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Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Past Thoughts

Times are tough right now in America but they have been far worse, more severe than our simple lives could ever believe. In our time children are no longer born at home but in hospitals where any problem that develops can immediately be taken care of with a highly educated medical staff. Not many folks in generations gone by could boast about that precious gift and yet they survived to see another generation come up behind them, and yet another one after that.

My Dad was a World War II Veteran and Korea Veteran and entered the Navy at the ripe old age of seventeen. Commerce High, here in Worcester, gave him and all the other boys diplomas before they left for active duty regardless of the fact that they never finished all the required work to get one. Many of those boys never made it back home and there is a small memorial at Britain Square in the city to remember them all. Most people don’t even see it and yet one neighborhood woman goes out of her way to make sure it is well cared for and presentable for the public. Nobody asked her to do it, she just does it. She probably does it because she remembers what it was like to lose so many boys to a war we didn’t start. She was probably just a young teen age girl at the time, maybe she lost a brother or two or three in the war. She doesn’t talk about it, she just pulls the weeds and plants the new flowers every year.

As a young man I found it ironic that my father was so proud of his own military service and yet when any of his own sons discussed joining the military he would go off the deep end with rage. His reasoning, the horror he endured, survived, and was scarred by was never given as an answer as to why not, it was just his word. Jack never wanted one of his sons to ever go through the hell he did and when you think about it, what parent would? He only talked about his experiences in his later years and the horror he went through as a young man was beyond words.

As of this date 5/25/09, we have had 4,300 people die in Iraq and Afghanistan. All of these kids bravely signed up for duty, went into combat as volunteers in service to our nation. Some on their fourth or fifth tour of duty. Every single one of them is a hero in my heart and my prayers go out for each and every single one of them. Same goes for all the men and woman still in the field of battle and most folks forget about them.

Memorial Day has come and gone and most of us back here at home spent it having fun times with family and friends and that is a blessing we owe to the people that served, died, and paid the ultimate price generation after generation before us. Our barbecue weekend introduction to summer is a good time for all and we just need to think back as to why it is all possible. No offense to my German or Japanese readers but I’m glad that I can’t understand a single word you say. Thank you Dad! God rest your soul Dad, I love ya and thank you for all the Marines you patched up as a Navy Medic in WWII.

Somewhere in Iraq, Afghanistan or wherever our troops are deployed is a young kid wondering if he or she will be remembered too if they happen to pay the ultimate price for America? I hope so. Can the next generation come to the task of what our parents or grandparents endured and passed on? All I can say is that they are going to have to.

You will never be forgotten as long as I have a single breath in my lungs. Fox News did this tribute up right back in 2006...

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