Thursday, November 11, 2010
We shall Never Forget...
The men in my family have always served their country.
The first thing James Burns did stepping off the boat from Ireland was to fight in the Civil War- how willingly as an immigrant he joined the conflict, I don't know.
My great Uncle Edward, fought in World War 2 and was captured by the Japanese, enduring the infamous Death March, he was in the belly of a prison ship the US bombed and though he could of been left behind, a Japanese soldier unlocked his cell and got him to the deck and on a raft. For that my uncle gave him his watch.
Right before my brother was born, my uncle Donny, just out of high school, joined the Marines before he could be drafted, and went to Vietnam. Assigned to reconnaissance, he was sneaking back into camp and was shot by another Marine who thought he was the enemy, killed by "friendly fire"- a stupid term.
I never met Donny, he was killed before I was born, but the stories my grandma and great aunt would tell of him, usually over a piece of pie or cake I know him.
I have honored the Veterans of this country my whole life, the flag draped over my uncles coffin now flying over the cemetery where he is buried.Every Memorial Day we take flowers to the graves, my family's plot is easy to find, his military stone so different from those around.
My family has always served, my father and brother as well, though not in a time of war. We are a family that has not always agreed with what our country has done, or agreed with each other.
The right to have an opinion, the right to speak it- isn't that the most important right in this country and isn't all our voices part of the "check and balance" of our government.
We can disagree with our government, but we should never not support our troops, the men and women who come home or forget the ones who do not.
Here is to honoring all the Veteran's of this country.