Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Day

...And I was going to visit my father's grave. The (now unrelated) church that shares a parking lot with the cemetery was holding their own memorial Day services and the lot was full. Tomorrow, then.

Dad was a Naval Reservist, having missed WWII service by only a few years. He used to talk about growing up with older brothers serving (Navy), knowing his turn was not far off, that the next step after High School was enlisting. (I always had the impression he was hoping to become a pilot). Didn't happen that way; his next step turned out to be getting married, starting a career and joining the Reserve soon after. As it worked out, my older sister didn't come along until after that obligation was over.

So none of us but Mother have memories of Dad-the-sailor.

There's one citizen-warrior. One of many. One of millions. He didn't do anything especially heroic (unless you count taking on the extra role when he had a new job and a young wife, which I think we'd better) and neither did most of his peers; they went and did their duty. And so did all the guys with medals and the ones without, all the ones who came home injured or hale...or not at all.

The day is for the fallen -- all of 'em, not just the ones they make movies about.

It's not about heroics; it's about service. About going and doing, not sitting home, shirking and taking verbal potshots at those who serve. (Jerks who singled out veterans in the recent DHS report, I'm lookin' at you). Spare 'em a thought this day. Spare 'em some of your time, your words, your actions.

7 comments:

reflectoscope said...

I think you've done a good thing pointing out the service of those who serve through what might be loosely considered peacetime; even if a person serves an entire career without a chance at the two-way range, they and their family have been through all the separations and everything else that comes with that decision.

Jim

brbiswrite said...

From an old vet, thanks for remembering us.

BRB

Brigid said...

The quiet are often bigger heroes than those storming the hill. It takes a special kind of man or woman to serve. We benefited both from having fathers that did.

I know he would be very proud of you now.

Sam said...

Remembering my father, who was in the Navy onboard a carrier during the Korean conflict, albeit on the Atlantic.

Also remembering my stepfather, who was in the Army Air Corps stateside during, training gunners and bombardiers during WWII, and was recalled to serve in SAC, just before Korea.

He's why I went Air Force.

D.W. Drang said...

Their really should be a day for family of military personnel. Mrs. Drang never had any interest in the T-Shirt that said "Toughest Job In The Army: WIFE", but she certainly doesn't argue with it; in fact, few do, and fewer of them will do so in front of a married colleague. (Unless one or both of them have been drinking.)

One of the best things about the Mel Gibson movie We Were Soldiers was the depiction of the Officers' Wives Club developing into a nascent Family Support Group, as it is now called. The book didn't really show that much, as it was Hal Moore's memoirs, not his wife's. But it was real: The command at that time was simply not prepared to deal with the realities of picking up an entire division and send them off to war, including things like taking care of their "dependents" back home, and dealing with casualty notices.

phlegmfatale said...

Yes, bless them all. They've blessed us with their service.

Tam said...

Grandpa used to brag about how the officers liked his cakes and pies so much that they removed alcohol from the officers' mess just to have his teetotaling self cook there.

When I got older, I realized that a sergeant must bake a mighty mean pie to make a bunch of field grade officers hide the booze while he was in the kitchen.