Cover Photo by Mark R. Day

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Speech: Remarks given on Sunday April 12, 2015 at the Inn at the Meander Plantation for The Journey through Hallowed Ground Partnership: Living Legacy Project

I bring greetings from the National Commander-in-Chief Waldron Kintzing Post II and the entire membership of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.  

We are here today to fulfill our obligation to the men who fell in the great American struggle, we call the Civil War.  It is our duty and our privilege to devote ourselves to preserving the memory of their sacrifice regardless of their uniform, their race, or their motivations.  For each of them was a husband, a father, or a son to a family which loved them and mourned their loss. 

At this very moment one hundred and fifty years ago the men of two great armies were engaged in the final act of the Civil War in Virginia. In the small village of Appomattox Court House.  As the "'Boys in Blue" stood at shoulder arms along the roadside and the long line of grey clad veterans stacked their arms before marching away to an uncertain future, I am confident that, all their thoughts were filled with memories of lost friends and family who had once marched among them.   In the years following the war songs such as the "Vacant Chair and "Auld Lang Syne" were song by veterans from both sides and monuments were placed on the sacred grounds of Gettysburg, Shiloh, Fredericksburg, and Antietam as the veterans did their best to fulfill Abraham Lincoln's words that, the world would never forget those who had given the  "Last Full Measure of Devotion."  

Today it is our turn educate our fellow citizens and to promote the remembrance of the dead both Blue and Grey who are each Hero's to their families.   May these trees, which were planted today become a living memorial to those we honor, and may it come to pass that the families of these men find their way to this place and sit beneath the branches; so that they may find both a connection and a sense of peace with the spirits of their ancestors.

Thank you for the honor of speaking at this very special ceremony.  May God bless the United States and grant his grace and peace to those we seek to honor today.
Speech written and presented by Mark R. Day 4/12/15.  Copyright by Mark R. Day 4/12/15, all rights reserved
"These remarks were written on Sunday morning 4-12-15 as, I ate breakfast at the McDonalds in Lovingston, VA.  Having participated in the surrender ceremonies at Appomattox Court House on Friday and Saturday, I found myself drawing upon that experience.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Photo: Untitled

Photo posted with the Permission of the Artist.  Photo Taken by Amy Grubbs Moore Dec 2014, Copyright by Amy Grubbs Moore 12-30-2014, all rights reserved

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Commentary: The Hobbit

Last Tuesday evening Barbara and I went to see "The Battle of the Five Armies" the third and final Hobbit movie. I first read the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit more than 40 years ago. It was my first journey into the world of Elves, Dwarves, and Hobbits. I was enthralled then and continue to be enthralled. I have waited patiently through the past ten years to see these marvelous literary masterpieces brought to life on the big screen and now that the last of the Hobbit ...series is complete, I would hope that Mr. Jackson will look at the other writings of Tolkien such as "The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, Farmer Giles of Ham, or perhaps even the stories of the Silmarillion for inspiration to keep bringing us stories of Middle Earth. I think Mr. Jackson, while taking great literary and theatrical license with the original stories, has brought us a great work which can inspire us to accept our differences, understand that often the greatest power comes from the least of sources, to stand for what is right, and to defend beauty, peace, and love from destruction by ever present and malevolent evil. I told Barbara yesterday that perhaps the best lines in the final film are these which pass between Thranduil and Tauriel near the end. Tauriel asks. "Why does it hurt so much" referring to the death of Kili and to her question Thranduil responds, "because it was real" referring to her love for Kili. Perhaps that is the secret to my love for the stories of Tolkien, it is because they are real to me and have became part of my very soul.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Poem: "The Fulfillment of Advent"

Come Harkin to the Heralds song,
and sing of Emmanuel.
Let us repeat their resounding song
and join the heavenly choir.
For Love has come from Heaven,
the Prince of Peace in here.

Our lord has come to claim his throne;
so rejoice, with songs of praise.
Oh Come, that long expected moment;
when we shall see our King.
Written by Mark R. Day 12-20-2014.  Copyright by Mark R. Day 12-20-14, all rights reserved

Friday, December 19, 2014

Poem: "Christmas Break"

'Twas the first day of Christmas and all through the school
Every teacher was trying to look very cool.
The men wore bright ties, which sometimes sang songs.
The ladies were dressed in sweaters of red and green, trying to keep warm.
I was finishing up grading exams when it rang.
The bell of dismissal, it was time to go home.
From the hallway a noise began reaching my ear
It grew and it grew, and then was a cheer.
Jumping up from my desk, I ran and threw open the door,
to See happy children and teachers filling the hall.
They smiled and they laughed as they moved all about.
It was a wonderful, glorious, joyful sight.
Then the children were gone to the buses they ride,
and the school got all quiet inside.
But as they rode out of sight; you could hear them say
Merry Christmas to all, have a great holiday.

Written by Mark Day 12-19-14.  Copyright by Mark R. Day 12-19-14, all rights reserved

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Commentary: "How I came to teach at Liberty High School"

I was doing a little self-reflection this morning and thinking about my 20 years of teaching at Liberty High School . Some of you may know that, I retired from the Navy with 23 years and 9 months of service in June of 1995 and began teaching at Liberty High School in August of 1995. Recently, someone asked why did I choose Liberty High School and why had, I stayed there so long? The first part of that question was easily answered; Liberty High School picked me. The offer to come to Liberty was unsolicited. In fact when the call came, I was on the golf course at Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia Beach. Arriving home after the round of golf; my wife informed me that a Mrs. Thelma White had called and wanted to speak with me about a job interview. I made the return call and spoke with Mrs. White. I was unsure of taking the offer because, I had not yet completed my student teaching experience. Mrs. White however, made me an offer that could not be refused when she said, "Mr. Day look at it this way. You can student teach this fall in Virginia Beach and pay Old Dominion University or you can come out to Bedford actually teach and we will pay you." Without hesitation, I set up an interview time and date for the last week of June. It must be admitted, at this point, that I had absolutely no idea where Bedford County even was so Barbara and I looked it up in our Atlas.
As the date for the interview approached, I prepared myself and hoped for the best. The day of the interview, I drove out to Bedford on route 460 from Virginia Beach. It was a pleasant but long trip and I arrived in Bedford around 11:00 am for my 1:00 pm interview. As I took the exit and started to drive down Main Street the scene was somewhat reminiscent of my home town back in New York. However as I topped the hill at the Court House and saw the Peaks of Otter, I fell in love with Bedford at first sight, saying to myself "This is my new home." I parked my car on Bridge Street and having some time to kill wandered through several of the stores that make up the business district. Now this next is funny. As, I walked around town my attention turned to my attire. My suit was good and the tie was perfect, but my shoes left something to be desired. I became concerned and anxious over the shoes and remembering that, I had seen a Wal-Mart sign on Route 460, drove out to that store and purchased a pair of black oxfords.
I arrived at the School Board office on South Bridge Street about fifteen minutes early and was immediately taken back to Mrs. White's office. She was an amiable lady with a broad smile and a pleasant voice. We made small talk for a few minutes and then she stated, that the Superintendent of Schools wanted to personally interview me. I was very surprised by this and my nervousness increased about 100%. My interview was very short, Dr. John Kent asked me a few questions, looked me over, and then said, "I am going to send you over to Liberty High School. You will meet with the Principle for about 20 minutes and return here to see me." Needless to say, I did as told and then returned to the Superintendent's office where he said, "We are offering you a job to teach history at Liberty High School, I want you to go home talk with your family and call me on the Wednesday following the 4th of July with an answer. Of course I did call back and say yes. I have always believed that God must have intended me to teach at Liberty High School, There is no other way to explain the miraculous manner in which the job came to me.
Now for the second part of the question posed to me, why have, I stayed so long and never thought of leaving. This will not require a long drawn out story but can be explained in two parts. The first part of the answer lies in the view, I have from my classroom. I am awed each and every day by the beauty of the Peaks of Otter and feel privileged to teach in their shadow. The rest of the answer lies in the sense of duty, I have to my students, my peers, and the school. I most likely owe that sense of duty to my military background and it has become an integral part of my personality and belief systems. I am old fashion and live by a code that requires loyalty and creates an obligation to complete what, I start. When I was hired for this job, they asked what my goals were and I said, " to stay at Liberty High School and complete my career in teaching the future of America." I will complete my twentieth year at Liberty High School in May of 2014 and look forward to doing at least 3 more years teaching the students that they give me and thanking God for my great fortune.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Poem: Silent, White Perfection

Walking through the mountain meadow, made white with powdered snow
The wind gently blowing up tiny wisps of ermine, that swirl like fairy dust about your face

So silent and so perfect
So peaceful and so calm

Oh! how wonderful the moment, every sense in tune with creation
A symphony of emotions, that fill the heart with joyful feelings and beat with love for all

So simple and yet compelling
So cold and yet so warm

A look at sweet perfection, the very essence of Peace on Earth
Revealed by the power of nature, awakening the human soul.

Written by Mark R. Day 12/6/2014.  Copyright by Mark R. Day 12/6/2014, all rights reserved.