: Memorial Day - Let us not forget
05-21-2002, 07:54 PM
As we approach Memorial Day and enjoy our U.S. freedoms through family picnics, baseball games, parades, fishing, department store sales, boating, Indy 500, golf, or what ever freedom you choose to pursue which our american government and society has given us.
Please do not forget the true intention of the holiday is to honor the men and women of our armed forces who have served our country to preserve our freedoms and the many which have given the ultimate sacrifice of their life, or have been injured.
I served from 1966 to 1970 in the USAF during the Vietnam and Cold wars, serving in units which were directly involved with both theaters on a daily basis. I know there are many others on this board that also served. I am glad I served but have many guilt feelings over this war having lost some friends in it and myself coming through it unharmed.
In retrospect, this period of my life was the most dangerous and exciting.
God bless the men and women who have served in our armed forces and protect those currently defending us from the new risks to our american freedoms.
Below is the URL to the Vietnam memorial web site where you can look up those who lost their lives and read the online memorials being posted to honor and remember them . I can tell you from first hand experience there were a lot of very young americans who lost their lives in this conflict and did not have the opportunity to fully experience our american freedoms and way of life.
God Bless America !
05-22-2002, 12:16 AM
I'm from Canada, but I enlisted in the US. Thing to remember is far more Canadians came 'south' than Americans went 'north.' Don't bother to look it up, it's a fact.
Indeed Hal - what we have today, we have because of what others sacrificed for freedom sake.
I used to work with a real hardass. He'd ride everyone up one side and down the other. Rather than a greeting, he'd acknowledge your arrival with an insult.
Well, as I got to know him it turned out his angst had come the hardships life had brought upon him - his tours in 'Nam and the things he'd seen out on the edge like getting hit in a copter trying to evacuate his own and whirling down into a jungle crash to hang on by a thread while others died. To come back, unable to adjust, lose his marriage, and feel emotional pain long after the physical stopped. Soon I could see past his anger and found a respect for him despite his constant harassment.
Well, that first Friday before Memorial Day that I worked there I offered to buy him lunch. He gave me a surprised and suspicious gaze and asked why. I said "for your freinds who didn't make it". He accepted, and each year the lunch thing grew until most of the office would join us. It was a small gesture in comparison but appreciated deeply by the two vets who worked in our office.
I still think about the things he told me about 'Nam. He had lived through horrors most of us could not imagine. Although I think all war is unfortunate if not for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for freedom, we wouldn't have freedom.
05-22-2002, 09:28 AM
to all of you who have served for this great country.
I am not planning to join the armed forces, but feel my place to serve this country is in a blue uniform and badge.
After I get out of round two in college, I am going to pursue that carrer.
I cannot understand the sacrefice you have given and do not want to pretend too, I just want to let each and every vet know I deeply appreciate you protecting my freedoms, my families freedoms, and all other people in this great countrys freedoms.
05-22-2002, 01:28 PM
Thanks, I think, for that link to the Wall. In many trips to DC, I have yet to make myself go to the Vietnam Memorial. I went to your link just now and searched for a friend KIA in '69. The stark fact on his bio page listed his age--23. That he'll always be 23 suddenly had me in tears at my desk.
As Jack Nicholson's Colonel Jessup famously said in "A Few Good Men," "Son, we live in a world that has walls. And those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it?"
Memorial Day is at least the answer for those who have done it.
To all who wear/wore the uniform--police and fire as well as military, thanks.
SFC, A Troop/1st Squadron/223rd Cav/28th Div, 1970-77
Kush and I saw the travelling wall two summers ago in Ferndale, Wa. It was set up in Homesteader Park and as we rounded the corner and it came into view I choked up---the emotion was a total surprise. At that moment it didn't matter that we were Canadian, it only mattered that so many had sacrificed their lives. To think that this memorial almost didn't get built is in itself a tragedy. Perhaps one day we will see the original. Unfortunately, the events of 9/11 bring new heroes who serve their country.
Thinking of our American friends this Memorial Day weekend.
Sandi and Tyler Kushnir
05-25-2002, 09:42 PM
Every year, for the Memorial Day Holiday, I have the honor of placing fire department flags at the graves of my fallen brothers. I have the extra honor of placing those flags next to many American Flags.
Many of my brothers served their country on two fronts. On the battle field and the home front. Two who served on both fronts were my Grandfather, who rode with Teddy Roosevelt, and my uncle who survived Iwo Jima. In peace time, both served in the same fire department I serve now. I'm 3rd generation in the department. That's over 100 years. I was also very fortunate to serve my country.
Placing that fire department flag has always been special to me. This year, seeing it next to our nations flag, has given me a new sence of patriotism. This year, 343 new flags will be placed upon new graves. That's the number of my brothers who died on that sunny day in September.
The flags we plant are a reminder, to those of us who are still here, of the sacrifice these men and women have given over the years. If you could ask them, they would tell you that they gave not for the flag, but for you and me.
Most gave some. Some gave all.
May we, never forget.
I served in Uncle Sam's Canoe Club (USN) from 1968-1992. I 've looked death square in the eye and experienced all the horrors of war. I was by the side of close friends and comrades as well as many soldiers and marines I didn't know when they passed while I did my best to save them. None will be forgotten. I, for one, truly appreciate the sentiments expressed in the above posts. Thanks.
05-26-2002, 01:30 AM
and Pooch and I had to take a very long walk to get (me) back under control.
The 'greater you' stand up, or the 'lesser you' will fall.\\
05-26-2002, 11:33 AM
I was in Washington DC on a lobbying trip for fisheries related issues in 1990, I had no desire to go to "The Wall" but a woman in our group who had been with several Vn. Vets on previous trips to DC insisted and I finally gave in and walked over there. It actually left me cold and was just too vast to really comprehend, all those little letters, and I knew what they really stood for. I guess what I was really feeling was that most of the people viewing the monument were not worthy of even reading the names inscribed there. This of course included myself as I was a survivor and still hiding from the realitys of my own actions during and after the war.
I have since that time endeavored to try to more fully understand the difficultys that are refered to as Post Stress Disorders, and have had I am glad to report some success.
The Traveling Wall made its way to Sitka Alaska in 1994 and I went several times during its stay there saw the names of several of the young fellows that were on my river boat and and a few of the kids from my High School. It seemed like it was a bit easier to view the small wall in a local spot just a two minute walk from my front door.
After I relocated back down here in Washington the traveling wall showed up in Port Angeles and I went several times during its stay here too. The difference this time was that I felt comfortable with the darn thing and I felt compassion for the other folks who were viewing it. When you get right down to it that was probably what the woman who designed it had in mind those who are living and not those who are listed. We honor our fallen brothers and sisters in many ways, the best way is sometimes just to keep on, keeping on.
May they rest in Peace.
05-27-2002, 12:12 AM
Made the 'mistake' of watching Forest Gump tonight. Too many memories. My 'Forest' was "Stan.'' The IQ of a feather, but the hands of a doctor when it came to engines, whatever.
I spent (thanks to a string of Coast Guard and Canadian licences) at the grand old age of 23 , just a few days in Nam, then back in the World. Ya, someone could read.
"Stan" was my Dogs Body up in Washington on the Cutter. Nothing he couldn't do. Nothing period. IQ had nothing to do with native ability; but he got transfered. And his name is on the wall. I could pick his face out of a thousand photos even today.
Not a good night to be alone. I think I'll get **** faced in his honor. Damn I miss him even with the passing of all the years. You live longer in your memories than you'd ever think.
05-27-2002, 12:06 PM
Profoundly disappointed as I drove around town at how few FLAGS flown to commemorate...There are several at Area 61!
I plan on driving to the National Cemetery this afternoon to pay quiet respects and REMEMBER why this is a SPECIAL DAY.
During my years with the AirForce I did time in harms way (almost bought the farm several times too many...getting shot at gets my attention fast, annoys me no end, and really pisses me off!) and I lost many friends in the process...the WALL turns me inside out...and I still can't deal with Platoon, the Tom Hanks movie, and BlackHawk Down (among others) because of personal connections with the event(s)...still dealing with my own jumbo pet demons...on and on.
We really have it good (despite what some might have us think)!...but we must never take it for granted or forget how we go here! There are those who would bring it all down...9-11 might serve as a wake-up call but the Fat Lady isn't even warming up yet...
GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!
05-27-2002, 12:14 PM
John, I am thinking about you today and all of the others lost in the 9/11 attack and the U.S. service men now defending us from the new terrorist risks our world is confronted with. (See URL below where online memorials to those lost in the 9/11 attacks can be found).
John and all others lost in the 9/11 attacks, may you rest in peace, god bless you, we will never forget you.
John was a close coworker of mine who worked for our Zurich North America - Corporate division operations located at One Liberty Plaza which is across the street from the WTC. We also lost 5 other Zurich employees who were in the WTC that morning for meetings.
God Bless America and protect those serving in defense of our freedoms !