God Bless All Our Veterans...We Will Never Forget
afMajor Dan Durkee Army US Rtd. 30 Dec 1921 - 6 Feb 2002tf
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Maj. Daniel Robert Durkee, U.S. Army retired, Born Dec. 30, 1921, in Antigo, Wis. went Home to be with his Commander -in- Chief  Wednesday 6  Feb  2002. A WWII Vet, Dan served during the Korea and Viet Nam years serving his country in a career spanning 22  years as a Non-Commissioned & Commissioned Officer  in the U.S. Army Chemical Corp. Dan's family has served from the Revolution to Iraq and all wars in between.
 As you enter the main gate, you are greeted by the Greenwood Quadriga. These magnificent bronze statues are identical reproductions of the four horses at the Cathedral of St. Mark's Square in Venice, Italy.
Greenwood's Gate Fort Worth,TX
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Honor Guard From Fort Hood Provide  21-Gun Salute & the sounding of Taps
                                                                                         Photo by Bill Worthington 
Honor Guard from Fort Hood provides 21- Gun Salute and the sounding of Taps
 Click Here To Hear Taps
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He worked the next 20 years as a  Real estate Broker in Ft. Worth where he lived after retirement from the Army. Dan served as  City Councilman and Mayor  of " Westworth Village "  in the Fort Worth suburb where he lived. Always active in veterans affairs in the Retired Officers Association and several other affiliations.
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 The Retired Officers Association May 2002
He was a Charter Member  of St. Peter's  Antiochian Orthodox Church in Fort Worth. A 33rd degree Master Mason  53 Years, A member of the Damascus Commandery #008 Knights Templar, York Rite Bodies, Pine Bluff Arkansas, A Member of the Fort Worth Chapter, The Military Order of World War, General William J. Worth Chapter No. 463, The National Sojourners , Arlington Heights Masonic Lodge No. 1184, AF&AM (Ft. Worth, Texas) , Texas State Preceptory Legion of Honor Order of Demolay Life Member.  B.P.O. Elks. of  Fort Worth No. 124 and Phi Sigma Epsilon . Dan was also a member of the Lone Star Retired Officers Club of Fort Worth, The Gun Owners of America, The National Rifle Association, The Fort Worth Iris Society , The North Texas Daylily Society and the American Hemerocallis Society .
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Son Daniel and General William J. Worth Chapter No. 463, The National Sojourners  Look on At Bagpiper  Walking Backwards then fades into the distance, being symbolic   of the spirit going home.  Truly a majestic and moving moment during the service.
                                                                                              Photo by Bill Worthington  
Son Daniel and General William J. Worth Chapter No. 463, The National Sojourners
Look on At Bagpiper
Walking Backwards then fades into the distance, being symbolic
of the spirit going home.  Truly a majestic and moving moment during the service.

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Maj. Daniel Robert Durkee was preceded in death by his mother, Clara Emma Marie Durkee; father, Irving Wellington Durkee; Uncle Frank Durkee; Wife’s parents, Anna K. Young and Ancil E. Young and grandsons, Sean Allen Worthington and John W. "Jay " Worthington.
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Survivors: Wife of 56 years, Jean Young Durkee; son, Daniel R. Durkee II of Ft. Worth; daughter; Claire Durkee Worthington of Kemah, TX,  granddaughter; Tracy Reimondo and husband Craig of Pearland, TX  and great grandchildren;  Victoria and David Reimondo also of Pearland, TX and Friend Ralph Yarborough of Kemah, TX
 
Father Anthony, Father Michael of  St. Peters  Antiochian Orthodox Church  in Fort Worth and Army Pallbearers  Baring the Flag Draped Casket to the Graveside
                                                                                        Photo by Bill Worthington
 
Father Anthony, Father Michael and Army Pallbearers

Baring the Flag Draped Casket to the Graveside


One entry found in Dan's Army Record (personal Journal) "
Known to my mother brother and I  as the "gray book"  read

"Committed to Battle of the Bulge 24 Dec 44. "

Dan's
 unit in World War II 
was the
91st Chemical Mortor Battalion

A Tribute to Those of Us who Gave Their All

Our unit, the 91st Chemical Mortar Battalion, code-named High Dawn , was a member of XII Corps, the spearhead of Patton's Third Army. The relentless thrust of XII Corps carried our battalion through three major campaigns: Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, and Central Europe.

It was during the Battle of the Bulge that our 4.2-inch mortars gained a lasting respect from our infantry. We were shoved into a violent world of both bitter combat and bitter cold. It was a time when hearing the soft-spoken words of our prayer, "God help us to help the infantry," was never more prevalent.

The close supporting fire power of our mortars, be it preparatory fire on our entering a German held town, hiding our infantry behind smoke screens at a river crossing, blowing out mines and barbed wire, or the night-time harassing fire we used to wear down our enemy, all of this helped to lighten the heavy burden of our infantry.

Few of us ever thought of ourselves as heroes. But, while we were enduring 117 days of continuous day-and-night combat, we did have the privilege to fight at the side of a few who were.

From the 91st Chemical Mortar Battalion
Web Page
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Presentation of American Flag to the Widow
Presentation of American Flag to the Widow Jean Durkee
 Dad's Flag
 
Presentation of American Flag to the Widow
                                                                                          Photo by Bill Worthington
Craig Reimondo, Tracy Remondio, Victoria Reimondo, Sargent with Flag, Ralph L Yarborough
standing behind Claire  not seen next to widow  Jean Durkee and son Dan Durkee II
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Walking in sunlight, all of my journey;
  over the mountains,
through the deep vale;
Jesus has said "I'll never forsake thee,"
Promise divine that never can fail.
 
Shadows around me, shadows above me,
never conceal my Savior and Guide;
He is the light, in Him is no darkness;
Ever I'm walking close to His side.
 
In the bright sunlight, ever rejoicing,
Pressing my way to mansions above;
Singing His praises gladly I'm walking,
Walking in sunlight, sunlight of love.
 
Heavenly sunlight, heavenly sunlight,
Flooding my soul with glory divine:
Hallelujah, I am rejoicing,
Singing His praises,
Jesus is mine

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Great-grandchildren David and Victoria Reimondo   Granddaughter Tracy, Husband Craig Reimondo and Widow Jean
                                                                                        Photo by Bill Worthington  
Great grandchildren David and Victoria Granddaughter Tracy, Husband Craig and Widow Jean Durkee who has since moved to Kemah, TX along with son Daniel to live with her daughter Claire.

Nephew Dan R. Beck  Texas State District Judge  , Brother-In- Law, Bob F Young, Attorney,  Nephew John J Beck Dean of Education Southwest Texas University r & wife Amelia Facility Southwest Texas State Univ.
                                                                                              Photo by Claire Worthington  
Mom's family: Nephew Dan R. Beck
, Brother: Bob F Young,
Nephew John J Beck  Jr.& wife Amy.

Heros of 76  and Masonic friends  at the Elks Lodge Brunch. across the street from Greenwood after the funerl
                                                                                      Photo by Claire Worthington
Heroes at the Elks Lodge Brunch. across the street from Greenwood after the funeral
Dad liked this
Our National Anthem

 
Near the end of his life the great science fiction author Isaac Asimov wrote a short story about the four stanzas of our national anthem. However brief, this well-circulated piece is an eye opener from the dearly departed doctor......

I have a weakness -- I am crazy… absolutely nuts, about our national anthem. The words are difficult and the tune is almost impossible, but frequently when I'm taking a shower I sing it with as much power and emotion as I can. It shakes me up every time.

I was once asked to speak at a luncheon. Taking my life in my hands, I announced I was going to sing our national anthem -- all four stanzas. This was greeted with loud groans. One man closed the door to the kitchen, where the noise of dishes and cutlery was loud and distracting. "Thanks, Herb," I said.

"That's all right," he said. "It was at the request of the kitchen staff."

I explained the background of the anthem and then sang all four stanzas. Let me tell you, those people had never heard it before -- or had never really listened. I got a standing ovation. But it was not me; it was the anthem.

More recently, while conducting a seminar, I told my students the story of the anthem and sang all four stanzas. Again there was a wild ovation and prolonged applause. And again, it was the anthem and not me.

So now let me tell you how it came to be written.

In 1812, the United States went to war with Great Britain, primarily over freedom of the seas. We were in the right. For two years, we held off the British, even though we were still a rather weak country. Great Britain was in a life and death struggle with Napoleon. In fact, just as the United States declared war, Napoleon marched off to invade Russia. If he won, as everyone expected, he would control Europe, and Great Britain would be isolated. It was no time for her to be involved in an American war.

At first, our seamen proved better than the British. After we won a battle on Lake Erie in 1813, the American commander, Oliver Hazard Perry, sent the message, "We have met the enemy and they are ours." However, the weight of the British navy beat down our ships eventually. New England, hard-hit by a tightening blockade, threatened secession.

Meanwhile, Napoleon was beaten in Russia and in 1814 was forced to abdicate. Great Britain now turned its attention to the United States, launching a three-pronged attack.

The northern prong was to come down Lake Champlain toward New York and seize parts of New England.

The southern prong was to go up the Mississippi, take New Orleans and paralyze the west.

The central prong was to head for the mid-Atlantic states and then attack Baltimore, the greatest port south of New York. If Baltimore was taken, the nation, which still hugged the Atlantic coast, could be split in two. The fate of the United States, then, rested to a large extent on the success or failure of the central prong.

The British reached the American coast, and on August 24, 1814, took Washington, D.C. Then they moved up the Chesapeake Bay toward Baltimore. On September 12, they arrived and found 1,000 men in Fort McHenry, whose guns controlled the harbor. If the British wished to take Baltimore, they would have to take the fort.

On one of the British ships was an aged physician, William Beanes, who had been arrested in Maryland and brought along as a prisoner. Francis Scott Key, a lawyer and friend of the physician, had come to the ship to negotiate his release.

The British captain was willing, but the two Americans would have to wait. It was now the night of September 13, and the bombardment of Fort McHenry was about to start.

As twilight deepened, Key and Beanes saw the American flag flying over Fort McHenry. Through the night, they heard bombs bursting and saw the red glare of rockets. They knew the fort was resisting and the American flag was still flying. But toward morning the bombardment ceased, and a dread silence fell. Either Fort McHenry had surrendered and the British flag flew above it, or the bombardment had failed and the American flag still flew.

As dawn began to brighten the eastern sky, Key and Beanes stared out at the fort, trying to see which flag flew over it. He and the physician must have asked each other over and over, "Can you see the flag?"

After it was all finished, Key wrote a four stanza poem telling the events of the night. Called "The Defense of Fort McHenry," it was published in newspapers and swept the nation. Someone noted that the words fit an old English tune called, "To Anacreon in Heaven" -- a difficult melody with an uncomfortably large vocal range. For obvious reasons, Key's work became known as "The Star Spangled Banner," and in 1931 Congress declared it the official anthem of the United States.

Now that you know the story, here are the words. Presumably, the old doctor is speaking. This is what he asks Key:

Oh! say, can you see, by the dawn's early light, What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?

Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight, O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming? And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there. Oh! say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave, O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

"Ramparts," in case you don't know, are the protective walls or other elevations that surround a fort. The first stanza asks a question. The second gives an answer:

On the shore, dimly seen thro' the mist of the deep, Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes, What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep. As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses? Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam, In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream Tis the star-spangled banner. Oh! long may it wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

"The towering steep" is again, the ramparts. The bombardment has failed, and the British can do nothing more but sail away, their mission a failure. In the third stanza, I feel Key allows himself to gloat over the American triumph. In the aftermath of the bombardment, Key probably was in no mood to act otherwise.

During World War II, when the British were our staunchest allies, this third stanza was not sung. However, I know it, so here it is:

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion A home and a country should leave us no more? Their blood has washed out their foul footstep's pollution. No refuge could save the hireling and slave From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave, And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

The fourth stanza, a pious hope for the future, should be sung more slowly than the other three and with even deeper feeling:

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand Between their loved homes and the war's desolation, Blest with victory and peace, may the Heaven - rescued land Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation. Then conquer we must, for our cause is just, And this be our motto --"In God is our trust." And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

I hope you will look at the national anthem with new eyes. Listen to it, the next time you have a chance, with new ears. Pay attention to the words. And don't let them ever take it away .... not even one word of it.
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Dan was an ancestor of
Col. Durkee, John (dûr'kē) , 172882, American pioneer and Revolutionary officer, b. Windham, Conn. Durkee, a leading member of the Connecticut Sons of Liberty, led the group that forced Jared Ingersoll to resign at the time of the Stamp Act. Later he led Connecticut settlers into the Wyoming Valley, laid out (1769) Wilkes-Barre, and was the leader of the Connecticut faction in the first of the Pennamite Wars. He was captured twice by the Pennsylvanians. In the Revolution he raised a company that fought well at Bunker Hill, and he saw action in other battles, notably Long Island, Trenton, and Monmouth and Vally Forge.

Durkee and his “Irregulars” - The Story of the Connecticut Sons of Liberty.
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The Fire  Dept. Chaplain a Roman Catholic Priest who  died in the  World  Trade Center Sept. 11th, carried this prayer in his pocket. I found the newspaper clipping of the  story  in  my  fathers  pocket. The  Prayer called Michael's Prayer by the Fire Dept. Chaplain goes like this:
Lord, take me where You want me to go;
Let me meet who You want me to meet;
Tell me what  You want me to say, and
Keep me out of the way.
            
Cross Representing Dans Deep Faith
moms daylilly
Moms daylillys
Claire Durkee Sailing off kemah
Claire sailing off Kemah, TX 7/4/08
Page  Designer Claire Durkee Worthington Kemah, Texas 
USA in Honor of  all who fought for  this country special thanks to our own hero  Major Dad, Daniel Durkee for everything!
Jean Durkee and Daughter Claire on Jeans Birthday Nov 2, 2007
Widow Jean Durkee and Daughter Claire on Jean's 83rd Birthday Nov 2, 2007

IN THIS PLACE WHERE VALOR SLEEPS
HOUSTON, TX    GALVESTON, TX    LEAGUE CITY, TX    DICKINSON, TX 
 CLEAR LAKE SHORES TX 
KEMAH, TEXAS CITY  NASA
FORT WORTH