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Royal Knight of the Garter

GailAnn | Posted in Feedback on Threads on

Hi Amber:

I’ve been reading again.  Just noticed in this morning’s KC Star that Prince William has been accorded the honour of Royal Knight of the Garter.  Very interesting uniform.

That led me to think about General George Patton.  He designed fine military uniforms, many of which were put into service, but others never saw battle.   They were glorious! 

As a child I remember pulling uniforms, of my own parents, out of our cedar chest.   Mother was a cadet nurse trained by the U.S Navy in WWII.  I never really wanted to be a nurse, but OH, How Dearly, I Wanted to Wear that Cape and Baret!  Blue wool lined with scarlet wool,  and a St. Luke, the Physician, Insignia on the breat!  It too was glorious!

Imagine my surprize when I pulled out Dad’s old Navy Chief’s dress uniform and found the lining to be of black and red silk dragons!  Equally fastening were his daily uniforms.  Strong, durable, high quality fabrics and buttons, designed to impress, but also designed with the full range of motion, necessary in battle.  Thinking back now, every possible duty of service, every action of war, must have been considered in the design of Navy uniforms.

Today our policemen look more friendly than awe inspiring.  Many of your readers will remember how fine Sean Connery looked in his Policeman’s uniform in The Untouchables.   Some will remember, the admiration, we felt as students when  police officers or firemen, gave safety lectures in our schools.  Our little Michigan town held a parade every Memorial Day, allowing us children, the opportunity to see the uniforms worn in the service of our county back as many as 70-75 years.  Still proudly worn.

In 2008, nothing so defines valor as the New York City Fire Department uniforms.  As we move toward, yet another black anniversary, Threads has an opportunity to honor service men and women, Past and Present, with a story illustrating  the theory behind the designs, the garments themselves, and the manufacture, of clothing worn into harm’s way.


Edited 6/17/2008 8:43 am ET by GailAnn


  1. katina | | #1

    Gail, you have such an interesting observations on fashion and style and clothing. We're going to have to redirect this 'retirement' of yours.


    1. GailAnn | | #2

      Now have opportunity to study and  to read up on all those things I have wasted a lifetime only skimming the surface.  Gail

      1. katina | | #3

        You have not wasted anything! I for one greatly enjoy your posts.


        1. GailAnn | | #4

          Let's just say that I've always been very courious about many things.  Few of the things could I use to earn a living, or make a life. 

          Among the lessons life has taught me is this truth:  Time is far more valuable than Money.

          I want to leave my daughter enough money to bury her mother.

          Air, water, food, shelter, and clothing, I think I should be able to manage, for my remaining years walking the earth, with what I have on hand.  Gail 

          1. katina | | #7

            Oh GailAnn - that comment about your burial is priceless! As for time and money, I couldn't agree with you more.

            Good wishes - Katina

  2. kaitydid | | #5

    i partly disagree. my dad is a retired cop (he retired in april), and i think the men in the department looked just as professional, and, as you put it, "awe-inspiring". of course it probably also depends on where you live, because police officers do not dress the same everywhere.

  3. User avater
    maer | | #6

    It sounds like those US Navy dress blues were custom-made in the Far East for your Dad. According to my DH, a retired chief also, there's a good chance that there was something embroidered INSIDE the sleeve cuffs.

  4. User avater
    JunkQueen | | #8

    My DH retired with 37 years in the fire service and I have a son who is a peace officer. Unfortunately, in order to provide the services the public wants in addition to police and fire protection, like parks, swimming pools, walking trails, tennis courts, golf courses, bicycle paths, libraries, preservation of historic sites, animal shelters, shelters for victims of familial abuse..... well you get the idea, there are not enough funds to have fine looking uniforms. They strive for serviceable. In the early years of our marriage, DH was provided with a splendid dress uniform, as opposed to their general uniform, and sadly his monthly salary was probably equal to the cost of that uniform. Regardless of the uniform, they are still heroes, but it would indeed be wonderful to see them in fine uniforms again, but alas, we all know the cost of fine custom-fit clothing. I, too, would love to see an article done about the history of, as you so eloquently described, the clothing worn into harm's way. I personally thank you for thinking of this subject.

    Edited 6/18/2008 12:56 am by JunkQueen

    1. GailAnn | | #9

      I meant no disrespect by commenting on the friendly new uniforms.  Those uniforms could well foster meaningful communication between the Police Officers and the citizens whom they are bound to Protect and Serve.

      No matter the uniform worn by a First Responder, in the line of duty, it is but a veil between civilization and the encroachment of evil.  Wherever they serve, in what whatever capacity they protect, I am thankful for thier vigilance, in awe of thier brave souls. 

      How deserving of praise are the mothers who raised them, with grace and with goodness, only to watch as her sons and her daughters walk into harm's way! 


      Edited 6/18/2008 10:42 am ET by GailAnn

      1. User avater
        JunkQueen | | #10

        Oh, GailAnn, I in no way took your comments in any way other than what you intended. You were eloquent, and it touched my obviously biased heart. My response was meant to be one of dismay that we can no longer provide those impressive uniforms for our public servants. I am so proud of my husband, my son, and their many comrades whose unsung and selfless acts have protected so many people and saved so many lives for so many years.I am always delighted humbled when someone outside "the community" recognizes the bravery of that brotherhood. An article on their uniforms would be a superb tribute, and I humbled by your words.

        Edited 6/18/2008 12:37 pm by JunkQueen

        1. GailAnn | | #11

          We should all be humbled by their heroic acts on our behalf.  Gail

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