[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Clear
Clear
46°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
February 23
1998 - Worst day of record-setting 1997-98 El Nino storm season [story]


Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Monday, May 26, 2014

Darryl ManzerI’ll not forget the high school students who reenacted a Civil War battle when I lived in Virginia. Some of the parents were concerned their son or daughter might have to be a “damned Yankee.” Actually that brought a few laughs, because everyone realized it was a history lesson.

This week the Santa Clarita Valley International Charter School held a Civil War reenactment. Some people were upset, thinking their son or daughter could have to participate in something like this and they would have to play the part of a Confederate soldier or citizen.

There were similar questions when I lived in Virginia – only my friends there were worried that their children might have to portray a “damned Yankee.”

Born in 1950, I grew up here in the SCV playing “Army” at Hart Park and in Pico Canyon. We had toy guns and web belts with canteens and ammunition pouches. We could buy all of that stuff in Newhall.

I have to admit, I was a little confused when I started into Hart High School and found out I was an Indian. Thinking back, it seems we all spent time being either a cowboy or an Indian when we played with our bow and arrows, six-gun cap pistols, and whatever else.

Drawing depicts the Army of Northern Virginia stacking weapons in surrender. Image: National Park Service.

Drawing depicts the Army of Northern Virginia stacking weapons in surrender. Image: National Park Service.

I don’t think those toy guns and playing war did much to affect those of us who did so. By the 1960s, we were the generation that marched in massive anti-war protests all over the country. We were also the generation that went to Vietnam. More than 58,000 of us died there. We were beginning to realize that in war, people died. It wasn’t charging up the hill at Hart Park.

I’m a veteran. Memorial Day is not a day for living veterans. That day is in November. Today is the day we recognize those who have died for each and every one of us. Memorial Day is for the dead.

We do all sorts of things to celebrate or honor those who have died. Camping. Swimming. Barbecue grills filled with good things to eat. We fish and drink and play games on the lawn with our kids. Don’t forget those long hours in traffic to get to someplace, and the long hours’ drive back.

Stores have special sales in honor of “the veterans who have served.” It seems we do everything we can, except what the day was originally supposed to be: a day set aside to be a memorial for those who have given their last great measure of sacrifice to our country.

But that is not what we are doing.

My folks tended to call it “Decoration Day” because that was the day when the graves of our fallen soldiers were to be decorated with flowers and flags. It is thought that the tradition of decorating those graves was started in the former Confederate states … except that in 1966, President Lyndon Johnson, from a former Confederate state (Texas), issued a proclamation that stated Waterloo, Iowa, was where it began.

And so the argument still continues. Confederate and Union memorials were combined for most all by 1870. Wounds within the country were healing. We realized the dead have no allegiance. They are all Americans. That fact became clear in how people wrote and spoke about our country before and after that Civil War.

Before Appomattox, when folks spoke about the United States, it was as if the states were separate sovereign entities and we would say, “The United States ARE.” Following the war, in the spirit of unity, people wrote of the country saying, “The United States IS.” Those 625,000 deaths from the Civil War changed us from a plural to a singular. No matter which side in that conflict, our country became truly united as one. The UNITED States of America.

So if your kid wants to wear a Confederate uniform at a reenactment … why not? Those men who died in that war were Americans, too.

It is a day to remember those who fell, so that we may be citizens of the United States of America. Locally we will gather at Eternal Valley Memorial Park this morning at 10. Please attend if you can.

 

Darryl Manzer grew up in the Pico Canyon oil town of Mentryville in the 1960s and attended Hart High School. After a career in the U.S. Navy he returned to live in the Santa Clarita Valley. He can be reached at dmanzer@scvhistory.com and his commentaries are archived at DManzer.com. Watch his walking tour of Mentryville [here].

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

5 Comments

  1. J Schwartz says:

    Well said, and thanks.

  2. P Mencuri says:

    A DAY TO REMEMBER THOSE WHO GAVE ALL, NOT THE KICKOFF TO SUMMER.

  3. hbbill says:

    Is anyone surprised that most folks today get it wrong when it comes to this day? For quite some time they have taught very little REAL history let alone military history. To most this is just a day to celebrate another eight hours off from work with maybe a barbeque thrown in.

    To prove a point, just this day my wife and I went out for dinner and a movie. As we were paying the bill for dinner, the young waiter wished us a happy Memorial Day and asked if I was a vet. Upon finding out I was, he was very profuse in his thanks for my service.

    Less than twenty minutes later I got pretty much the same treatment at a nearby Barnes and Nobel by yet another young person. I did not correct either one as I felt they were sincere in their thanks but couldn’t help thinking…. “I ain’t dead yet.”

  4. Dr. Arnold M. Huskins says:

    Thank you for composing this article which needs to published far and wide! Political correctness is killing this country!

Leave a Comment


Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
RECENT COMMENTARY
Thursday, Feb 15, 2018
There was broad public support for the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, which struck a careful balance between lands available for large-scale renewable energy development and the environment. Now the federal government is rethinking it - putting the important and much-needed protections at risk.
Tuesday, Feb 13, 2018
You can prevent vision loss by finding and treating problems early. Medicare covers a glaucoma test once every 12 months for people at high risk for glaucoma
Wednesday, Feb 7, 2018
Sierra Club Angeles Chapter SCV Group Chair Sandra Cattell urges Santa Clarita Valley residents to contact their congressional representatives to push legislation to kill the Cemex mining project in Soledad Canyon.
Friday, Feb 2, 2018
Santa Clarita City Manager Ken Striplin highlights the city's customer service efforts in his message for February 2018.
Friday, Feb 2, 2018
If the Department of the Interior is successful in destroying this national monument, the next one slated for destruction is Grand Staircase-Escalante, then Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument along the California-Oregon border.
Friday, Feb 2, 2018
Here’s what is happening on February 24: a rally to organize students in the Los Angeles Unified School District "against" the highly effective Los Angeles School Police Department.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
Santa Clarita Studios debuted their new production offices to industry peers, business leaders and public officials on Friday.
Santa Clarita Studios Scores ABC Show, Debuts New Production Offices
The next regular meeting of the Governing Board of the William S. Hart Union High School District is Wednesday, February 284 at the Administrative Center, 21380 Centre Pointe Parkway, Santa Clarita 91350.
Feb. 28: Hart District Governing Board Regular Meeting
California State University, Northridge’s Criminology and Justice Studies Department will host a discussion titled “Does More Immigration Mean More Crime?” on Tuesday, Feb. 27 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Feb. 27 CSUN Discussion: ‘Does More Immigration Mean More Crime?’
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies arrested a man and a woman on multiple weapons and drug charges in Castaic early Thursday, according to station officials.
Tip Leads to Arrest of 2 on Multiple Gun, Drug Charges
The California Department of Education has released new guiding principles for teaching social and emotional skills, to help educators ensure students have the skills for success in school, careers and in the community.
State Education Department Sets New Social Emotional Learning Guidelines
Spring 2018 is an exciting time for composer, sound artist and CalArts alumna Ellen Reid (Music MFA 11) as two of her works make their debut with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and Los Angeles Master Chorale.
LACO, LA Master Chorale to Debut New Works by Ellen Reid
LA-based artist and CalArts grad Edgar Arceneaux (Art MFA 01) performed his award-winning, critically acclaimed theatrical work "Until, Until, Until…" in three sold-out shows this week in San Francisco.
Edgar Arceneaux’s ‘Until, Until, Until…’ Sells Out 3 SF Performances
CalArtians were out in full force at last month's 33rd annual Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, which ran January 18-28.
CalArts Well Represented at Sundance Film Festival 2018
Four furry, four-legged detection devices assigned to the LA County Sheriff's Department's Operation Safe Streets Bureau have been selected to receive tactical body armor.
LASD ‘Safe Streets’ K9s to Get Protective Vests
Gael García Bernal, Mary J. Blige, Andra Day, Natalia LaFourcade, Miguel, Keala Settle, Sufjan Stevens and Oscar winner Common will perform this year's nominated songs at the 90th Oscars ceremony on Sunday, March 4.
Academy Unveils 90th Oscars Song Performers Lineup
Democratic gubernatorial candidates vying to replace Gov. Jerry Brown in November debated in San Diego Thursday night how to maintain the Golden State’s strict gun laws and reduce poverty.
California Gubernatorial Candidates Take on Poverty, Gun Control
"SCVTV Presents: An Evening With New West" Friday, February 23 at The MAIN in Old Town Newhall as the award-winning trio brings their signature brand of Western ballads, story songs and cowboy swing to entertain fans in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Feb. 23: SCVTV to Present ‘Evening With New West’ at MAIN
Santa Clarita Valley Water Company officials will hold a meeting of the company's Outreach and Legislation Committee on Wednesday, March 21 at 5:30 p.m.
March 21: SCV Water Public Outreach, Legislation Committee Meeting
The 40th annual St. Clare Lenten Fish Fry charity fundraiser continues at the Canyon Country church on Friday, February 23 from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. and for the next four Friday evenings.
Feb. 23: St. Clare 40th Annual Lenten Fish Fry for Charity
A 17-year-old West Ranch High School student was arrested Thursday and charged with making criminal threats on social media.
West Ranch Student Charged with Making Criminal Threats
California's and New Mexico's Attorneys General, together with the California Air Resources Board, have secured a preliminary injunction against the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's suspension of the methane gas Waste Prevention Rule.
Judge Blocks Feds’ Suspension of Methane Waste Prevention Rule
Deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station pulled over a vehicle on Castaic Lake Road for a traffic violation on Tuesday afternoon and discovered the male adult passenger had a $30,000 warrant out for his arrest.
Man Arrested for Warrant, Alleged ID Theft in Castaic
DMV investigators issued 29 misdemeanor citations during an enforcement operation in Sun Valley and Pacoima on February 22 aimed at combating unlicensed vehicle dismantlers.
DMV Cites Unlicensed Vehicle Dismantlers in Sunland, Pacoima
The 10 year anniversary of the Val Verde African American Heritage Celebration will take place Saturday Feb. 24th, from 12:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. at Val Verde Park.
Feb. 24: Val Verde African American Heritage Celebration
1998 - Worst day of record-setting 1997-98 El Nino storm season [story]
A Spring Concert with the Golden Valley High School Jazz Band will be held at the school's theater Sunday, Mar. 25.
Mar. 25: Golden Valley High School Jazz Band Spring Concert
Hidden cultural gems from Mexico and El Salvador will be uncovered during a lecture series at California State University, Northridge, hosted by the Tom & Ethel Bradley Center.
CSUN Lecture Series to Highlight Hidden Cultural Gems
The Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency's Engineering Committee will be meeting on Thursday, Mar. 1, at 5:30 p.m.
March 1: SCV Water Agency Engineering Committee Meeting
The Santa Clarita City Council will hold its Regular Meeting, Tuesday, Feb. 27, at 6:00 p.m.
Feb. 27: City Council Regular Meeting
The Sulphur Springs Union School District was recognized Wednesday evening with the Operation School Bell Award given by the National Assistance League.
Sulphur Springs Schools Lauded by Assistance League
Earlier today, the Santa Clarita Valley International Charter School was on lockdown as deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station investigated an unconfirmed threat. The lockdown has since been lifted and a 15-year-old suspect was charged with making Criminal Threats. The following is a breakdown from the Facebook page of the SCV Sheriff's Station:
SCVi Charter Student Charged with Making Criminal Threats
Carousel Ranch Raising Funds for “Carousel Wishes and Valentine Kisses” Annual Giving Campaign Carousel Ranch, a place where children with special needs discover and experience some of their greatest achievements through equestrian therapy and vocational training programs, is reaching out to the donor community during its “Carousel Wishes and Valentine Kisses” annual giving campaign.
Carousel Ranch Seeks to Fund Scholarships for Wait-List Students
College of the Canyons has added more than 100 late-start classes to its spring 2018 semester class schedule to accommodate the needs of working students.
Spring Brings More Late-Start Class Options to COC
Deputies at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station are currently investigating an unconfirmed threat at the Santa Clarita Valley International School.
Lockdown Lifted at SCVi Charter School
The kids are back for Season Six of Masterchef Junior, featuring award-winning chefs Gordon Ramsay and Christina Tosi, as well as the return of fan-favorite judge Joe Bastianich.
Newhall Student Vies for Apron on Masterchef Junior
The William S. Hart Baseball Complex was vandalized early Sunday morning. The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station was able to apprehend the suspect with the help of surveillance video. Here is the breakdown from the Facebook page of the SCV Sheriff's Station.
Suspect Detained in Connection with Vandalism at Hart Baseball Field
LOS ANGELES – The County Interim Health Officer is issuing a Cold Weather Alert due to the National Weather Service’s forecast for low temperatures. Wind chill temperatures are expected to be below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cold Weather Alert Issued for SCV
1983 - Armed robber taken out at Alpha Beta supermarket on Lyons [story]
The Master's University Mustangs baseball team added to their recent string of come-from-behind wins with a 9-5 comeback win over the University of Antelope Valley at Master's.
Mustangs Rally Again, This Time Against Antelope Valley
A driver lost control of her vehicle in the parking lot and crashed into the outdoor dining area at Stone Fire Grill on Cinema Drive in Valencia Wednesday afternoon.
No Injuries in Accidental Drive-Through at Stone Fire Grill Restaurant
The College of the Canyons Athletic Department will host its annual "Big Win!" benefit event at the Valencia Campus supporting the college's 17 intercollegiate athletic programs on Thursday, March 15.
March 15: COC Athletics to Host Annual ‘Big Win’ Fundraiser