Happy Memorial Day

koijoyii(NE Ohio)May 26, 2006

I received this by e-mail and thought it was so touching I wanted to share it with everyone on the forum. While some of us just think of Memorial Day as a day off work, it is a day to remember the fallen, and those serving overseas and everywhere. We tend to forget we still have troops in Iraq that are still giving their lives for our freedom.

I am warning you if you haven't seen this get out the kleenex. If you have seen this watching it again is a reminder of what out servicemen and women sacrifice for our freedom.

A Simple Thank You

Last week, while traveling to Chicago on business, I noticed a Marine sergeant traveling with a folded flag, but did not put two and two together. After we boarded our flight, I turned to the sergeant, who'd been invited to sit in First Class (across from me), and inquired if he was heading home. No, he responded. Heading out I asked? No. I'm escorting a soldier home. Going to pick him up? No. He is with me right now. He was killed in Iraq. I'm taking him home to his family. The realization of what he had been asked to do hit me like a punch to the gut. It was an honor for him. He told me that, although he didn't know the soldier, he had delivered the news of his passing to the soldier's family and felt as if he knew them after many conversations in so few days. I turned back to him, extended my hand, and said, Thank you. Thank you for doing what you do so my family and I can do what we do. Upon landing in Chicago the pilot stopped short of the gate and made the following announcement over the intercom. "Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to note that we have had the honor of having Sergeant Steeley of the United States Marine Corps join us on this flight. He is escorting a fallen comrade back home to his family. I ask that you please remain in your seats when we open the forward door to allow Sergeant Steeley to deplane and receive his fellow soldier. We will then turn off the seat belt sign." Without a sound, all went as requested. I noticed the sergeant saluting the casket as it was brought off the plane, and his action made me realize that I am proud to be an American. So here's a public Thank You to our military Men and Women for what you do so we can live the way we do. Stuart Margel, Washington, D.C. Here are two very very touching photos honored at this years International Picture of the Year.

First Place

Todd Heisler The Rocky Mountain News

When 2nd Lt. James Cathey's body arrived at the Reno Airport, Marines climbed into the cargo hold of the plane and draped the flag over his casket as passengers watched the family gather on the tarmac.

During the arrival of another Marine's casket last year at Denver International Airport, Major Steve Beck described the scene as so powerful: "See the people in the windows? They sat right there in the plane, watching those Marines. You gotta wonder what's going through their minds, knowing that they're on the plane that brought him home," he said. "They will remember being on that plane for the rest of their lives. They're going to remember bringing that Marine home. And they should."

Since I am "link challenged" I can't seem to get both links in this post, I will put the rest of e-mail with the second picture in another post.


Here is a link that might be useful: fallen comrade

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koijoyii(NE Ohio)

Here is part two:

Second Place
Todd Heisler The Rocky Mountain News
The night before the burial of her husband's body, Katherine Cathey refused to leave the casket, asking to sleep next to his body for the last time. The Marines made a bed for her, tucking in the sheets below the flag. Before she fell asleep, she opened her laptop computer and played songs that reminded her of 'Cat,' and one of the Marines asked if she wanted them to continue standing watch as she slept. "I think it would be kind of nice if you kept doing it," she said. "I think that's what he would have wanted."

Added: This "Quote" shared by grateful Americans of words spoken by a 'Great American'...
"No arsenal, no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. - - - Ronald Reagan

Happy Memorial Day All.

Here is a link that might be useful: another fallen comrade

    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 8:10AM
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*sniff* Thanks so much for sharing those stories and photos, Jenny!

When leaving the library the other day (which is only open on Mondays and Wednesdays), I almost wished Nora, the librarian, a "happy" Memorial Day weekend. I felt sort of sick, because I didn't know what to say. To me, it's not a happy time, and I almost feel like I'm betraying all of those who deserve to be memorialized. I finally just said, "Have a safe holiday weekend, Nora!"

[This isn't anything against Jenny for posting "Happy Memorial Day", since that's the polite thing to say before an upcoming holiday. It just reminded me of my experience the other day. :)]


    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 12:49PM
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sheepco(MN z4)

Thank you for sharing that, koijoyii. (Tissue dabbing).

Despite all of our conflicting views of ANY of our wars and conflicts, those who have fallen deserve my utmost respect.

My prayers to your families...Sarah

PS: Heartfelt prayers to Dave and Vicky Day, Morris,MN. Who lost their son in Iraq last spring...my thoughts are with you.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 9:29PM
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semper_fi(Z7 GA)

I dunno. In the era when many (if not most) are mainly concerned about taking care of #1, it is GREAT to know that there are still men & women, younger & older, from all walks of life, who are still willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice for something they belive so strongly in. That is indeed an encouraging and happy thought.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2006 at 7:15PM
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semper_fi(Z7 GA)

Another motivating story...

"Late in the afternoon of 1 December 1950, Marine Staff Sergeant Windrich's company was surrounded by enemy aggressors at Yudam-ni. They were ordered to move toward Hagaru-ri. By the time they reached Hill 1520 (Hill number shows elevation in meters) it was very dark and the temperature averaged a minus 40 degrees. The company relocated a few times, then back to the knoll, between two rugged mile high mountains where they were bombarded by grenades, machine gun and rifle fire. Staff Sergeant Windrich led a rifle squad of twelve men to meet the enemy head on, while armed with a M-2 carbine. Seven of his men were wounded or killed before they reached the forward position they were to defend. Windrich was also wounded in the head by a bursting grenade. As blood gushed down his shoulder and back he moved his remaining men into a tight fire group. Then he ran to the company command post, drafting a small group of volunteers, and led them to evacuate the dying and wounded. Assuming command of what was left of a platoon, Windrich once more took up defensive positions. Now he was shot in both legs, but kept fighting, always refusing medical attention. For a long time he crawled in the snow, back and forth between his men shouting words of encouragement, deploying his forces and helping to throw back the attackers. It was only after the enemy had been beaten off did Staff Sergeant Windrich collapse and die due to the bitter cold, excessive loss of blood and severe pain. In the end there were two officers and eighteen enlisted men alive, who staggered down the mountain to be with the rest of the column headed toward Hagaru-ri. Windrich was not there! He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. "

    Bookmark   May 29, 2006 at 10:19PM
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