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Monday, May 25, 2020
Memorial Day 2020
No politics today. Only humility, awe and gratitude for those in uniform who gave everything for this nation. Their loss is unfathomable; their gift to us immeasurable. Let us each strive to be worthy as we celebrate and defend their legacy.
Amen, had my great uncles in WWII, dad was in Korea. He was a Seabee but never saw serious action, spent his time in Panama (?) doing stuff. My uncles were okay, but definitely never talked about it to us younger generation. Granddad was essential service, he worked for Ma Bell so wasn't allowed to go. Met hubs through the National Guard, but neither of us did serious duty. He finished his time and I was mustered out for getting pregnant, which was the rule then. There was one time he was close (as in, being warned to have a ready bag packed) to heading for Afghanistan, have to say I was glad he didn't go. Husbands family also had several members in military at the same time as mine.
Amen, and thank you for the reminder.
My father had a close call in Korea. His Signal Corps squad was assigned to lay communications cable in No Man's Land. He was delayed, and the truck left without him. It was never seen again...
Some gave some and some gave all. We owe alot to those brave souls who have given us our freedom.
Dad tried enlisting but was rejected because of missing a portion of his index finger which was his trigger finger. He turned his energies into working as a heavy equipment operator and helped building Miami International Military Depot (MIAD) during the war. He was 16, went to school, and worked swing shift after school while his brother joined the Army. There’s a reason they were called “The Greatest Generation”.
Dad’s gone now and MIAD was returned to civilian aviation in 1949 but parts of her runways still exist. I always think of those parts as tribute to my dad and the hundreds of other guys who may not have worn the uniform but were veterans, nonetheless.
I was drafted in '68 right out of college because I was 'not making adequate progress' toward a degree. Anyway, that's what my draft board said. I went, thinking I was destined for 'Nam. Instead I was sent to Germany as they were standing up a brand-new air defense system in case the Russkies got frisky and came through the Fulda Gap. I like to think that I would have gone to 'Nam and done whatever they told me, but, I gotta say, the idea of being a tunnel rat scares the bejeezus out of me.
At our annual Veteran's Day celebration I get to rub shoulders with lots of vets who did see action. I am in awe of them and what they accomplished.
There were 26,000 casualties in Iwo Jima on February 1945. My Marine cousin, Leonard Pecchia, was fighting there when the American flag was raised on Mount Suribachi. Even though there was a great chance they would be injured, he and all of the soldiers around him stood up and cheered! God Bless America!
A correction to above. The Battle of Iwo Jima was between February 19-kMarch 26, 1945.
The Mrs and I had the privilege yesterday of placing flags on the veteran's graves at our local cemetery. We both got a bit emotional watching the Marine in the section nearby solemnly standing at attention and saluting each gravestone after placing the flag.
We can rant and holler about politics and politicians tomorrow. Today let us all please remember that someone, somewhere, paid the price for all we have today. and please God, bless the families that paid that price along with the fallen.
God Bless America and those that gave the ultimate sacrifice.
Very appropriate - thanks...
I had recently received the draft records of my ancestors, WWI, WWII, Korean. My best friend died in action in Vietnam doing a rescue mission (the Mayagues Incident), so I remember. I remember.
Sure, I served, but I only gave some. My deepest appreciation for those that gave all.
Et Lux Aeterna
We owe so much. So very much to those who died, usually at a tender age, to secure the freedoms we take for granted today. May God bless them and their families.
So grateful for true men and women who wear our military's uniform with distinction. I've known a few and was privledged to call them friend.
@Boligat: I know a fellow in your age group who didn't wait to be drafted; he enlisted, and qualified for the Army Security Agency. He was posted to Turkey to listen in on Soviet rocket weapons research just over the border—not only did the Army refuse to send him to 'Nam, but for security reasons, he was not allowed to fly out of Turkey on any flight that was routed over the various SSRs. So he spent his Vietnam Conflict years with a typewriter and radio receiver, and took his leave in-country there, climbing Mt. Ararat and skiing with the Turkish Olympic ski team for fun.
His father had tried to enlist for WWII, and was refused because he was a chemical engineer in a war-critical industry, involved with the development of synthetic rubber. So that apple didn't fall far from the tree.
We both have friends who perished in Vietnam, and relatives who were injured, some in ways invisible, in WWII or later conflicts. There is hardly a Memorial Day that I don't think for a long while what life would have been if their sacrifices had been refused.
Or on Ben's birthday. Or Darrell's. Or Walter's or Eugene's or Tommy's or Clint's...
My father served in Korea. He only spoke occasionally about what he saw and experienced there, and then only near the end of his life. Enough for me to understand why he would get so angry when anyone would begin to run down the United States of America, or why when he brought in the mail one day and saw the cover on the current issue of The Week magazine depicting Muslims in their garb raising a flag on Mt Suribachi, that he tore it in two as he threw it in the garbage.
The few stories he told about his time in Korea were always accompanied by a flow of tears and a choking voice. It was only when going through some of his handwritten papers after he died that I knew he suffered from survivors guilt the rest of his life.
THANK YOU dad for your service, and THANK YOU to everyone else who has stood as a defense against those who would destroy this country, and who made America the country it was, and I hope will be again! I too will stand against those enemies foreign AND DOMESTIC that are hell-bent on doing what previous generations could not, if even as an old civilian.
Thank God for our GIs. The USA is still the greatest nation in the world, all things considered.
While hiking in the marshes at Quincy, MA I came across a granite memorial to the memory of Marine PFC William Caddy, who was killed in action fighting in WW II at Iwo Jima. It stated that he was a Medal of Honor recipient, but gave few details. Later I learned that Caddy, taking shelter in a shell hole while under heavy machine gun fire, threw his body over a live Japanese grenade, saving the lives of his fellow Marines.
A short distance away, obscured by ancient oaks, was a small military cemetery. As I walked reverently among the white marble headstones, I saw that it held the remains of Civil War veterans. Under the name of John Griffiths, I spotted the words "MEDAL OF HONOR." Research showed me that Griffiths, at great personal risk, led a small boat mission into Fort Fisher in North Carolina, to obtain vital reconnaissance for his general on shore.
These were true heroes, and I saluted them. May they rest in peace for eternity.
@Readers- I'm very appreciative of all the stories being shared here. They remind us of the weight of this day and the sacrifices of others.
GOD BLESS THE USA!!!
When it was my time, I served in the USMC with pride. Pride in the men I was fortunate to serve with and pride in my nation. I can see in my mind every man we lost. As time has passed, I have begun to understand part of the price they paid. They gave up their future to serve their country. Most had never married and never will. They never saw their bride's eyes as she walked down the aisle. They never held their first born and fell completely head over heels in love. They never experienced the joy and commitment or raising children to adulthood. They never saw their daughters or sons walk down that same aisle in that same church. And, they never held their grandchildren and fell head over heels in love, like I did.
We owe them so much that we can never repay. It's misty in here.
The freedom and easy lives we enjoy is largely due to the ultimate sacrifices made by so many. The thought of that combined with the seeming ease that so many today are flippantly willing to give our freedoms away today only angers me.
Thank you Mr. Jarlsberg for this wonderful site, your fine postings, your love for this country and the way you keep us uplifted and entertained. May the gods bless you and watch over you always!!!
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