I never served in the military and it is one of my true regrets in life. Pictures like the one below awakens the emotions in me about this day. We live in a great country and experience a level of freedom that most on this planet will never see. This freedom is protected by the men and women of our Armed Forces – and I thank them for their service, and sacrifices.
There is the saying…..”All gave some…..some gave all.”
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Today, unique of all days each year, is the day we have chosen out from among all the rest, that we should honor and celebrate those who wouldn’t give anything less than all they had, to preserve our people, our freedom, and our spirit of liberty, to the last full measure of their devotion.
Those who laid that ultimate sacrifice upon the altar of our freedom and continued existence as a people deserve our daily respect and our eternal gratitude.
As a veteran of 2 foreign wars, there is never a day that passes that I do not think of my father, my grandfather and countless friends that I served with and who served before me. It is especially painful, for my friends I lost over seas on some God forsaken fucking battle field, who will never come home.
My father served in WW 2 at the age of 15. At age 22 he re-enlisted in the Army and served in Korea and fought with Company B 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry at Chosin Resevior.
My grandfather during WW 2 served in the Navy ob board the escort carrier San Lo in the Pacific.
I served with Lima Co. 2nd Battalion 5th Marines during Desert Storm/Shield as a Navy Corpsman, and with Medical dept on board USS Independence during Panama.
I openly weep at the songs The National Anthem, America, the beautiful, and I am proud to be an American. I guess I have survivors guilt. I guess that is why I am fighting pissed at American Idol. Go to your local grave yard and look for the white marble grave stones…Those are American Idols.
That being said, Rourke, you are right…All gave some, some gave all……others are still giving.
Another 3 Day Memorial Day weekend.
You will probably think it went by too fast.
Remember: there are and have been armed men and boys out there in the dark,
wondering through a long night, if they will see the sun come up…and then do it all over again,
day after day.
In memory of:
Cpl. Ronald E. Eberle USMC RVN
PFC. James D. Travis USMC RVN
L/Cpl Marcia Wilbanks USMC RVN
L/Cpl Lynn Britingham USMC RVN
I was asked to give a Memorial Day speech by a good friend who is still serving. I am attaching part below:
Memorial Day will always have a special meaning for me. Although I am retired now, while on Active Duty I was assigned several missions, as Casualty Notification Officer, which is the military representative that informs the family of the service members death, as Casualty Assistance Officer, who latches onto the family for a few weeks to complete interment, process death gratuity, insurance and benefits. I was also Non-Commissioned Officer In Charge of Military Funeral Honors. This leader organizes casket guards, pall bearers, firing squad, musician for Taps and presentation of the flag to the Next Of Kin. Working with these families, their pain, sorrow and remorse, gave me a perspective that I never dealt with as a soldier, including actions in combat.
Locally, we have paid a very heavy price in defending freedom. We’ve lost 53 brave Pennsylvania Guardsmen supporting overseas operations. I am aware of several other casualties from this area, who were in other branches of the Armed Forces. We may have Gold Star families with us today. I would address those families who lost a loved one at war, EVERY WAR, that I realize that no words, written or spoken can relieve the sorrow in your hearts. I know that your Service Member’s death has caused you anguish of immeasurable proportions. I would hope that you gain some comfort in the thought that these courageous men and women have touched the lives of millions of Americans. Those millions of Americans will be enjoying their holiday weekend because of soldiers/sailors/airmen&Marines, who valued our safety more than their own lives. Every picnic, barbecue or holiday festivity has their signature on it. For no amenity in this great nation would be possible without the sacrifice of the American military. Our freedoms and every aspect of our productive lives, were bought with the efforts of our veterans. I hope that our Gold Star families find solace in the thought that our deceased brothers and sisters are still with us. They are present in the good things that go on every day. Their courage is an inspiration to all who still serve. I pray that the Almighty remove all of your sadness and that you sleep better at night knowing that these troops, died keeping the wolf away from the door.
And for those Americans that think of Memorial Day merely as the first day of summer, or just as an extended weekend away from work, I challenge everyone here today to remind them of the holiday’s real intent, to remember our fallen heroes. As American patriots, we can encourage our fellow citizens to respect this day, perhaps by flying the American flag or observing the National Moment of Remembrance at three o’clock this Memorial Day. We can honor this day by including in our holiday plans a time to pause for reflection and prayer. Or we can simply support the efforts of others to recognize those who gave their lives protecting our liberty. In some way, great or small, we all must seize the opportunities to demonstrate that the fallen are alive in our hearts and we cherish them up until our own last breath.
I want to thank everyone here today, for honoring the memory of the men and women who gave all. Please continue to consider the principles that led them to enlist in the United States military, and ultimately lay down their lives. Allow them to be a beacon of hope that our Republic will always be free and that our children can live in security and peace.
GOD BLESS AMERICA!