Memorial Day

Dear Editor,

Memorial Day, a day set aside for the purpose of honoring those that laid down their lives for this country, those that call it home and what it stands for.

After doing some research, I found I had a relative that was a major in the Continental Army in Ohio during the Revolutionary War. He is buried in Hamilton, Ohio, and was designated “A Hero of the Revolution.” I had a relative who was a colonel in the Confederate Army who commanded NC regiments at Picketts Charge. When Pettigrew was killed during the charge, he took command of the division and led them to the Union line where he was killed after telling his men, “Some of us won’t survive this day.”  I had an uncle who joined the Navy right after Pearl Harbor and was assigned to the hospital in Manila, was captured at the fall of the Philippines, was a member of the Bataan Death March and placed on a “hell ship” with 1,100 other American POWs bound for what is now Taiwan, but because the Japanese did not mark the ship with a large “P” indicating prisoners of war were on board, the ship was attacked and sank by American submarines killing all but four men on board. My uncle was not one of the survivors.

While we veterans appreciate the kind words and the “Thank you for your service,” please, please, please remember that Memorial Day is for those that served and paid the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their country. We surviving veterans and active duty personnel remember them every day. All we ask is you go to a memorial near you and say those words to honor those that are no longer here. Then look around you and see what they willingly gave up their lives for and drop to one knee and say those words again.

On behalf of my relatives all the others that paid that price they reply, “You’re welcome”.

In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “A democracy, if you can keep it”

God rest their souls and God bless America.

Alan Marshall

SFC, Retired

United States Army