Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The Story Behind This Patriotic Mantel...



These colors don't run... 

In my previous post sharing this patriotic mantel just a couple of quick highlight photos were shared. Today I am going to share the story of why I chose each of the items in this mantel scape.

How these small treasures honor our American patriots and veterans on this Memorial Day, 4th of July and Veterans Day...






Many of  you know my husband is a U. S. Marine Corps veteran who served eight years in California at Camp Pendleton and at H + S Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego. 

Between those two posts, he served seven months in the Gulf of Oman during Operation Desert Storm (1990-1991) aboard the USS New Orleans, part of the USS Tarawa group stationed in the Gulf.  For his part, he received the Navy Achievement medal, a gold crossed-palm trees Kuwaiti medal and another medal for helping during hunger relief in Bangladesh.



When the operation was first announced no one knew if this would be another Vietnam or erupt into another world war; there was no way to know. I was terrified for Charles and am grateful that he came home with only five crushed disks in his back (a slip off the ship's ladder during a storm with a full 70 lb. pack on his back) and a permanent skin rash. I prayed a lot and so did everyone else whom I knew who had loved ones in the air or on ship or land.




This is us at our engagement party during the summer of 1987. Charles officially went into the USMC in January 1988.

The hair got a bit shorter after this photo was taken! This was phase one of the haircuts. ;)




It is with great honor and respect that I share this post with its leaning books about Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, Navy Cross recipients and other wonderful books written about our great nation's military.

I have also included a book on The Civil War which my father stayed up until the wee hours reading it cover to cover when he was out to visit when my daughter was very small. I think he would approve of this post!
:)



Why are they leaning?

These books are leaning to show the men and women who have fallen in the line of duty. The leaning also convey that our military service personnel may get knocked down in battle or by post traumatic distress but they get back up, dust themselves off and keep going. That is the way of a soldier ~ resilient, humble, God-fearing, loyal... and brave.

The burning candles are for those soldiers who didn't get to come home ~ like the continuously burning light and watch (guards) at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery who stand at attention 24-7-365. These candles are for them.



The transferware plates

Two blue transferware plates show part of America's history ~ "Independence Hall" created by Liberty Blue, Historic Colonial Scenes, on Staffordshire ironstone; and Johnson Bros. Historic America "Covered Wagons and the Rocky Mountains."

I found four of the "Independence Hall" plates while thrift-shopping in California a couple of years ago and shared them in this past post.  The Covered Wagons plate was one given to me by my sister-in-law Linnea 21 years ago when I drove out with the kids to visit she and my brother Gene in Weatherford, Texas. Small world that it came back here...


Flow blue delftware and a French plate

When I was an exchange student to Germany in 1981 my host family took us to Holland for a long weekend. A little of the money I'd taken with me to Europe brought home this pair of Dutch Delft shoes with little twirling windmills plus this sweet Delft cow.*

They are reminders of that special time learning about the people and culture of the Netherlands, but here later in life they have also become reminders of the sacrifices made by the Dutch people in recent history during WWII. 

The Nazis entered Holland in May 1940 destroying cities and peoples in their wake. The Netherlands were finally liberated between September 1944 and April 1945 as part of the Allied Forces surrounding Germany and ultimately forcing Hitler and the Nazi party's surrender.


*A little more about Delft and Holland in case you are interested.



France also suffered greatly with the Nazi invasion of WWII, therefore this French soup plate "Eglantine" by K + G, Luneville, France, is my tribute to the French resistance and the people of France and their part in helping to win the war. The quietly hidden fleur-de-lis on a ribbon of  gold also shares in this patriotism.




And of course a bouquet of flowers lies there for all the fallen and for all the victories our military members have seen in 243 years of America as a country. 


A special pin to share...


Mr. Ethereal and I will be watching war movies like we usually do on Memorial Day and having a few cookouts. But this year as in most years I spend time remembering... I'm happy to share this special mantel vignette with you.  Enjoy yours!
:)




Happy Memorial Day,

16 comments:

  1. What a thoughtful and interesting post. No, I didn't know Mr. Ethereal was a Marine. Thank him for me. I love how you put so much of both your personalities and feeling into your mantle. Not JUST a lovely mantle but a meaningful one as well.

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    Replies
    1. This year especially I feel more patriotic for some reason, Jeanie. Not sure why but maybe because I've been on a float in a couple of local parades here in our new hometown. :) Thank you! I will tell Charles for you. <3 He loved being a Marine and would have retired if he could have (He was "active duty reserve" and couldn't get picked up during the Clinton admin. military cutbacks in the the 1990s as a "regular Marine.").

      Happy Memorial Day to you!
      Barb :)

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  2. Thus is a very interesting and pithy article. I enjoyed reading your new story and was pleasantly surprised by its plot.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, I appreciate your thoughts!

      Blessings to you,
      Barb Chapman :)

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  3. I really liked the way you designed the fireplace because everything looks very concise and elegant, because everything is thought out to the smallest detail.

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  4. I did not know that and thank your husband for his service. My late dad was a WWII veteran and disabled in the trenches. Bravery!

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    1. Thank you for your father's service, Janet. I'm sorry he was injured in WWII. I often think how anyone can come home from war unscathed and really I don't think they do. Charles didn't see any action, really, except to have heavy oil rained down upon him (and this was lightly where they were near Dubai) and today he has some type of psoriasis/eczema from it).

      I am glad your father came home and enjoyed a good life afterwards with you and your family. <3

      Hugs,
      Barb :)

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  5. A great way to celebrate the people who fight for our freedom!

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    1. Thank you, Patti! Just a little bit in a small way that I can.

      Hugs,
      Barb :)

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  6. Very interesting using the leaning books. I like that! My birthday is July 4th and I have been patriotic my whole life. This is a beautiful way to share your patriotism and your husband’s (and your) devotion to the country. Thank you for your devotion.

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    1. Hi Meegan, thank you for your thoughts about our patriotic mantel decoration!

      Hugs,
      Barb :)

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  7. What a beautiful post, thanks to your husband for his service!

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    1. Thank you, Roxanne! I enjoyed writing this post immensely and I will thank my husband for you. <3

      Hugs,
      Barb :)

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  8. What a great post! You must be so proud. It’s an honor to serve and what a wonderful man you have!

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    1. Thank you, Maria! I am proud of our country, my husband and my father and father-in-law's service. I have several cousins who were in the US Air Force, too, plus a brother. I am proud in the best sense of their dedication to our country and to all the men and women who have, do and will serve.

      Thanks again,
      Hugs,
      Barb :)

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I appreciate your leaving me a comment, thank you!
Hugs,
Barb :)

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