Memorial Day — Carrying the Torch

US army uniform patch flag. US Army

Memorial Day – a day set aside to commemorate the brave hearts that laid down their lives for our nation. A day to remember that freedom isn’t really free and the rights we enjoy were paid — and continue to be paid for — with American blood. It is a day to remember those who hover as a cloud of witnesses above. 

Today is a day off work for most; a day to enjoy family, friends and some good eats. While there is a somber tone for many — particularly for those who have recently lost loved ones or Brother/Sisters-in-arms. It is also a day to celebrate our liberty, constitutional rights, and freedoms.

Unknown Soldier Grave

Properly planned, I would propose a portion of the day be dedicated to remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure our freedoms. A portion of the day should also be spent rejoicing that sacrifice by enjoying our freedoms. And like all good holidays, a portion for rest and repose.

Whether you choose to remember a lost loved one, burn some meat on the grill, celebrate the day by popping a few caps at the range or something off the beaten path, please remember to take the appropriate time thank the fallen heroes, for the glory is theirs, but the duty to remember and carry the torch forward is ours.

Do you have a hero to remember? Please list him or her in the Comment section for all to honor this Memorial Day. I’ll start with Capt. Ricardo A. Crocker.

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Comments (17)

  1. Sp4 Howard Goldberg, lost at LZ Bird, RVN in December 1966 serving with C Company, 1/12 Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division.

  2. Leonard N. Nesbitt US NAVY WW 1, Father, Grandfather, Mason.

    Charles L. Nesbitt US ARMY Vietnam thru Panama. Father, Uncle, Brother, Mason.

    Donald L. Nesbitt US ARMY (Green Beret) Vietnam. Father, Uncle, Brother, friend.
    I knew all of these men they were dedicated to family, service to the community and country. I miss them everyday I wish they had all been here for my wedding. Their sacrifices,courage and devotion gave rise to more generations willing to serve our Nation. They will always be missed by those who knew them and love them.

  3. There is a flagpole that I put up in my front yard almost 30 years ago. Today I flew the Stars and Stripes at half mast until noon, It was raised to full staff and taken down at 1900 hrs. This was done to honor those who did not come home

    A personal hero of mine died this last January, Colonel Roger H.C. Donlon; he was just a few days shy of his 90th birthday. He was awarded the CMOH by President L. B. Johnson in December, 1964 for conspicuous gallantry during the battle of Nam Dong in July 1964. That battle was the basis for the battle that was portrayed in the film “The Green Berets” starring John Wayne.

    The battle was described by then Captain Donlon in his book, “Outpost of Freedom”, most likely long out of print but IMO is well worth the effort to obtain and read.

    Some people get what veterans have done, what sacrifices they made, even to the point of death. Others show only disdain and contempt for returning vets and they are the poorer for their lack of awareness. Many of us had excrement thrown at us when we returned, happened to me. I got rid of most of my stuff from the Army and only have memories and paperwork from those days to verify my service. It was years before I could talk to anyone about my time in the Army and even today there are some things that I will not discuss.

    There is a tee shirt that was given to me that says,

    – noun
    Someone who wrote a blank check payable to the United States of America for an amount up to and including one’s life.

  4. My father (who was a Chief Warrant Officer) – and ALL my relatives – who were part of the “Greatest Generation” who served (and helped save America) in WWII.

  5. My great grandfather left Austria prior to WW1, served in the Army. My grandfather served in WW2, my father MSG Joseph F Schwamborn served in Korea and 5 tours in Vietnam. It’s those three men whom I’m remembering today hoping they are resting in peace. God Bless

  6. 2Lt Benjamin Ehrlich, Jr, B-17G bombardier, USAAF, KIA with six other crew members during mission to Bremen, Germany on 13 Nov, 43, when his B-17G (#42-37830) collided with another aircraft and crashed in Ommen, Holland.

  7. My dad was an Italian immigrant that came to America with his folks in 1910. They became American citizens and in 1926 my dad enlisted in the Navy and served for 4yrs then got out. Then in 1937 reenlisted and served during WWII and Korea then retired in 1958 as a Chief Petty Officer. My hero in 1971 I enlisted in the Seabees and retired in 1997.

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