Happy Memorial Day

Best wishes to all on this Memorial Day. We are camping today in the Shenandoah but my thoughts will be with my late father, Jack Turley, who served in the Pacific with the Navy and all of the others who served and continue to serve this country.

This Memorial Day is particularly sad after we passed recently the 1,000 death in Afghanistan. That sad distinction goes to Marine Cpl. Jacob Leicht who was on his second tour of duty. Leciht previously almost lost his leg a few years ago when a roadside bomb destroyed his Humvee and crushed his leg. After a long rehabilitation, he asked to go back to Afghanistan. He was killed when he stepped on a bomb on May 27th, here. He was a wonderful testament to his country and his family. He was born on the Fourth of July, here,

While many of us enjoy this weekend with camping and outings, it is important to remember the sorrow and sacrifice of families like the Leichts. They will be much in our thoughts today as well as the thousands of other families who have lost family members in Iraq and Afghanistan.

20 thoughts on “Happy Memorial Day”

  1. I agree with your first sentence, mespo, but non of our people should be dying because corporations want to make trillions of dollars.

    I’ve seen other people after they return from other wars, many of them devastated by what they have seen and done. Many also became alcoholics, or drug abusers or have committed suicide because they came home to no one to help them.

    They deserve better than this.

  2. Rafflaw:

    I just re-read you fine comment and noticed that your father passed before your birth. I apologize for the error. My first sentence still stands, however.

  3. Buddha and rafflaw:

    I seem to know two very good sons who would have made any American father proud – veteran or not. Like you, I have the great privilege of knowing that the best man I ever met was the first man I ever met.

    Ave atque vale.

  4. My Dad served in France. He never said much, but did let slip in anger that he saw his buddies get gunned down and they kept moving around after they were dead from the machine gun fire of the Germans.

    My Dad was an alcoholic and kept many things deep inside him up to the day he died when he was 91.

    I was born over a year after he returned so I never knew what he was like before WWII, but my Mother told me he changed greatly after being in war.

    This alone should make us think a million times over before going to war.

    We need to protect our love ones from every experiencing anything so horrible unless we had to really, really defend ourselves.

  5. I have to go back a few generations. A great-great-grandfather in the Civil War died at Andersonville. A great-uncle was in WWI.

    I really appreciate all the groups that place flags on their graves and on every other veteran’s grave every Memorial Day.

  6. raff,

    What Maaarrghk! said. I hope your son and his platoon return safe and sound. Semper fi!

  7. AY,
    Thanks, I didn’t mean to be a “Debbie Downer”, but it was Buddha’s words that took my breath away and the emotions started flooding out.

  8. This day is a tough one for me, but it is also a day to remember the sacrifice’s made to keep us Free. I remember my Father, who made the ultimate sacrifice 6 weeks before I was born, during the Korean War after flying 50 B-24 missions out of Italy during World War II. His reserve unit was called to active duty in 1951. Even without ever knowing him, I know he was a great Father to all 5 of us and a great husband to my Mother. This day reminds me of the hollow spot in my heart because I never had the chance to really know him. I can only imagine and marvel at my Mother’s strength all these years. She recently celebrated her 87th birthday and I know she has never forgotten him. It does me good to have a National day of rememberance for my Dad and to Father’s and Mother’s everywhere who have served and to remember the families who are left behind.
    It is also a day for me to remember my son who is a Lt. in the Marines and will deployed to Afghanistan in November. He joined the Marines after college and he has always made his Mother and I very proud. Take care of your men and yourself and come home safe. Semper Fi!

  9. My Dad served in the pacific too. He recently died at the age of 95 (he was thirty when Pearl Harbor happened.) He wasn’t in harm’s way, though, he was one of the guys who was involved in breaking the Japanese code and reading the messages. He spent most of the war in Australia at a converted race course where his unit was stationed. Did his bit though, as they say.

  10. Thanks, Papaw. Happy Memorial Day. Your flag is in my office now and I still have your combat knife in a bedroom drawer. I have your discharge papers and Uncle L’s Purple Heart. We all miss you. Not just today, but everyday. I don’t just thank you for your sacrifices during the war, but for simply being the best man I’ve ever known. I carry you with me wherever I go. You are a gift beyond treasure to me. If I accomplish nothing else in life, at least I had the good fortune to be your grandson. If I’m any kind of good man, it is because of you. Thank you. This is your day.

  11. I’m reading this, remembering family members and friends whom I’ll never see again, and the word “happy” does not pop into my mind. Perhaps something like “Grateful Memorial Day” is more appropriate.

  12. The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.

    ~G.K. Chesterton

    But the freedom that they fought for,
    and the country grand they wrought for,
    Is their monument to-day, and for aye.

    ~Thomas Dunn English

    I think these sum up the day nicely.

  13. Being a veteran myself,sometimes words cannot express how i feel on this day.This will have to suffice:

  14. Back in Blighty, we just had the 70th commemoration of our escape from the beaches of Dunkirk.

    Despite the many complaints that I have about my country, it is these things that will always make me proud of it.

    Sadly, I think we are many decades away from a war free planet, but that should not stop us all from trying our best to get there without giving up any of our freedoms.

  15. Last night on 60 Minutes Andy Rooney had the best tribute of all. It left a chill on me. He basically stated that the best remembrance for this day would be to not have anyone else die.

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