A Memorial Day Concert
Usually on Memorial Day I spend the day with friends and family eating Hot Dogs and burgers. This year was not so quite the same.
This year to my surprise, my friend Doris invited me to attend a concert at a 438 acer lovely setting overlooking the Manhattan skyline in Brooklyn. With a view of ships and sailboats entering the harbor of New York, under the Verrazano Bridge past the statue of liberty. Where there would be Wine and Cheese served along with grilled salmon and Latin organic vegan empanadas, gluten free options and deserts. And of course hot dogs and burgers for the kids.
Just bring a blanket and beach chair if you don't care to sit on the grass. There will be entertainment featuring “The ISO symphonic Band. Conducted by Mr. Brian Worsdale, an alumnus of the conducting program of the New York Philharmonic.
Along with the above there will be a Trolley that takes you on a sightseeing tour of the vast beautifully groomed estate. Hmm why wouldn't I want to go. I quickly replied. Where and what time is this going to go on. Count me in. and thank you in advance for the invite. It all sounds incredible.
“Great, glad to take you” Doris further explained meet me by your cousin’s house and Ill pick you up, around noon. I dont have room in my car for her or her husband but they can follow us. My car only fits two, a cherry red Cadillac convertible. Whoo!!! now I'm really impressed, she further say’s the Green-Wood Cemetery is not far from there and hopefully it wont rain and we can drive with the top down. Its being held there, not far from the main gate. What!! Are you kidding? A picnic concert in a cemetery?
Just before the concert band began to play the sun came out in full strength. As I sat on the blanket eating cheese and crackers with a glass of wine, the mood of a picnic was set. The program started off with of course the Star Spangled Banner. Follow by Why should I wake up? from Cabaret, Slava! by Leonard Bernstein and a melody of Broadway Musicals. As the music played I kept thinking what a novel and new way to spend Memorial Day. What a treat to hear those Broadway tunes, West Side Story, Oklahoma, Camelot and scores of Cole Porter Musical hits. Everyone was singing and the cuz and her husband were dancing on the grass and soon so was everyone else in our circle of friends. This was turning out to one of the most fun filled Memorial Day’s I ever spent in my life. The wine was flowing and even the champagne was being uncorked. We were feasting on grilled salmon and Latin vegan delights. Everything that Doris had promised and more.
During the intermission people started coming over to our little group of a dozen. It was getting quite crowed in our little patch of grass off to the side of the band. Doris the ever gracious host was introducing us to all her friends.
Meet Brian, meet Shasha, meet Ryan, meet Maggie, and Charlie this is Jeff Worsdale President of Greenwood Cemetery.
Soon I was rubbing elbows with another homered guest, Boro President of Brooklyn Ryan Silverman. Glad to meet you he said as we shook hands.
This is my Dad who is a WWII Veteran. Hello, Hello!!
Its a pleasure to meet you Sir, I replied. My Dad was a WWII vet also.
What branch of Service was he in replied the elderly man?
Army, he served in North Africa with General Patton's third army. Were you an army man?
Yes we drifted off together off the grass towards a near by bench so he could sit down.
I landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day.
Did you know that Yogi Bera also was on Omaha Beach on D-Day. He was in the navy doing his part in bringing in the troops onto the beach.
That was some day in history, I'm sort of a history buff, I can’t tell you how many books I’ve read and shows on the History channel I’ve seen.
“I’ll tell you my story briefly if you want to hear it?” I could see his face beam with pride as he shifted his body closer, lowering his voice so i could only hear him.
As you say its all been depicted in the movies and that’s a very accurate account of the horrific and chaos that went on. Pinned down on that beach minutes seemed like hours. I never even fired a shot. The next thing I know i was on a hospital ship on D-Day plus three. I received a concussion and was unconscious for that time. I remember it well cause that day when I awoke it was my birthday, I turned 18. I was just barley 16 when I lied about my age and signed up to fight for my country. I was honorably discharged on D-Day plus 437
This turned out to be one incredible Memorial Day, one I won’t forget.