Author Topic: Memorial Day  (Read 2792 times)

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Offline mitch

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Memorial Day
« on: May 27, 2007, 02:05:19 AM »

I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Marine saluted it,
And then he stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud,
With hair cut square and eyes alert
He'd stand out in any crowd.
I thought how many men like him
Had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers' tears?
How many pilots' planes shot down?
How many died at sea?
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves?
No, freedom isn't free.

I heard the sound of taps one night,
When everything was still
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times
That taps had meant "Amen,"
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend.
I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No, freedom isn't free.

CDR Kelly Strong

in memory of Capt Richard C. Halpin

part of the crew of a Spectre gunship shot down in Laos 03/29/72
recovered 03/01/1986

Offline Eric the Red

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Re: Memorial Day
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2007, 08:43:22 PM »
    For The Fallen

    With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
    England mourns for her dead across the sea.
    Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
    Fallen in the cause of the free.

    Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
    Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
    There is music in the midst of desolation
    And a glory that shines upon our tears.

    They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
    Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
    They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
    They fell with their faces to the foe.

    They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
    Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
    At the going down of the sun and in the morning
    We will remember them.

    They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
    They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
    They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
    They sleep beyond England's foam.

    But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
    Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
    To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
    As the stars are known to the Night;

    As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
    Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
    As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
    To the end, to the end, they remain.

    Laurence Binyon
"The time to start running is around about the "e" in "Hey, you!" "

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Offline Niecarrah

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Re: Memorial Day
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2007, 12:27:01 AM »
Something to remember this Memorial Day.
"It is the Soldier, not the reporter,
Who has given us Freedom of the Press.
It is the Soldier, not the poet,
Who has given us Freedom of Speech.
It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer,
Who has given us the Freedom to demonstrate.
It is the Soldier, not the lawyer,
Who has given us the right to a fair trial;
And it is the Soldier--who salutes the flag,
Who serves the flag, and
Whose coffin is draped by the flag--
Who allows the protester to burn the flag."
- Charles M. Province
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Offline mitch

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Re: Memorial Day
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2007, 02:28:09 AM »
Charles M. Province

i was led to believe that it was a marine sky pilot ( chaplain)

Author:- Father Dennis Edward O'Brian, USMC

been carrying it in my wallet for years
i was one of the many that came home to being called "baby burner" spit on, and insulted

and that poem was the only way i could justify what was going on in america at that time
at Travis AFB we were allowed and encouraged to change into civvies when going home to keep a low profile
i refused and still remember waiting to pick up my luggage and a collage girl from UC berserkely bragging about all the protest she had been to her father, and then she spit on me !!!!

i was within one micro-inch of killing her, the rage was strong when her father slapped her told her to get in the car and don't speak  and handed me a handkerchief
i have never experienced rage like that before and hope never again
at that time i was getting a paycheck for $150/month and was a sergeant
now days i think it is $2k/month
in ww2 the troops had a ship coming back to decompress, we had less than 24 hours before we were in the land of the big bx !

when desert storm was happening there was going to be a big flag burning at the state capitol, so i told my girlfriend around midnight go talk to a bail bondsman and get me out as i will be in the slammer...well it seems like there were too many of us "gray beards" that it was called off !

Offline Niecarrah

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Re: Memorial Day
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2007, 03:28:02 AM »

 I for one, am truly very much saddened by how you were treated when you came back from Nam !!  My hubby and I have MANY friends that share the same kind of stories... much like yours!  I wish their was something I could do to change all that, but I can't and for that I am sorry.  I am very proud of you and our many friends that did come back and I grieve for the families of the ones that didn't !  I was raised to be respectful of any service person.  As my Pap and my Dad both served.  Which they both described as an honor, although they were not greeted like you were when they returned and that is a damn shame!   Me and my group of friends did NOT think of any kind of disgrace when our friends returned, we were just grateful they came back and seemed to be ok.  Even though many years later, when they FINALLY began to talk about things, did we learn the truth about how they were !! Or should I say were not?
My hubby missed the draft call by two (2) numbers and he was lucky.  But I also have a friend that re-upped two more times after his draft ? He wanted to be in the fighting all three times?  He also made it his career and recently retired for the second time as a GS something or other.
Anyhow, I am Proud of you and you should be too! That you went and you served when you were called.  In a war we were not allowed to win.  You hold your head up high, and puff out your chest !  Because I "Thank You!" and I get a lump in my throat over all this.
I hope your are healthy physically and mentally as were are finding that too many are not.  And of course once again we (USA) are not even taking care of that properly either. This I think will change as you "graybeards" begin to control things!  It is already too late for some, and that is a CRIME!!  You continue to be  PROUD you were a soldier in the Vietnam era, because I sure as hell am !!! :gwave:  THANK YOU !!!


And that is my opinion and I AM untitled to it !!!

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Offline Temmu

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Re: Memorial Day
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2007, 08:45:57 PM »
freedom isn't free!

thanks to all who served our country in the armed forces.

there are hundreds of mia's in viet nam.

there are fourty ~thousand~ mia's from wwii.

i see the black mia flag and think of those who've never come back.  from all our wars.

i'm fortunate, i missed viet nam by a couple of years, but have many friends who were there; the way they were treated upon their return was apalling!

thanks mitch, eric the red, & niecarrah for the poetry and comments!