Sunday, May 29, 2011

Decoration Day

(11th Mass. Monument at Gettysburg)

This being Memorial Day I went to St Pat's Cemetery.  I usually go to do research, but today I went visiting.  As I was walking around I thought back several years ago when I came across a great stone.  To be honest I didn't discover it.  As usual one of the people on a tour said, "Hey, did you ever see......"  That's how I get a lot of leads.  Anyway, in the back of the cemetery, near the St. Vincent lots is a very large, well preserved, marble tablet.  It has a great image of a soldier carved on it.  It's the grave of Patrick Deery, age 29, killed July 2, 1863, at Gettysburg, a member of 11th Regiment Mass Volunteers.  Whoever paid for his stone wanted him to be remembered.  The stone is inscribed with all the battles in which he took part and ends in a touching epitaph.  "It was upon the battle he breathed his last breath for freedom and for country.... promoted from the ranks below to the ranks on high."  It must have cost a fortune, but was the last tribute to a loved one.

At the same time I received an email from a Civil War reenactor commenting on our attempt to uncover Irish CW vets.  He commended the need for research like this.  In this the anniversary year of the Civil War, it is very appropriate that this be done.  We already have a couple of volunteers doing a research list.  My goal is to go into the cemetery and identify as many CW graves as we can.  (Any volunteers?)  Maybe next year we could have flags on them as were placed at the graves of other vets?  Our cemetery tour this Fall will have a special remembrance this year for CW vets.

It's nice to think Patrick Deery hasn't been forgotten entirely.  Let's assure we can do likewise for others.

No comments:

Post a Comment