Monday, May 25, 2009

In Rememberance

Yesterday, I went to the National Cemetary at Fort Lyon with the family. My dad's dad is buried there, and the place always hits me with a ten pound sledge, but even more so on Memorial Day.

So many graves with flags, so many people who left home to fight for their country, and whether they came home upright and made a choice to be buried here, next to their brothers in arms, or didn't make it home in time to say goodbye, here they are.

I know only the names I read on their stones, I couldn't tell you their kids names or what their favorite color was or who's cooking they liked best. I don't know them, but I'm thankful to them, and to the service men and women I do know.

Like my Grandpa:
He was never one to brag about his military service, or even talk about it very much. He wouldn't talk about the riots that destroyed the entrance to The Temple of a Thousand Steps in Korea, other than to say they happened, when I asked about the pictures. He wouldn't talk about going through Nagasaki when he was going on leave in Tokyo, other than to say he'd seen it.

But when we'd flip through the photo album with all of the pictures he took while he was serving, every once in a while his eyes would mist over as he saw one of his service buddies, and he'd simply say "He never made it home."

I don't think I can say it better than President Harry Truman did at the time, so I'll give you the words he felt appropriate for thanking those who did make it home.

Say thank you to the spirits of those who left their lives on the field of battle, today, and if you know any veterans or those who are currently serving, thank them too, and let them know that should they be asked to make that ultimate sacrifice for their country, they will not be forgotten.

Because We Remember.


Farmmom said...

Beautifully put.
Thank you so much for appreciating what your Grandpa did and gave up for all of us. Some give the ultimate sacrifice for us (as Uncle Butch did) some(Like Grandpa) make it home. But even those that make it home sacrificed much in honor and service to our country. They are the best of us all.

I appreciate you honoring him in this manner especially since my sisters didn't feel it was appropriate to honor his service at his funeral.

Know this:

Your grandfather was extremely proud of you right to the end.

Love ya kiddo

Wai (OrangeNeck) said...

My Great Uncle came over here from Hong Kong, joined the U.S. Army and fought for this country in WWII. He's part of the reason my family was able to emigrate to this country and to him, I will be eternally grateful. [Excuse me for a minute; I seem to have some dust in both eyes]

To all who fought and died, and to all who continue to do so, you have my undying gratitude and admiration.

Thank you.

Texas Ghostrider said...

I have been to a couple of National Cementaries. Just being there amoungest American TRUE Hero's get me teary eye. Bless You and your Grandpa and All of the American Military Families that keep hope and freedom alive.

Old NFO said...

Thanks for a great post FG!

Farmgirl said...

There was a much better one inside my head, which I will write... another day.

It won't hurt anything and it's never inappropriate to honor our soldiers, as it isn't done nearly enough.

mustanger said...

Hey Farmgirl, I'm with you on this. Both my grandfathers are/were WW2 U.S. Army vets, as were their brothers. They all made it home, but as far as I know, they all knew guys who didn't. I'm lucky enough to know some of the stories which took place in the New Guinea, the Phillipines, Normandy and The Bulge. A good friend of mine was a U.S. Marine... he lost his best friend on the beach on Iwo Jima. Another friend... my parents knew him since before I was born... was a U.S. Marine in Korea; he saw some really hard action. Two of my 2nd cousin were Marines in Vietnam. One of them died unexpectedly of cancer two weeks ago; he helped me with a term paper in a college class on his war.

There's not a day goes by I don't remember all those who fought for me from way before I was thought of up to the present. I thank guys like your grandfather as much as my own friends and relatives who served.

Jumblerant said...

FG - thanks again for a great post.

Over in England my maternal grandfather was part of the Home Guard, looking out for fires caused by the Luftwaffe's nightly bombings.

My paternal grandparents, well, they were coming out of a concentration camp.

Neither of them fought, but your grandfather, and millions like him, did so, so that my parents could be free.

I thank them for it every day.

phlegmfatale said...

I love this photo of your Gramps-- you have his eyes.

Thanks to him and all who served.