The Civil War Veterans’ monument in Mount Hope Cemetery was erected in September 1908, and unveiled on September 25 of that year. Statues of two soldiers stand atop a granite base. The older soldier holds a flag. The younger one holds a bugle. The bronze plaque on the base reads “1861 -1865. On Fame’s eternal camping ground/ Their silent tents are spread, /And glory guards with solemn round/ The bivouac of the dead.” The music for the verse completes the plaque. 6/18/18


Edmond Lyons Park., East Rochester. World War II monument. 4/5/17

Periodically, we revisit a theme of the magazine. We’ve written about wars and their connections to Rochester from the Civil War to the Iraq War, the latter in the context of a weekly peace vigil on the corner of East and Goodman.

Saratoga: Turning Point of the Revolutionary War look at the 1777 battles of Ticonderoga.

The 180th Anniversary of the Alamo and Trump looks at the Mexican-American War and Donald Trumps’ proposed border wall.

Tinker tells the story of a Civil War reenactment in Henrietta. I brought an illustrated history book and participants posed in various scenes. The pageantry was impressive, although part of me feels reenactments can romanticize war.


Civil War cannon. Pittsford Cemetery. 4/5/17

Monuments is about Spanish-American War monuments and what I learned when writing a dissertation on the Spanish-American War.

Otis is on Rochester’s most decorated soldier and a dubious statue in downtown Rochester.

War is a comprehensive look at World War I monuments and plaques. Cannon looks at the impact of World War I on the Rochester-Italian community. Château-Thierry includes a Centennial Remembrance in Mt. Hope Cemetery. When all was quiet looks at the last day of World War I.

Victor is a recounting of the heroics of a 94 year old World War II veteran. I missed Victor’s recent birthday party at Dunkin’ Donuts but happy to report he is going strong and still driving.  After Parkland remembers Brighton High School’s fallen WWII soldiers.

The monuments of Korea are especially relevant now that the North Korean government is returning the remains of American soldiers.

The presidency of Eisenhower and the Cold War is still relevant when read of possible new arms races with Russia and China.

Five stories are on the trauma and tragedy of Vietnam: Republic, Learning CenterMeditation Veterans and Cambodia

Vigil is about a peace rally begun as a protest to the Iraq War.

Revolutionary War

Saratoga: Turning Point of the Revolutionary War


The word Saratoga is shorthand for two battles that gave the coup de grace to the 1777 British invasion from Canada during the American Revolutionary War.

Mexican-American War

mex am 1

Davy Crockett (center), lifting his famous rifle Betsy, tries to beat off the Mexican troop outside the Alamo on March 6th, 1836. He was one of the 187 men who held the fortified San Antonia mission for 11 days against Santa Anna’s army of 3,000, but finally he and all the other defenders were dead. The painting is by the 19th-century Texan, Robert Onderdunk

Civil War

Bitten by the Civil War bug at the Tinker Homestead Encampment


Recreation of “Rebel Veterans furl the Stars and Bars for the last time before starting for home” from The Golden Book of the Civil War. “Monroe Wildcats” representing the 1st Tennessee Dismounted Cavalry. Tinker Homestead and Farm Museum 8/6/16

Spanish-American War

On Spanish-American War monuments in Rochester. And remembering the Buffalo Soldiers on Veteran’s Day


In vintage Spanish-American uniform, Highland Park. Photo from the Brighton Pittsford-Post 2001. Uniform provided by Lynda Howland from her grandfather.

Filipino-American War

Celebrating the 120th Otis Day and finding the site of the General’s farmhouse in Gates

War Eagle Photo Jim Barclay

War Memorial Eagle, downtown Rochester [Photo: Jim Barclay, owned by David Kramer]

World War I

One hundred years ago when America entered the War to End All Wars. And Rochester.

gun 1

Edmond Lyons Park., East Rochester. A German WW1 minenwerfer (literally, “mine thrower”) in 7.58cm caliber. 4/5/17

The Austrian cannon is back in Washington Square Park. And some Italian Rochester history.

WW1 cannon

January 2018

Rochesterians in World War One and the One Hundredth Anniversary of Château-Thierry

When all was quiet on the western front on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, 1918.

Mt. Hope Cemetery. 11 a.m, 11 November, 2018 [Photo: Dean Tucker]

Mt. Hope Cemetery. 11 a.m, 11 November, 2018 [Photo: Dean Tucker]

World War II

A snowy 100th Veterans Day in Brighton and the Battle of the Bulge



Mayor of the Twelve Corners Dunkin’ Donuts celebrates his 93nd birthday on D-Day. Three days later, Victor Angelo flew a bombing mission over Vienna

vic 2

Victor Angelo at the Twelve Corners Dunkin’ Donuts, 7a.m. June 6th, 2017

After Parkland, discovering fallen Brightonians from World War Two


In the lobby of Brighton High School

Kurt Vonnegut’s “Billy Pilgrim” pilgrimage to the Mt. Hope grave of Edward R. Crone Jr, Brighton High School ’41

(left) Edward R. Crone Jr., Brighton High School Crossroads yearbook, 1941. Held at and scanned courtesy of Brighton Memorial Library; (right) Crone’s gravesite in Mt. Hope Cemetery, 12/15/18 [Photo: David Kramer

Korean War

Remembering the Korean War in Rochester

whitehaven 4

White Haven Memorial Park in Penfield. The shadow is the American flag.

You’re fired!

From the Timeline at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial of Greater Rochester in Highland Park

The Cold War

Farewell, President Bush (June 12, 1924 – November 30, 2018)

The Eisenhower presidency (and nuclear armageddon) at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Highland Park

From the Timeline at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial of Greater Rochester in Highland Park

Vietnam War

On the Memorial Day Parade and The Army of the Republic of Viet Nam


Tran (left) and Tri looking at photograph of Reeducation camp from The Tragedy of the Vietnam War: A South Vietnamese Officer’s Analysis (2008) by Van Nguyen Duong

Not letting the Vietnam War be forgotten at the Vietnam Learning Center with Central librarian Steve Nash


In the Science & History Division on the 3rd floor of the downtown Bausch & Lomb Public Library

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial of Greater Rochester: A Meditation on the Cost of War


One of the original creators of the Memorial, Barry Clifford at the September 2016 20th anniversary ceremony.

On Veteran’s Day at Buckland and Highland Parks. And the Moral Equivalent of War


Talker’s foreign correspondent in Cambodia and the plaques in the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Highland Park.

Cambodia -- featured

Cambodia and Phenom Penh. From map engraved in stone at The Vietnams Veteran Memorial of Greater Rochester, Highland Park [Photo: David Kramer 12/2/18]

The First Iraq War

From “Operation Desert Shield,” 1991 Pacific Trading Card. Factory Sealed. [From David Kramer’s collection purchased at Yankee Clipper in the Village Gate]

The Second Iraq War

The long vigil for peace on the corner of East and Goodman


Julie Everitt and Carol Kramer, Washington D.C., 2003


Remembering the fallen of the RCSD from America’s past wars

War (literally) made into art at the Military History Society of Rochester

About The Author


Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


Like what you see on our site? We’d appreciate your support. Please donate today.

Featured Posts


%d bloggers like this: