Sunday, May 24, 2009

Remembering Our Fallen Heroes

I write this post today with a heavy heart. I've started and restarted the writing of it, and can't quite seem to find the words to say what's in my heart. The older I get, the more I realize that thank you just doesn't suffice. 

It was nearly 42 years ago that my father lay on hill 67 in the jungles of the Northern Quang Tri Province in Vietnam fighting for his life. It was on that hill, on the morning of June 27, 1967, that Cpl Anthony "Tony" Dicesare, Jr., 2nd Lt Dale Allen, LCpl Charles "Chuck" Gattis, and SSgt Donald Hamilton died trying to save my father's life. 

I'll never forget the first time my family went together to visit the Vietnam Wall in Washington, D.C. I'd been there before by myself, but never with my father. I didn't know the whole story before that day. My father found the first name, and as he lay his hand over the etched stone, I began to realize how deeply he felt about the names written there. The memorial provides paper and pencils so that anyone who visits can trace the names they wish. He began to trace, and name after name he traced...12 in all. My mother stood quietly by, her hand gently supporting him as he knelt, head bowed, honoring those men who gave their lives. You see, freedom isn't free

I don't quite know how to put into words what I feel for men like the brave marines who pulled my father's wounded body to safety and the others who gave their lives that day. Somehow, thank you just isn't enough. We honor them here today, and millions more like them who have given their lives so that we may live in freedom. Men like my father have seen the price of freedom, and it isn't free. To all of you who serve or have served, thank you from the very bottom of my heart. To those who have lost your loved ones in the service of this great nation, thank you for your sacrifice. We honor all of you today. 


third rock from the sun said...

to our military...Thank You! God bless you for your sacrifice and your family's sacrifice.

licksgotya said...

both sides of my family have long history of service. Not only do I thank them but I also believe we as Americans should put those who have served and especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice on a permanatly elevated level of citizenship. And by that not the level they are condemed to today. Liberals would have them become second rate citizens. The rest of the country pays mouth service to them once a year. I have tried to make it a new habit that upon finding out of their service, be it WWII, Korea, Nam, or any other time of service in war time or peace time... I thank them personally. I wish I could do more than pay homage on a blog... I was reading on the Silent Majority today about Robs Pics of all the wars. I saw this link and thought about what we do every day to be thankful for what those who gave all for me, you,all of us...its not will never be enough...

Tami said...

Thank you for your sentiments. I wholeheartedly agree. It means so much to our military men/women past and present when someone takes the time to say thank you. I hope we never take for granted all that they have sacrificed.
God bless

JB 88 said...

Licksgotya, I agree with almost everything in your post...we need more people like you in this country to actually take the time to reach out personally to our heroes. I know how much a simple handshake, a hug, a 'thank you' can make a difference because I volunteer with our military vets each week. However, I have an objection to your classification of how 'Liberals would have them become second rate citizens.' In my experience, paying tribute to our heroes is not a partisan issue. Also, the volunteers and donations I deal with come from all kinds of people, from all places on the political spectrum. I encourage you to disagree with liberals and make your voice be heard! Our men and women who have served, and died, are from all political backgrounds and were fighting for everyone to have their own opinion. Peace to you! With love, JB

Tami, thank you so much for continuing to post such wonderful tributes to our heroes.

Tami said...

For once we agree pretty strongly on almost everything you say, but unfortunately, the radical leftists (who one could argue are just plain unAmerican and an embarrassment to even liberals) who protest at the funerals of our fallen soldiers, at V.A. hospitals and such--I'd say they've most definitely done what licksgotya was suggesting.
Thank you for your volunteer work--I have often said I think EVERY American (especially young people) ought to have to work at least a day in a V.A. hospital. For many, it would be life changing. I never spend time there when I don't come away thanking God for the blessing of freedom.

JB 88 said...

Thanks for commenting, Tami. YES, the extremists are exactly that: extreme! I just wish we could get rid of the idea that people are one of two things (either Liberal or Conservative), when in reality each person is an individual. I believe we are more alike than we are different.
I'm writing this after hearing about the Kansas doctor who was killed this morning. I have no doubt some people will start bashing 'Conservatives' even though this murder was the act of one EXTREME person. Please know that although we voted differently in the last election, I would never for a second lump all Conservatives in with that ONE person. I have no idea what kind of hate email you might receive from this incident, and I will pray for you and your family! Hopefully you won't receive any at all (fingers crossed)
Peace to you Tami! Thank you again for commenting! :o)