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Memorial Day story


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After the Mexican War of 1846 Lt. U.S. Grant was stationed in the newly-won territory of California. He missed his wife, Julia back in St. Louis and became despondent, turning to the bottle for solice. This led to him being forced to resign his commission.

He didn't have the money for the trip back to "the states" so he borrowed it from his friend and fellow officer Simon Bolivar Buckner.

In 1862 when Grant led a union army against Ft. Donelson, KY the Confederate commander was Simon Bolivar Buckner. Buckner assumed he would get good terms for the surrender of the fort based on their old friendship. When when he asked for terms Grant demanded unconditional surrender. This led to the northern press claiming that the 'U.S' in Grant's name stood for Unconditional Surrender.

When Grant died in 1885 one of his pallbearers was Simon Bolivar Buckner.

The highest ranking officer in the US Army to die in combat in WWII was Major General Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr. killed by the Japanese on Okinawa in 1945.

Americans can disagree to the point of violence. But we can come together again. And our children can be heroes.

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