. I also had a Cabanis who served on the patriot side.
I have a Gideon Moore who served during the War of 1812 and also an Asa Barrett who was a US Marine aboard the USS Constitution, “Old Ironsides” and fought the Barbary Pirates. I had two ancestors that were killed by Indians. Big John Anderson was killed by a Creek War Party in North Florida and a Nathaniel Anderson who was killed by Comanche’s two weeks after arriving in Texas somewhere up around Waco, Texas.
I had two ancestors killed during the Civil War. My 5th Great Grandfather, George Moore, married to the above named Mary Maness, died at the battle of Fredericksburg, at the wall. I had another of my ancestors, John Lewis Anderson die at the Battle of Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga Tennessee. He was killed by a sniper and is buried there, near Lookout Mountain. I also had another Civil War ancestor, Asa Barrett, who was from Maryland and joined the Navy on the Union side but he deserted at the Battle of Mobil Bay and married and settled in Northwest Florida. To the best of my knowledge I had no ancestors in the Mexican American War nor the Spanish American War. I have no knowledge of any ancestor serving in the Korean War.
I now arrive at World War II and I had many ancestors that served from both my parent’s lines. My father had six brothers. Leslie (Uncle Leck) was in the 1st Airborne and landed behind enemy lines on D-day and was later captured by the Germans at the Battle of the Bulge. Spent the rest of the war in a concentration camp, then was liberated by the Russians. I had another uncle, John Christmas Moore who served in the Pacific Theater at Guadalcanal and other islands. There are many more but these were the ones I remember without getting back into Ancestry.Com.
As for me, I joined the Navy in 1967, while still in High School, to keep from being drafted. Oddly enough I was contemplating joining the Israeli Army after their Six day War but America gave me my own war. I did two tours in Vietnam. I again reenlisted for two more years during the Carter Depression and served in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean. My ex-wife married Captain Allen Brady who was a Navy pilot that got shot down over Vietnam and did five years in the Hanoi Hilton. I also have a first cousin who became a Navy Seal (Seal team three or red team) and was in Grenada and the Panama Canal.
It seems the Moore line is dying out. Out of the seven boys in my father’s family, only two had sons and none of those, except me, have served. My two younger siblings died without issue. My older brother had a son and he had a son but neither served. I now have a grandson and granddaughter and both are going to college. I wish they would serve their country which is honorable but I also wish for peace in their time so that they may not know the ravages and horror of war. To all my ancestors who have served this great nation: Thank You for Your Service!