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Memorial Day

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. 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.

Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863

One of the greatest speeches ever made IMHO. Today I also remember the Memorial Day Parades I marched in with my dad. He never missed a one until he passed away. Love and miss you dad and thank you for your service to the country, Hand salute.


14 responses to Memorial Day

  1. So much said in those simple words, that still resonate in our great country today.

    On this US Memorial day and every day…..To all who did, do and will serve to protect this country and our freedoms and especially to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. THANK YOU! May we never forget you.

    My father, USMC Sergeant, Korea era. Hand salute.

    2 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  2. Tom, thanks. Beautifully said by a great man. My Dad never marched in any parades I know of, but I miss him VERY much, like you miss yours, Tom.

    God bless them ALL!

  3. That was wonderful. I find myself sad and distracted every Memorial Day. I get a bit miffed when people thank me for my service, and I let them know that day is in November. I get miffed at sales and such. Mostly I honestly want to get drunk and sit alone, remember my friends who are gone and cry.

  4. My Dad served the entire war in Texas as a flight instructor. He wanted to transition to bombers in order to fly for the airlines after the war, but they told him the best pilots were kept here for training those men that would have to learn to fly and fight. He flew the Vultee BT-13’s and then the AT-6’s. I lost him in 1975 at 53….way too young. I love you, dad – and miss you.

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

  5. My dad, with the Korean occupation force, 1945-46. Was supposed to be in the Invasion of
    Japan. Left the planet in 2012.

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

  6. Well put Tom, and thanks for writing this article.

    It’s ironic that you should mention the Gettysburg address. It brings memories of a humorous story that Dad told me on several occasions to mind. Apparently when my Dad was in elementary school, he did something and got in trouble for it. This is no surprise here.

    However, his “punishment” was writing the Gettysburg address 1,000 times !!!!! He could recite it word for word even in his later years in life.

    My Dad was a Korean War combat veteran. Dad served with the Infantry and also in Armor as a crewman in Sherman’s and M-26’s.

    Back then the US Army had units that were called “Armored Infantry” and many soldiers were trained to do both jobs. His primary MOS was “Heavy Weapons, Infantry”. He would joke with me and say that was only until he could find a lighter one……………

    Here’s his basic training photo.

    We lost him in 2012 too……………… Miss you Pop.

  7. Thank you, Tom, and all contributors to this fine thread, on this very important day.

  8. Every day is Memorial and Veterans Day, anyone who honors and respects a vet who sacrificed, currently serving or retired is a welcomed gift received from anyone. I may get emotional when the National Anthem is played, when the missing man formation is flown over an honored veteran. Unfortunately too many still die everyday somewhere. Via combat or mishap. Being in the Navy for 20 years I have seen my share of events here and abroad. The battle is not always on the battlefield, it is here as well, homelessness, delayed benefits the list goes on. I do not have those amazing photos to share of my Dad and uncles who served in US Army and Navy, in the WWI, WWII and Korean War eras. Those are kept somewhere in a house in San Antonio, someday soon I will get copies next time I visit. But this day is not about me, though I do appreciate the thanks I receive any day any time, I smile when I am acknowledge for my service though I do with a humble heart, as for those under the green of Arlington they are the ones most in favor of the recognition. As well as those now who are away from home.
    In harms way. May God continue to bless the United States of America, and also the nations that side with us for peace on Earth.

    Just remember this guys and gals, don’t get angry or upset if someone says thank you for your service regardless what day it is. Just know this, it is a blessing from someone who appreciates you for you, take it with pride and say your welcome and thank the good Lord to place that in their heart and went to you a stranger to wish you well. Be humble and by the grace of God continue to touch those with your wisdom as an American fighting man, as we always wear that with pride no matter what service or organization we were blessed to serve.

    God Bless America

    LtCdr Charles A. Villanueva, USNR (ret)
    Fly Navy

  9. Here is some photos of my Mom and Dad before, during, and after the war.
    My Dad started the war at Pearl Harbor on December 7th.
    He was on the USS Cassin next to the USS Downs both destroyers in dry dock.
    He along with his fellow shipmates barley made it off the ship to the dock. He described to me the horror of that five minute run. Three days later he was assigned to the USS Bagley which he served on until the end of the war. He was never assigned to another ship because the Captains admired the way he handled the ship at the helm. That is a whole story in itself. Served in the Pacific in most of the major battle campaigns His ship was awarded eleven battle stars. After the war he settled down with my mom and raised six kids. Four boys and two girls. The only time I saw him (almost) break down is when I announced that President Nixon cut off the draft. I was A-1 with the army when the Viet Nam war was coming to an end. He said quietly he was glad he would have at least one son who didn’t have to go to war.
    I think about you every day Dad…

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

  10. My dad joined the USAF because he loved to fly, and guess what – they paid you to do so! Although he always regretted never getting stick time in an F-86, he did get to fly most of the Century Series, and took the F-4C to war at Cam Ranh Bay, S. Vietnam.

    Dad was a quiet, peaceful, fun-loving family man, but volunteered ahead of schedule to head to SE Asia. Below are a couple of pics of him – and a few taken by him from his cockpit in various iconic aircraft. I’m working on a full picture book soon – just read through his pilot’s logs this weekend for the first time, and secured all of the images and squadron patches.

    The last image is a special one for me. He was suffering from Parkinsons, and for Christmas I found a gentleman in Tulsa that owned a T-28, and asked him to take my dad up for a flight. We took the flight in January, and he was gone by late summer of that year – it was his last flight. The guy who took him up said that dad flew the plane himself rock steady, even though he could hardly walk and hold his food on a fork – he was so animated for weeks after the flight, actually seemed to get back much of his body control and speech. Last flight of my biggest hero.

    10 attached images. Click to enlarge.

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