May 25, 2009
"Tell them, tell them when you get home that I gave all of my tomorrows so they could have today!"
Those are the words on a tombstone, far across the Pacific, of someone who gave up his life for our future.
Were those words uttered so that those of us who are left could just enjoy our lives without "getting involved", or were they written to remind us that the work of freedom and liberty is never done?
Were those words written to suggest to us that it is not our job nor our responsibility to keep alive what they fought and died for, or were they written to remind us that we were given the opportunity of life so that we would continue to defend, and keep alive the memory of what they gave their last full measure for?
Let us here today, tonight, tomorrow, next month and next year - remember these gallant defenders of our freedom.
Most were not heroes as defined by the most hallowed Medal of Honor nor even as defined by the silver or bronze star.
They were ALL Heroes
Yes they were heroes, because without hesitation they fought for our country when they were asked to defend her.
They left their families, friends and good times behind and went to fight for our freedom without hesitation.
Some -- never even fired their weapons because they were killed before they ever reached the beach.
But they were heroes because they were there, ready to fight for America - for family, flag and country.
Most were scared to death as they prepared to meet the enemy. Their stomachs were turned upside down and they prayed to God and wished they were with their moms, dads and sweethearts rather than being where they were.
But they were where they were, fighting an enemy that was threatening their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They were fighting an enemy because they believed in America, they loved Her flag and they wanted to protect Americans' right to worship as they chose.
They were there, without hesitation, fighting for what they believed in and dying for what they believed in so you and I could live the way we choose in a free country. But they did not die so that we would stop fighting for what they believed and died for.
They fought and died knowing that we, the living, would go on fighting for that same freedom, that same country, that same flag and for that same right to worship as we choose. Abraham Lincoln, at Gettysburg, said:
"It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us--that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion--that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain--that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom--and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth."
It is for us the living to go on defending what they died for. It is for us the living not to allow history to forget what they gave up all their tomorrows for.
If when we attacked Guadalcanal and landed at Salerno, we found that "they" were going to fight back, we didn't give up because they fought back. We continued to fight because we knew our cause was right!
When Americans rode in the landing craft before storming the beaches at Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Sicily, Anzio, Normandy, Peleliu, Saipan, Iowa Jima, Okinawa, Inchon and many other places we had never heard of before and when they fought in North Africa, the Philippines, Italy, France, Bastonne, Germany, Korea and Vietnam -- most were scared to death; their stomachs were turned upside down and they wanted to be back home with their loved ones.
But that did not stop them from attacking America's enemies bravely and without hesitation. They fought, and many died, but they did not give up because someone shot back at them.
It is for us the living to continue to defend and keep known what they fought and died for -- what they gave up all of their tomorrows for.
They did not die so that we could become complacent; nor did they die so that when we, the living, reached a single obstacle --- we should quit
They died knowing that we would go on defending their actions, defending history and defending what they gave up all their tomorrow's for.
If WE don't remember ---if WE don't defend what they fought and died for and what we fought for -- who will remember? Who will care?
How many of them and you who fought for our flag and our country and remember the feeling as Old Glory" was being raised over a piece of land we fought for ---- and many died for?
How many remember seeing or hearing about our valiant warriors, who were fighting on Iowa Jima, as they stood and cheered when they saw the flag being raised over Mt. Suribachi.
We take this time on Memorial Day to salute our Fallen Heroes who through the history of our country have fought and died for all of us.
In ithe Shadow of the blade, the WHOP WHOP WHOP of the Huey was Vietnam's soundtrack, echoing through the landscape like a drum call to war. Most Veterans will tell you they can sense an approaching Huey long before anyone else can either see or hear it.
Airborne-Hymn To The Fallen
"Blood on the Risers" is an American paratrooper song from World War II. It is sung by the United States 82nd Airborne Division, the 173rd Airborne Brigade, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division and the United States 101st Airborne Division. This song has been featured on the television mineseries Band of Brothers and the video game Brothers in Arms. Sung to the tune of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic", the song tells of the final jump of a paratrooper whose parachute does not work. This results in him falling to his death.
Wild Thing's comment...........
In Memory of all those that served !
....Thank you Jack for sending this to me.
Army Combat Engineers
Quang Tri & Chu Lai '68 -'69
United States Army
Jack's blog is Conservative Insurgent
they heeded the call
They took up arms
"Freedom For All"
They went to serve
in a far away land
In battles they fought,
they took a stand
For those who died, our Country sadly mourned
There were many who fell and gave their lives
Leaving behind children, mothers, fathers and wives
In honor of that, their praises we sing
To those who died, we salute you all
And give our thanks for heeding the call
Wild Thing's comment..........
May all who observe this day, remember and never forget everyday the rest of the year as well.
....Thank you Richard for sending this to me.
Posted by Wild Thing at May 25, 2009 05:55 AM
People need to remember that if it weren't for the brave men and women who stepped in when others stepped aside and did what had to be done, and paid the ultimate price, we would not have the freedoms we have today. Why would anyone want to give those freedoms up?
I owe them so very much. They protected me even though they didn't know me.
Happy Memorial Day my family. May God pour out his abundant blessings on you all.
Posted by: Lynn at May 25, 2009 06:34 AM
Yes Lynn, I agree. I have a small post on my site and will update later in the day. Thus far here it is.
Today as we celebrate Memorial Day let's not get so wrapped up with our barbeques and forget what we are celebrating. Take a moment and remember those that have served and are now serving, those that have and are making it possible to continue living in freedom. There will be a small parade in our hometown and this year Rabbi Hecht will be reciting the invocation and benediction before the parade and festivities. I will update later in the day.
I do not personally know Rabbi Hecht but have corresponded with him as he e-mails me things to post on a local blog I have here about upcoming events of the Rhinebeck Jewish Center which is a project of Chabad Dutchess.
Posted by: Bob A at May 25, 2009 08:34 AM
I hope everyone here has a memorable Memorial Day. It's purpose is to remember those who gave their lives in service to America. Some fell in battle, others fell preparing for battle. These men and women put something ahead of themselves, sacrifice to their buddies and their families.
The fallen are here with us in spirit today. Take part in an event if you can. If not, at least stop and say a prayer for those who did not return alive to their homes and families. Many of them are forever young. Let all of them be forever remembered.
Posted by: TomR at May 25, 2009 09:26 AM
On this day, I wish to say to all of my veteran friends both male and female how very proud I am to have had the honor of serving with you. I also never forget those who have fallen in defense of our country. That is especially true of Cpl. Herbert Sherill of New York who was killed in the Bo Loi Woods on his last mission in 1967.
And for those who have not seen "In The Shadow Of The Blade" please see it. Go Robin Hoods! My old unit BTW.
And Chrissie, thank you so very much, we love you.
Posted by: cuchieddie (DHS suspected terrorist)) at May 25, 2009 10:26 AM
Was at the cemetery in Tacoma yesterday, my first time there, with wife, daughter and grandson, not a soul there we knew but for me I was amongst the finest as they were all identified by the flags adorning their final resting place. Today, I'm off to a rather private memorial ceremony in an obscure community that has given more than their share, one that welcomes strangers like me into their fold as one of theirs. That is the same feeling I get here, Thank you all and especially you Chrissie, you make it happen. Love ~
Posted by: Jack at May 25, 2009 11:49 AM
The hueys long blades cause a deep thumping vibration from the end of the blades going supersonic. If you are around them long enough you CAN feel them long before you see or hear them.
To ALL my fellow veterans, Living and gone I for one Salute YOU.
Posted by: Fercryinoutloud at May 25, 2009 12:49 PM
Memorial Day we celebrate Freedom and Liberty and pay honor, respect ang our heartfelt gratitude to those who died to make that possible. Let's not ever forget the reason for this day.
To the ones who came back, 'For those who have not seen, no explanation is possible. For those who have seen, no explanation is necessary'.
Posted by: Mark at May 25, 2009 02:27 PM
I posted a few pictures I took from in front of the house. Not professional but you can see that Mid-state NY is not New York City, which dominates NY politics.
The first is the American legion here, and there are very few. This is a small village and town, not even a small city. Overall very good. A good turnout (population wise) by both participants and observers. Mostly locals.
Other local pictures e-mail me.
Posted by: Bob A at May 25, 2009 07:37 PM
Lynn, I agree, it amazes me how there are
those that forget what today is about.
Posted by: Wild Thing at May 25, 2009 07:47 PM
Bob A., I love your post at your blog
Posted by: Wild Thing at May 25, 2009 07:48 PM
Tom, that was beautiful. Yes they will
always be with us in spirit.
Posted by: Wild Thing at May 25, 2009 07:50 PM
cuchieddie (DHS suspected terrorist)), your
old unit was awesome. I love the Shadow of
the Blade so much.
Love you too cuchieddie.
Posted by: Wild Thing at May 25, 2009 07:53 PM
Jack,how wonderful, thank you for sharing
about yesterday and today too.
Thank you Jack, love you too.
Posted by: Wild Thing at May 25, 2009 07:55 PM
Fercryinoutloud, thank you for sharing
about the huey's.
Posted by: Wild Thing at May 25, 2009 11:26 PM
Mark, yes a grateful heart thank you.
Posted by: Wild Thing at May 25, 2009 11:29 PM
Bob A., thank you it is wonderful.
Posted by: Wild Thing at May 25, 2009 11:30 PM