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Monday, May 28, 2012

I Remember You

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Today is memorial day, a remembering both of those wonderful people who fought to make us free, and those loved ones who have died. I have some of both. This post is for those who have fought for us, some of whom have made the ultimate sacrifice.

My father was in the army during Korea. My husband's grandfather was one of the first four frogmen (later Navy Seals) for the USA. I have friends who manned lighthouses, were MP's, flew in jammer planes, drove military transport trucks, fought in Desert Storm, Afghanistan, Iraq, a Seal in the Falklands, Korea, a Navy Seal in Vietnam, and WWII. Some of them have gone back for several deployments. They rarely talk about the sacrifices they make.

While we're at home complaining about minutia, they are dodging bullets and suffering under REAL trials. One of my friends was having a hysterectomy. I went to the hospital with her as her husband was in Iraq. He had to run half a mile under constant fire to talk to me on the phone to find out how she was doing. He sent me a US flag which had been on sorties.

A very firm family friend was a Navy Seal in Vietnam. One day, while off duty, he and his buddies were hunting rats in the bamboo. Someone opened up on them from cover. He and his buddies shot back, spraying the bamboo until the answering bullets stopped. When they went to see who it was, they found a 12-year-old boy. My friend was never the same after that.

I have another buddy who has done multiple tours as an army sniper. He doesn't have a cushy desk job. He is a huge target. He has three little children at home and a wife who loves him. He is not wealthy, but he loves his country and is very good at what he does.

Charles Perry Leavitt was a spectacularly good swimmer. He was employed by the USA to secure beach heads. He was dropped from planes and had to swim to shore, cutting ribbon wire, defusing mines, and generally make the beach as safe as possible under heavy fire. When his task was finished, a plane flew past, and lowered a hook, which caught him under the arms and yanked him out of the water. He did this job countless times. It was from complications due to the hooking of his body from the water that he later died.

For all of these people, and especially for those who fought to free this country from oppression I have the greatest respect. Thank you for helping to keep this country free.

Here's something my Canadian friend sent me once. Canadian students have to memorize this poem. I love it:

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In Flanders Field
by John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields. 

Never forget for whom the blood has seeped so deeply into the soil. It is we who reap this sacrificial crop. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

1 comment:

  1. My section chief when I was in the Army spent one Christmas Eve bagging bodies. Every Christmas after has been tainted by that experience. Some memories never go away. My uncle who was at Pearl Harbor when it was bombed and survived the battle of Iwo Jima took forty years to speak of some of the horror he experienced.

    We have no idea the price they pay, even when they come back physically in one piece.

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