“5,000 Graves on a Hillside”: Remembering Memorial Day

My grandpa was a proud veteran. He served in the Marines in the mid-to-late 1950s, both of his sons – my uncles – served in the Army in the late-to-early 1980s. He loved military movies, and even created legit comic books when he was 13 about Tom Baron the cowboy, and Tom Baron the soldier.

Semper Fi

He passed away in December 2018 at the age of 82. I was fortunate enough to spend half of his life with him. After he passed we found his safe and opened it not knowing what to expect. There were no monetary treasures, but what we did find was a different – even better treasure – recordings of two songs that he wrote in 1955, at the age of 16. He would record them in 1969 in a sound booth, copyright them, and then hide them from the rest of the family. (Ugh! That’s another story for another place and time!) Shortly after his passing my mom had these recordings digitized. Thank you modern technology! Only my grandma had heard these songs, so it was very cool, and very emotional listening to them after his passing.

Channeling his inner Marty Robbins, his first track, titled “5,000 Graves on a Hillside“, is a perfect song for Memorial Day. It speaks of soldiers coming home from war, but sadly, those that were able to leave were leaving their fellow comrades behind – on the hillside. I thought I’d share this with you all for Memorial Day. You won’t be blown away (again, recorded in a 1960’s sound booth. I think he was hoping to sell the song and become the next Elvis but … here I am!), but the lyrics, and the person that wrote it were pretty special.

Today is Memorial Day.

Most of my bestest friends served in the military, as mentioned above my family (both grandfathers, uncles) served in the military. Though some were fortunate enough to not have served during a time of peril (I guess that depends on the mindset of the soldier) some did. All came home alive.

For most of us it’ll be different this year. We may not have backyard BBQs, might stay away from the lake, might just be an extended weekend away from work.

Despite the chaos in the world let’s try to remember what this holiday is about, to recognize those that served and lost their life serving this country that, despite what social media might tell you, is a pretty darn special place to be.

Thank you for letting me share! Do you have a Memorial Day tradition, or is there someone you remember on this day? If so, please share in the comments below!

One thought on ““5,000 Graves on a Hillside”: Remembering Memorial Day

  1. I knew Ron as his neighbor here at Friendship House. I also had the privilege to hear him sing on several occasions; this song is especially beautiful. Your Grandpa was a very special man who was married to a very special lady.

    Liked by 1 person

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