The Monday Barrage – Hell, Hype, and Happiness

In this week’s Monday Barrage, we ask, who the heck are the Harlem Hellfighters and why weather predictions are often off base?

Also, check out the video tribute dedicated to the happy couple.  I welcome you to have a look…enjoy!

1. Hell Bent for Glory

Who are the Harlem Hellfighters?

They were the first black American infantry regiment to fight in World War I.  The Harlem Hellfighters, also known as the 369th Infantry Regiment, served 191 days under enemy fire – more than any other U.S. unit in Europe. They returned home one of the most decorated American units of World War I.

Men of the 369th (15th N.Y.) who won the Croix de Guerre for gallantry in action.” Left to right. Front row: Pvt. Ed Williams, Herbert Taylor, Pvt. Leon Fraitor, Pvt. Ralph Hawkins. Back Row: Sgt. H. D. Prinas, Sgt. Dan Strorms, Pvt. Joe Williams, Pvt. Alfred Hanley, and Cpl. T. W. Taylor. 1998 print. Records of the War Department General and Special. Staffs. (165-WW-127-8)

The 369th bravely fought on the Western Front, which was the fighting zone in France during WW1 in 1918.

While serving on the front lines for more than 6 months, the Hell Fighters suffered more than 1400 casualties.  But they never lost a prisoner or gave up a foot of captured ground! Their motto was “god damn, let’s go.”

Despite their courage, sacrifice and dedication to their country, they returned home to face racism and segregation from their fellow countrymen.

The struggle for equality continues to this day.

2.  Don’t Believe the Hype

It seems that some of us would agree that we’ve become somewhat leery about the predictions that come from the mouths of our weather-people.  Here in our fair city of Charlottesville, we were initially forecasted  to have significant inches of rain, which prompted many in our town to attempt to buy out the area grocery stores.  It reminded me of that scene in Mary Poppins when everyone panicked, creating a run on the bank.

In Nate Silvers book, The Signal and the Noise:  Why So Many Predictions Fail, he explains that, “the Weather Channel avoids forecasting an exact 50 percent chance of rain – instead, it rounds up to 60. In what may be the worst-kept secret in the business, numerous commercial weather forecasts are also biased toward forecasting more precipitation than will actually occur.”

I get it, people don’t mind if the weather folks predict rain and it turns out to be a nice day.  But if it rains when it’s not supposed to, we’d all be condemning the weatherman for ruining our barbecue.  It’s just all the hyperbolic pre-storm coverage that coerces families to stockpile a week’s supply of water, bread, and milk, that concerns me.  It all borders on mass hysteria.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge how fortunate we are to have not suffered the ill effects of Hurricane Florence – and our hearts go out to those who found themselves in the path of the storm, suffering unimaginable losses.

Check out this weatherman “heroically” battling the recent weather conditions in the Carolinas.

What are your thoughts?

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3.  Love Beneath the Misty Skies

And speaking of the weather, they called for a downpour over the weekend, but the clouds parted temporarily from a slight drizzle for the lovely occasion of our friend’s wedding.

Thank you Anne Etten and Jeff Etten for allowing us to share this special day with you!

This Week’s Pics

We showed our solidarity and celebrated inclusion this weekend at the pride festival, and enjoyed a wedding by the lake.


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Comments (1)

What an interesting set of tidbits Marc. I especially enjoyed learning about the Harlem Hellfighters, (there’s so much of our history we may never know), and the interesting take on the weather.

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