This is TALK OF THE NATION from NPR News. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Cathy, a fifth-grade teacher in Stryker, Ohio, wrote to tell us that she elicited giggles when she complemented a student's footwear and called them thongs. A self-described ex-hippie named Paul emailed that he catches himself using the phrase, that's heavy. Sooner or later, once common words or phrases take on new meanings or just seem way, way out of date. Call and tell us about the term you've used that dates you.
City officials in Paris are experimenting with an unconventional way to keep urban lawns trimmed.
Agnes Masson used to be simply the director of the Paris city archives. Now, she's also a shepherdess of sorts, responsible for four black sheep munching the lush grass surrounding the gray archives building at the eastern edge of the city.
Masson says the ewes are efficient and easy to care for.
Among the many thousands of men and women who chose to serve in the military, few volunteer for the duty of death notification. As the nation honors those killed in the line of duty, those who work intimately with the families of the fallen share their stories. (Originally broadcast May 29, 2006.)
On June 5, 1944, Jake McNiece (right) led a group of paratroopers in World War II. After he shaved his head and painted his face before dropping behind German lines for D-Day, the look caught on with his men.
Credit U.S. Military
McNiece received four Bronze Stars, two Arrowhead Bronzes and was appointed a Knight of the French Legion of Honor.
Sixteen million men and women served in uniform during World War II. Today, 1.2 million are still alive, but hundreds of those vets are dying every day. In honor of Memorial Day, NPR's All Things Considered is remembering some of the veterans who have died this year.
The Dirty Dozen was a Hollywood hit, but it was based — loosely — on a true-to-life WWII paratrooper regiment. Jake McNiece led the group, whose exploits inspired the 1967 movie and earned the nickname "The Filthy Thirteen." McNiece died in January at the age of 93.
At Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan, Staff Sgt. Michael Johnson exercises under a long, steel framework set on a wooden platform. It looks like a giant jungle gym. Above his head are pull-up bars and rings. A climbing rope is off to one side.
It's here where he and dozens of other soldiers and sailors will remember the fallen, just after sunrise, on Memorial Day. They'll all take part in a grueling exercise regimen, part of CrossFit, the popular high-intensity workout program.
Once upon a time, there was a small Hungarian village that was very proud of its sour cherries. The village was called Újfehértó. As in many Hungarian villages, tall cherry trees lined the streets and provided welcome shade in the summertime.
When communism came to Hungary after World War II, the government introduced big collective farms, and Hungarian scientists had to decide which cherries the farms should grow.
Good morning. I'm David Greene. Eighty-seven-year-old Clarence Turner took quite a leap for his great-grandson. Turner's a veteran. He was Army airborne, parachuting into war zones in the Pacific theater during World War Two. According to WLWT News, over the weekend Turner donned his parachute once more, hoping to raise money for his great-grandson's medical bills. The child recently had a lung transplant.
Richard Overton is staying at home on this Memorial Day, and he deserves it. At 107 years of age, he's thought to be the nation's oldest living veteran. Overton served in the South Pacific in World War II. He says he's lived this long thanks to aspirin, a stress-free life and by keeping busy in his yard. He also says a little whiskey in his coffee helps to, as he put it, keep his muscles tender.
On this Memorial Day, I'm raising my mug to you, Mr. Overton.
When World War I broke out in 1914, it unleashed unimaginable carnage and upheaval. By the time the war ended four years later, nearly 40 million lives had been lost, dynasties had collapsed and the global political order was shaken to its core. But what about the year prior to the war? David Greene talks to Charles Emmerson, author of 1913: In Search Of The World Before The Great War.