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Thread: Memorial Day 2005

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shellback
    Labill, check out this fine forecast we have for this week! http://www.crh.noaa.gov/forecasts/PA...&city=Montrose

    A few of us had a little fishing get together this past Sunday. Fished in the morning and met for lunch, we were all gathered round the campfire trying to warm up while cooking some dogs up. I don't think I've had my windows open in the house more than a dozen times yet this spring. I think the crappie still have their fur coats on. LOL!
    Reckon it's gonna rain? Keep your boat handy if you have to go to buy groceries, and don't forget a warm coat! We need some rain here. I'd like to find a moderate climate, it's too hot down here, and too cold up there. Guess I need to go back to the Andes Mountains. Avg. temp is between 70 to 75 degrees, but they don't have any crappie, just trout and other unidentifiable fish. :D


  2. #32
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    Thanks to all that gave their efforts and those that continue to give their time, that we can sleep in our warm beds each night! Thanks to each and everyone!!

  3. #33
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    My wife and I went up to Bedford Va. to the National D-Day memorial about a year ago. If any of you get the chance you need to visit. They have done a great job with this. The best thing about it was the veterans that were there telling there stories of what went on and what they did on the days of battle. Talked with one man that was on the beach from the beginning and it just amazes me the courage and bravery of all of these and every veteran that have fought for this great country. My hat and prayers are with all of you. Thank you very much for all that you have done. Billy

  4. #34
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    The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

    Staff Sgt. Russell J. Verdugo, 34, of Phoenix, Ariz., died May 23, in Baghdad, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated as he was responding to a report of an improvised explosive device. Verdugo was assigned to the 767th Ordnance Company, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.

  5. #35
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  6. #36
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    Ran across this article and wanted to share it on this Memorial Day. It was written by a Vet that volunteered to help at the "Moving Wall." A story about his service there, his conversations and the people he met.






    "I came to see my son's name."

    By Jim Schueckler
    8219 Parmelee Rd. LeRoy NY 14482

    Permission is hereby given to copy and distribute.

    My job as a volunteer "visitor guide" was to help people find names on The Moving Wall Vietnam Veterans Memorial. More importantly, I gave visitors a chance to talk. While searching the directory or leading a visitor to the name they sought, I would quietly ask, "Was he a friend or a relative?" Over the six days, I began conversations that way with several hundred people. Only a handful gave me a short answer; almost everyone wanted to talk. Each had their own story to tell. For some, the words poured out as if the floodgates of a dam that had been closed for thirty years had just burst open. For others, the words came out slowly and deliberately between long pauses. Sometimes, they choked on the words and they cried. I also cried as I listened, asked more questions, and silently prayed that my words would help to heal, not to hurt.

    "I came to see my son's name." I heard those and similar words from several parents who came to The Moving Wall. Their son had died in a war that divided our country like no other event since the Civil War. He died in a war that some Americans had blamed on the soldiers who were called to fight it. Some young men had no choice; they were called by the draft. Others, including some 30,000 women, were called differently, by a sense of duty to their family and nation.

    Our culture mourns and respects our dead, but in the shadow of that bitter war, the sacrifices of those who died and their families were not allowed to have dignity. Mothers and fathers came to see that their sons had not been forgotten; that their names were remembered on that Wall; that someone else cares.

    A frail and elderly mother came to The Moving Wall in a wheelchair. As we looked for her son's name, she described his interests during high school, and then the agonizing days when she was first told that her son was injured, then missing, then classified as "lost at sea". She asked me to thank all the other people who helped bring The Moving Wall to Batavia.

    "'Till death do us part" came abruptly to thousands of marriages because of that war. I met two widows of men whose names are on the Wall. One woman showed me a picture of her husband and separate picture of their daughter — a man who never met his daughter, a girl who grew up without a father. I was painfully aware that had some Viet Cong soldiers been slightly better marksmen, my wife and son might have come to the Wall to see my name.

    Sisters and brothers came to see a name. One brother so close in age that "People were always calling us by each other's name, and we both hated it." A sister said "I was so much younger than him I didn't realize why my Mom was crying when we said goodbye to him at the airport."

    One brother confided that, although he had not been a war protester, his feelings and his first confrontation with the Wall in Washington were almost identical to those of the brother in the play "The Wall, a Pilgrimage". He said, "It was as if the actor had reached into my soul and exposed every one of my feelings about my brother and the war."

    A group of four people stood near one panel. I offered to make a rubbing of a name. The man pointed to the name Paul D. Urquhart. I asked, "Is that Captain Paul Urquhart, the helicopter pilot?" The man nodded and said, "He’s my brother." I explained that I flew with Paul on his first tour in Vietnam and read that he had been shot down during his second tour. Paul's brother said that he and his family came from Pennsylvania on the anniversary date of Paul's becoming Missing In Action. I made a rubbing of Paul's name and added a rubbing of the Army Aviator wings from my hat, a symbol we had both
    worn so proudly so long ago.

    Aunts and uncles also came to see a special name on the Wall. One aunt said "He stayed overnight at our house so much that one neighbor thought he was our son." An uncle lamented: "I took him hunting. I was the one who taught him to like guns."

    Cousins came to the Wall, and many said, "He was like a brother." One man asked me to look up the name Douglas Smith. I asked back, "Do you mean Doug Smith, a Marine, from North Tonawanda High School?" The man introduced me to his wife, Doug's cousin. She was pleased to be able to talk about Doug with a classmate who remembered him. I showed her Doug's name on my own, personal, list.

    Veterans came to see the names of their buddies. Most of them were eager to tell me about their friend or how he died. Many remembered the day in great detail, and spoke of what's called survivor guilt. "He went out on patrol in my place that day." Or "If I hadn't been away on R & R (rest and recuperation), he wouldn't be dead." Others were bothered that they couldn't remember much about their friend because they had tried to "block
    it out" for so many years. Another man said "I lost a few good friends while I was there (Vietnam), but I don't want to find just their names, because I feel the same about all 58,000 of these names."

    "Tree-line vets" are men or women who have finally been able to go to a Moving Wall location, but are terrified of coming close enough to actually see some names that have been haunting them so many years. One such veteran stood for a long time some fifty feet from the Wall. My brothers Vic and Chris talked with him. After a while he and Vic were able to laugh about some of their common Marine Corps experiences and then they were finally able to approach, see, and touch, those names together.

    Many people came to the Wall in the privacy or serenity of darkness. Our security men reported that there were only a few minutes each night that the Wall had no callers at all. One visitor spent several hours in the middle of the night standing in front of a certain panel. Whenever anyone came close, he would move away. When alone again, he would move back to that panel to continue his silent vigil. Still others came in the darkness
    before dawn to watch the break of a new day over the Wall.

    One vet came in a wheelchair. He could not talk or walk, but with great effort, Peter's shaking hand could scrawl messages on a pad. The nurse who pushed his wheelchair said that Peter had been excited about The Moving Wall visit since he first read about it in the Daily News. Peter came to see the name of his friend he thought had died in 1975, but he could not remember the man's name. They had been high school buddies and joined the
    Army together. They went to boot camp and Vietnam together. Peter saw his friend die. At the bottom of panel 1 West I squatted down and read off the names of the small number of men and one American woman who died in Vietnam in 1975. Peter did not recognize any of the names.

    The EDS computer operators ran a search, but found no Vietnam casualties from Peter's small hometown. We asked if his friend might have come from another town, and Peter wrote "Wales?" The computer search gave one name, but he was killed in 1968. I went back to Peter and asked, "Was his name Eric Jednat?” The shock on Peter's face, and then his tears, told us that we had found the right name. We moved to panel 53 West where we turned the wheelchair so Peter could touch his friend's name.

    Many people came that were not related, but knew one or more of the men named on the Wall. A high school teacher told me "I taught four of these boys." Others said: "He was the little boy who lived across the street.” "We were going steady in high school.” "He delivered my newspapers.” "I was his Boy Scout leader.", "He went to our church.", "I worked with his mother at the time he was killed.", "My son played football with him.", or "We were classmates for twelve years." There were hundreds of similar personal connections between the visitor and one or more names on the Wall.

    To other visitors, the names were not as personal, but still were significant: "I didn't know him, but I remember how it shocked the town when he died.” "I just wanted to pay my respects.” "I didn't know any of them, thank God.", "I came to show support for the vets who came back.", or "My son went to Vietnam, but he came back OK."

    Others expressed amazement: "I wanted to see the names of the seven young men from Holley, I can't believe our little village lost so many boys.” "I had no idea so many lost their lives.” "Such a waste. Such a terrible, terrible, waste.” "I hope and pray we never go through that kind of war again.” or "Is this the price of peace?" Some visitors asked rhetorically: "Will mankind ever learn?"

    Two weeks after the visit of The Moving Wall to Batavia, a friend told my wife "I don't understand all the concern about The Moving Wall; why don't people just forget about that dirty war?" For many, The Moving Wall does not need to be explained. Those who do not understand are, perhaps, more fortunate than those who do.

    --the end--

  7. #37
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    I wasn't there ( too young ) my family wasn't there ....their wars were before this time ( Uncle a Pearl Survivor , Uncle WW2 D-Day (Airborne UnitI can't remeber which ) , Father Korea ) but I took the chance to visit the Moving Wall several years ago because I passed on the chance to go to Washington DC my senior year .

    I never knew what to expect .... if I did know I think I would have passed the chance . I never knew how much my emotions were to come over me , I never understood how all the reading and research I had done would affect me . I had no clue when we released the Purple balloons with the POW/MIA from Indiana listed on them how much this minature version would take a hold of my heart .
    I sit here typing with tears in my eyes remembering , thinking of how I'm about to enjoy dinner with my family and those on that wall never got to do that again . People I never knew , men and women from all walks of life , names without reference to race , or religion . People who gave their lives so you and I might be free .

    If you ever have the opportunity to visit The Wall , take it .... see the Korean War Memorial ..... visit the World War 2 Monument .... but most of all ....Remember you are enjoying Freedoms that each and every Soldier who gave their lives are no longer enjoying ....wheather you knew them or not ....YOU OWE THEM YOUR RESPECT !!!
    Jim McIntyre
    MR2DmDucks@aol.com

  8. #38
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    I too feel fortunate to have so many that have given their life for my freedom and for our country to remain strong and free - My Dad was in the Navy during Korea - had an uncle disabled in Vietnam - my Granddad was a POW in WWI - and a great uncle was killed in WWI - so this day is special for all my family
    with my mind on crappie and crappie on my mind -
    and if ya'll see Goober later tellem I said duh huh - he'll know what ya mean!!!!!!!!

  9. #39
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    Great thread Gang!

    I think for my last post on this thread, I'm going to post a short poem that I wrote many years ago......for me, it kind of says it all.

    Country Boy

    I'm but a country boy, here for just a short stay....
    fortunate to experience FREEDOM, each and every day.

    I have smelled the first warm days of Spring...
    the Robin's arrival to delight...
    the tug of a mighty fish, on a moonlit Summer's night.

    The crispness of the Fall, and the beauty that it brings...
    always having an ear for FREEDOM, and to hear the song it sings.

    A childhood growing up. upon creek banks a constant camp...
    with those you loved, a campfire burns, to warmth your turned from damp.

    But for each good memory in each man's life, someone had to pay the price...
    to never forget those that paid....now wouldn't that be nice.

    The ability to "party-hearty", is not a God given right...
    it's but a present from those that gave their all, with only FREEDOM within their sight.

    By all means, live your life to the full, for whatever that it brings....
    but always remember the price of Freedom, as it sings the song it sings.

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