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memorial day poem

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Jinglebob

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I got to lookin' and found this. Since i wrote it I have had a son who was over in Iraq. He was there in the beginning and that was probably a good thing. We all owe a debt we can never repay to our fighting forces.

Memorial Day

My Great Grandpa fought in the Civil War
Entered when he was 17 years old
He fought on the side of the North
Guess he didn’t think humans should be bought or sold

Grampa raised a family on a homestead
Raised food during the First World War
Never had to fight in the trenches
Fightin’ hard times seemed to be his biggest chore

Dad lost an eye in the 30’s
Uncle Harry had an arm that wasn’t good
So only Uncle Wayne fought in WW2
Guess each helped out the best that he could

I never had to register for the draft
But my brother was in the Service for several years
Thank God, he never fought in any battles
But my Mom still shed her share of tears

I hope my children never have to fight
Never experience the horrors of a war
But we all owe a huge debt to our fighting force
And you know, thats really what Memorial Day is for

May 30, 1994
 

EJ

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Kinda, makes one get in the "remembering mood" JB. It`s a good one.
Our son was in the service dureing the Sarejavo [sp] and Macedonia deal. And was in that area assigned to the UN, so we know first hand the knots in the gut feeling.

I had to register for the draft dureing the Viet Nam deal but due to asthma, they wouldn`t take me in.

We remember on this day that is set aside for honoring those that give us gave us all the freedoms we now experience, and the hardships endured by countless one`s that were at home supporting that cause, "not protesting it".
 

John SD

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That's a great tribute you wrote there JB, and timeless too! My great-grandfather on Mom's side fought for the north in the Civil War. I think he lied about his age to get in as he was only 13 yrs old going in to it. Mom's brother in OH has some of his Civil War weapons and papers.

They wouldn't take Dad in the service either. Uncle Jimmy was over in Germany I think guarding prisoners. I don't think he was involved in any heavy action. Mom worked for the military translating Portuguese. I guess it was close enough to Spanish so she could figure it out for them. Mom knew both French and Spanish well enough to teach at the high school level. Like Billy Ray's song, All gave some. Some gave all.

I often think of my mom and yours and their years of service as long time church organists. We all have unique talents to offer and have to trust that God puts us in the right place at the right time to get the job done, whatever the job is.

I'm celebrating Memorial Day like you and gotta get going to a branding this morning too!
 

Liberty Belle

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Good poem, jinglebob. After reading it, I decided to share a letter to the editor of our local paper that I wrote several years ago to express something I'd felt for a long time and had never shared with anyone. Here it is:

Dear Editor,

I was reminded today that Veteran's Day is this week and I'd like to do something I have never gotten around to doing before. I'd like to publicly thank all the veterans who have served our country in so many different conflicts through the years.

I thought about this last April when we buried one of my heroes, Guy Doll. Guy was a true-blue, dyed-in-the-wool, take-care-of-your-own, no-compromise, patriot like my father and I realized I had never told him or my dad thank you for what they'd done during the war years and for the way they had lived their lives since. As we listened to the sound of Taps at the grave side I thought of the thousands of times that tune had been heard by men like Guy and my father, played over the graves of young men who died beside them in battle and over older friends who made it back home to go on with their lives. I remembered how I used to take these sacrifices for granted.

As a child I knew that Roy Goddard couldn't hear too well because of the heavy artillery unit he was in during WWII and I knew Steve Vetter's hands were misshapen because of a bullet he took in them, but I never gave it much thought.

It was a fact of life that Dad's back bothered him after being broken during an air attack in Northern Africa and taking shrapnel in it while "vacationing on the sunny beaches of Anzio" as he put it. We knew about his purple hearts and his drawer-full of medals, but they were just another of the long list of things we took for granted.

I knew my Uncle Jim Haggart had been hospitalized after a horrible plane crash, my Uncle Gus Smith died in a field hospital in France, Reuben Negaard died in the trenches in Germany and Bob Hanson and Frankie Clark were prisoners of war, but the awful reality of war didn't soak in until it was my generation, my friends and contemporaries, who were coming home in body bags during the Viet Nam conflict.

As I stood at the Viet Nam Memorial in Washington, DC, reading the thousands of names listed there, it was soul wrenching to see Leo Aukland's name carved into the stark black marble. Leo, a kid I'd grown up with, fought with, and laughed with was dead, dying in some rice paddy in Viet Nam. I watched my friends come home with wounds on their bodies and scars on their souls from fighting a war they were not allowed to win and it made me sick when I saw how they were treated when they returned.

When my friend Sam Marty got his medal for his heroic actions in Viet Nam some twenty years late I did tell him congratulations, but I never did say thank you. That's why I'm writing this, I want to say thanks to all you guys who put your lives on hold and on the line for those of us at home. I want to express the gratitude and the appreciation I feel.

Thanks Dad and Guy, thanks Sam and Leo, Roy, Steve, Bob, Vern and Sandy Bill and all the rest of you who did the best job you knew how for an often ungrateful people. It's because of you that I have the freedom to write this.

Betty Olson
 

nr

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Liberty Belle,
That was so well written. Thank you.
It brought to mind a few from my era who sacrificed in different ways. My uncle was a doctor in WWII and came back from the Far East with malaria which he never could shake.
A classmate Bobby Stebbins was in a sub that just completely disappeared.
When I used to test hearing at work many of the maintenance men who had served had permanent hearing losses due to the artillary fire and just laughed when I asked if the Navy or Army ever gave out hearing protection. One had shrapnel in his leg and periodically many years later a sharp piece would work its way out.
From the VietNam era, a close friend still cannot go to fireworks on July 4 because it brings back bad memories of bombings.
We were fortunate that our son served in the Navy while all was quiet and felt considerable relief when his discharge date arrived. Our hearts are heavy thinking of all the stressed families waiting their soldier's return from Iraq.
 

ranchwife

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Happy Memorial Day to one and all!! I, too, had a great-great-great grandfather who fought in the civil war---born and raised in tennesse, fought for the north, spend time in Cahaba (i think that's what his letter says...sorta hard to read his writing) and died on the Sultana coming home. My grandfather fought in Japan and my biological father spent time in vietnam!! I now look at all the folks over in Iraq and Afghanistan and my prayers today are with their families as they hope for a peaceful resolution and a safe return for their loved ones!! :)
 

Juan

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A great post L.B. I know four of the guys you named,all realy fine people.
Wondeful to have people like them around.
 

Jinglebob

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Damn fine LB!

I've taken a leaf from G Gordon Liddy and whenever I meet a vet I try to remember to thank them for their service. Doesn't matter if they served during war time or peace, they did what they were asked to do and thats worth a lot to me.

We who have the libereties that they protected and preserved are a pretty sorry lot at times! We take for granted what so many dies for. You'd think our memories would be at least long enough to ensure that they got the treatment that they were promised.

We talk of the 'greatest generation" and the sad part is that so many ended up with children or grandchildren who have no idea what sacrifice is. And not just the ultimate sacrifice, but the sacrife that so many of that generation did to move this country forward into the wining crybaby liberal yuppies who are trying to tear this country down and give it to our former enemies!:mad:

I better quit before I piss some people off. Hope you all had a great day and if so thank a vet!
 

Hanta Yo

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Liberty Belle said:
Good poem, jinglebob. After reading it, I decided to share a letter to the editor of our local paper that I wrote several years ago to express something I'd felt for a long time and had never shared with anyone. Here it is:

Dear Editor,

I was reminded today that Veteran's Day is this week and I'd like to do something I have never gotten around to doing before. I'd like to publicly thank all the veterans who have served our country in so many different conflicts through the years.

I thought about this last April when we buried one of my heroes, Guy Doll. Guy was a true-blue, dyed-in-the-wool, take-care-of-your-own, no-compromise, patriot like my father and I realized I had never told him or my dad thank you for what they'd done during the war years and for the way they had lived their lives since. As we listened to the sound of Taps at the grave side I thought of the thousands of times that tune had been heard by men like Guy and my father, played over the graves of young men who died beside them in battle and over older friends who made it back home to go on with their lives. I remembered how I used to take these sacrifices for granted.

As a child I knew that Roy Goddard couldn't hear too well because of the heavy artillery unit he was in during WWII and I knew Steve Vetter's hands were misshapen because of a bullet he took in them, but I never gave it much thought.

It was a fact of life that Dad's back bothered him after being broken during an air attack in Northern Africa and taking shrapnel in it while "vacationing on the sunny beaches of Anzio" as he put it. We knew about his purple hearts and his drawer-full of medals, but they were just another of the long list of things we took for granted.

I knew my Uncle Jim Haggart had been hospitalized after a horrible plane crash, my Uncle Gus Smith died in a field hospital in France, Reuben Negaard died in the trenches in Germany and Bob Hanson and Frankie Clark were prisoners of war, but the awful reality of war didn't soak in until it was my generation, my friends and contemporaries, who were coming home in body bags during the Viet Nam conflict.

As I stood at the Viet Nam Memorial in Washington, DC, reading the thousands of names listed there, it was soul wrenching to see Leo Aukland's name carved into the stark black marble. Leo, a kid I'd grown up with, fought with, and laughed with was dead, dying in some rice paddy in Viet Nam. I watched my friends come home with wounds on their bodies and scars on their souls from fighting a war they were not allowed to win and it made me sick when I saw how they were treated when they returned.

When my friend Sam Marty got his medal for his heroic actions in Viet Nam some twenty years late I did tell him congratulations, but I never did say thank you. That's why I'm writing this, I want to say thanks to all you guys who put your lives on hold and on the line for those of us at home. I want to express the gratitude and the appreciation I feel.

Thanks Dad and Guy, thanks Sam and Leo, Roy, Steve, Bob, Vern and Sandy Bill and all the rest of you who did the best job you knew how for an often ungrateful people. It's because of you that I have the freedom to write this.

Betty Olson

You said it all so well...thanks. I, too, thank all our military people (whenever I come across them) for all they do for us. We should be so grateful for the freedom we have, and what we've had to sacrifice for it. I am.
 

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