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Monday, May 26, 2008

Repeat of Last Years Memorial Day Tribute

This is last year's post for Memorial Day. I just wanted to revisit it.

(Fun Monday is below this


We drove through the foothills today into the Blue Mountains. The gusting wind rolled like waves through the lush wheat fields and crested in the sun light.

As the mountain road changes from paved to gravel it ascends into switchbacks that slice through rock-filled ravines and open meadows. The blustery air followed us up the crooked path. The tamaracks and pine trees whispered and moaned. The aromatic scents of wildflowers mixed with pollen and dust to tickle our noses.

Our original goal for this afternoon jaunt was to utilize our permit to harvest rocks that have rolled into the roadway. The landscape around our pond and the waterfall feature has yet to be completed. One of those ‘always in progress’ tasks.

However, my attention kept drifting from rock viewing to the symphony of sounds and smells. The blessings of living in a beautiful place and sharing it with those that I love felt overwhelming. My emotions climbed with the terrain.

I saw the Memorial Day events listed in the Sunday morning paper. I felt guilty that honoring those who served and sacrificed was not in our Monday plans.

As a result, I took a few moments away from the hunt to remember.

Three of our grandchildren’s Dad is in the Air Force. He will be returning to the Middle East this fall for his third tour. He is no longer my son-in law. However, those little faces that I love, love him.

Alex, you are in my prayers.

Prior to our meeting, my husband served four years in the late sixties as a submariner. His dress whites are in a storage box. Pictures of his “Boats” hang at the end of the hallway.

Hubby, you were a handsome sailor. I love you.

The army drafted my youngest brother, a conscientious objector, about the same year. I was in high school and cried as he reported for duty and climbed into the waiting bus. The nightly news was all about Vietnam. Nick was one of the lucky ones who stayed in the States. He never carried a gun, but served in a medic position. He became a respiratory therapist after his stint was complete. Billy, my cousin, lived with us his last year of high school before the army drafted him. He was wounded in Vietnam when he stepped on a land mind while carrying a comrade off the battlefield. He died of unrelated causes

My eldest brother graduated from College in the late fifties and received his “Greetings”in 1958. “The White Coats” in Maryland was his military family. They were eager to use Ron's
degree in Biochemistry.

Big brothers, - You made our family proud.

The hubby’s dad (1925-2002) was yet a teen when assigned to a sub chaser in the South Seas during World War II. That is why he was still young enough for call back during the Korean Conflict. In 2001, I asked him to share his story at our Memorial Day Barbecue. The hubby and his sister heard their father’s narrative for the first time that day. His memoirs included the execution of his favorite cousin who was a prisoner of war. The handwritten pages smeared by his tears are neatly folded and stored. It will be a post on my blog some day. Two of my mom’s brothers, George and Wilmer, served in World War II. One was in the European theater. They are both gone, and as far as I know their experiences with them. Gram's cousin Victor was entombed in the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor on that fateful December 7.

You were indeed -The Greatest Generation.

Tecumseh, my dad’s 23-year-old brother, died of pneumonia while serving in World War I. Dad spoke of him with quiet admiration.

Uncle Tecumseh, I knew you because dad told me about you. Now my kids will know about you, too.

During the Civil war, Typhoid fever killed my maternal Great Grandfather George. My paternal Great Grandfather Elisha, lost his arm in battle. Great Great Grandfather Ambrose on the hubby’s side was a cavalry soldier in that uncivil War, as well. He returned home safely. You can read about them in my post One Wore Blue.

You men came home and mended a broken nation.
May your sacrifices and forgiveness remind us about unity and greater good.

The Revolutionary War included my Great Great Great Great Great Grandfather Titus Travis, who was on the “Muster Roll of New York Provincial Troops,” and his son George, with four greats. George escaped after capture by the Redcoats. Through your commitment I am a "Daughter of The Revolution."

Thousands of children are your descendants. Thousands more have arrived here to share in the dreams that you had. I like to think my grandson has your smile.



13 comments:

Susie Q said...

This was amazing Pamela...heroes all.
Thank you for re-posting this beautiful tribute and for sharing it with all of us.

Oh, and I would have LOVED it if you could have shared yesterday with us...from breakfast on...: )

Mariposa said...

What a nice tribute...so amazing Pam!

Jettie said...

OOHH your post had me in tears by the end.!! You write amazing!!!
Just a beautiful post!!

Kila said...

Great post.

Our heroes.

We are in debt to them, and should make them proud.

Jeanette said...

Gday Pamela, wonderfull post and tribute to the Heroes,,,

Peter said...

Hi Pamela, hope your Memorial day was good, I had not read your post last year, it was truly great, thanks for reposting.

Jenny, the Bloggess said...

Pamela, this was beautiful.

Quiet admiration...that's what I have for you.

Tammy said...

Wonderful tribute, Pamela!

I recently found some relatives and ancestry, and a photo of a great, great grandfather that fought in the civil war and was a prisoner of Andersonville, the roughest prison camp of the time- and survived.

My husband was also a handsome sailor the first few yrs of our marriage...
And though I was just a little girl, I so remember trying to eat dinner every night while the Vietnam War raged on the TV...:(

Thank you for reposting this!

The Ramblin Irishman said...

Awesome post my friend. How I wish people would become involved in genealogy to preserve more of these precious memories. You certainly have a family worth being proud of. Thank you for posting.

Joy T. said...

This was SO beautiful! Tissue alert was needed *sniff*

Shelby said...

Very beautiful!!

dawn said...

What a beautiful tribute to all those in your family who served in years past.

I should have read it before the post above as you made reference to a grandson, and that answers my question in the baby post.

wendster said...

And that's the difference between me and you. YOU take the time to write a beautiful tribute to our heroes, I don't even find our American flag to hang outside!

I really must get more organized!

Wendy