In Memorium

Today is Memorial Day in the United States, a holiday formerly and still solemn for many, that once was called Decoration Day.  Its origins lie mostly in the immediate post-Civil War period with the women who decorated the graves of fallen soldiers and began a move toward a national day of mourning. According to Wikipedia, the early southern Decoration Day celebrations were simple, somber occasions for veterans and their families to honor the dead and tend to local cemeteries. The custom spread to the north and became widespread, incorporating military parades.

(Decoration_Day_procession,_San_Francisco)_(9628658825)

By California Historical Society Digital Collection, via Wikimedia Commons

Decoration Day, celebrated on May 30 because of the proliferation of spring flowers, was first called Memorial Day in 1882. It wasn’t officially named that until 1967, and in 1968 became one of several national holidays to take place on a Monday rather than a date certain.

More than a million military men and women have given their lives in military service to the United States of America. Wickeds and friends, who will you remember today? In which conflict did he or she die?

Adoniram Judson Dickison. (My brother has the sword.)

Barb: I’m not aware of anyone in my family who has been killed in a war. My father served in Korea, his father in World War I, and his uncle and uncle-in-law in World War II. My great-great grandfather served in the Civil War. You can read some of his letters home to his niece, Alice, here. Ancestry.com informs me of many veterans before them, going back to the Revolution and beyond. It’s a long chain of sacrifice to bring us to today.

Sherry: Like Barb I’m not aware of anyone in my family who was killed in action. But my dad served in WWII. He’s buried in Barrancas National Cemetery in Pensacola, Florida. While we were in Florida visiting my mom over Christmas, my husband and I were able to stop at Barancas on our way to the airport. It was a cold, rainy, windy day. But It’s a very moving place and I’m grateful to the strangers who place wreaths every year at Christmas.

Lockhart

Edith: My grandfather and father served in the military during World Wars I and II, and my brother is a veteran, too, but they all survived. My grandfather’s brother, Leslie Maxwell, died in combat in WWI, and my beau Hugh’s uncle Hugh William, whom he is named for, died in the Pacific in WWII. I was able to find this picture of his grave marker in the Manila American Cemetery in the Philippines – all I did was email his name, and they generously mailed back the digital picture. I had a print made and gave it to his youngest sibling, Hugh’s Aunt Joyce, the last living member of that Lockhart generation, who was deeply touched.

 

Liz: I don’t know of anyone in my family either who died in a war. My grandfather had an illness that prevented him from fighting in WWII, but he and my grandmother both volunteered in the war efforts. I remember hearing them talk about it when I was young. I remember my grandfather being disappointed he couldn’t be in the actual fight, and my grandmother being proud to have contributed in the ways she did.

Jessie: There are many veterans in my own family but none who died in conflicts. My mother’s paternal grandmother served in WWII and out ranked her own sons before the end of the war. She and her sister are the inspiration for two characters in my Change of Fortune series, Elva and Dovie Velmont. My maternal grandfather served in the Pacific theater in WWII and one of my uncles served in Vietnam. Another of my uncles served in the same time period in the Coast Guard. Knowing how their efforts colored the rest of their lives is humbling today and always.

Julie: One of my grandfather’s served in World War I, and the other served in World War II. My uncle served in Vietnam. One of the people I think about was my father’s cousin, David Holmes, who was shot down in Vietnam in 1966 and was declared dead twelve years later. He and my father were close, and he was the only child of Aunt Frances and Uncle Al. David’s loss is but one story about how one person loss has repercussions throughout a family. To all who served, or who have served, thank you.

Readers:  Who do you remember today?

Late Fall Reading

Thankful for Our Readers Giveaway:  For a chance to win a mass market paperback copy of Eggnog Murder by Barbara Ross leave a comment below.

Happy Thanksgiving to all our readers! We hope you are spending the day exactly as you wish–with family and friends, eating a big meal and perhaps watching the games. If you are busy cooking or traveling, we hope maybe sometime over this long weekend you get a chance to curl up with a good book. Here are some suggestions.

Wickeds, what are you reading now that the days are short and the nights long?

housetreepersonEdith: I just finished our own Jessie (Jessica Ellicot)’s first Beryl and Edwina mystery, Murder in an English Village. What a fun read. Now I’m reading Catriona McPherson’s latest standalone suspense novel, House. Tree. Person. Another knock-your-socks-off story from her. Next up is a belated read of Ray Daniel’s latest Tucker mystery, Hacked. The other stories in Snowbound, this year’s Level Best Books anthology (in which I also have a story). A book on Quaker history in New England. And the list goes on.

Liz: I have so many books stacked up in my TBR pile…but I’m going to dig into Fire Up Your Writing Brain by Susan Reynolds, one of my Crime Bake finds. I need to jumpstart my creativity these days!

Barb: I have Jessica Ellicott’s Murder in an English Village tucked into my bag to enjoy during my downtime over this long weekend. I can’t wait. For the novella I’m writing, I’m reading Adventures in Yarn Farming: Four Seasons at a New England Fiber Farm. You’ll have to wait to find out why.

Julie: I am in book jail this weekend (book due December 1, yikes!), but I have taken a suggestion from Susan Reynolds’s Crime Bake presentation, and am reading a book to inspire my brain–Walter Isaacson’s  Leonardo da Vinci biography.   At the rate I am going it will take me months to finish it, but there’s a long winter ahead.

Sherry: I just started reading A Christmas Peril by Julie! I read an early version long ago and love what she has done with it! Then after that I too am going to dig into Jessie’s Murder in an English Village. My neighbor just finished it and told me it’s fantastic. After that I can’t wait to read World Enough by Clea Simon. I’m in book heaven!

Jessie: I am currently reading Louisa May by Martha Saxton and also Murder and Mayhem in North London by Geoffrey Howse. Lately I have been in the mood for non-fiction but next up is Alice Hoffman’s latest, The Rules of Magic.

Readers: Tell us what you’re doing this Thanksgiving or what you’re reading this fall–or simply say hello to be entered in the contest.

A Santa Bonanza!

Look what Santa brought, dear Reader! The Wickeds’ 2016 books. Of course, 2017 will bring many more by all of us, so please stay tuned.

_wickedcozystocking

Thank you for being part of our Wicked Cozy community. We value your comments and company, and have so enjoyed getting to know you over these years.

Whatever holiday you celebrate (or don’t), we wish you a quiet cozy time of family, good food, and most important, reading!