Just Let Me -- G -- Indoctrinate You!

Monday, May 27, 2019

It's of Stories Consolidated Thing

Dear America,

“Heroic Americans have answered
 their nation’s call 
and paid the ultimate price 
for our freedom,” 
Pence said of those who died 
while serving in the military. 
“Their duty was to serve. 
Our duty is to remember.” 

indeed it is.

our duty is to remember, not just for today, but for every single day.

and how do we best do that?

Through stories.

Stories that we pass down -- through the family, through attendance at our holiday memorial celebrations (like that of Arlington) ... 

Stories that we pass down  -- from one generation to the next....

Stories that somehow convey the sense of courage, the sacrifice of self, that leads to a greater understanding of just how honored we are, as Americans, to pay our respect this very day -- this Memorial Day.  As Pence noted,  "this is the day that makes possible all other American days.” 

My father, of Navy rank with decades served, is famous for email blasts of war torn stories, woven and worn through the ages; being a great believer in context, an expert in military history and stories going back to the beginning of time, can this guy bring it when it comes to telling the story, the whole story.

Most of his content, shares of his own time in the theater, whether it be in the Mediterranean or in Vietnam; while many times he is sharing comparisons of international relations, of then and now.   But occasionally, it would be of short anecdotal accounts of his own father -- although a civilian and engineer for Consolidated, located in San Diego --  he, too, was called to duty; a "hanger pass," security authorization identification, gave him the same military honors, if he were ever captured.

Consolidated built airplanes -- B24s to B exact -- for the Allied Forces, @Headquarters of the Eighth Air Force, AAF Station 112.  "Pop" was in London from about February to August in the year 1944.  And, if you do the math, that would put him front and center for the day that would forever be engraved in our minds, D-Day, June 6, 1944.  Location:  Normandy, France.

From the post, linked above, "Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower called the operation a crusade in which, 'we will accept nothing less than full victory'.”   And eventually, we got that victory, didn't we.  Although lives were lost, many many lives were lost.

Which brings me to another story -- it's of the same caliber, but of a different view; and,as a point of reference, it was initially shared with me by my girl  (attesting to the rare occurrence that the generational story telling can flip once in awhile...teehee).  Quite honestly, she's always had a keen and discriminating eye for things like this, have no idea where she gets that from...but I digress.

This story comes out of our local Camp Pendleton, 1st Marine Division, and goes something like this:

Great Love Happens Once: The Enduring Story of John and Lena Basilone
By Cpl. Teagan Fredericks | 1st Marine Division | February 14, 2019

...so, about the time that "Pop" was returning from London, England, after D-Day, and the days that followed that, John Basilone was heading back out to the Pacific, to join the fight once more.  But, that really comes in the middle of Basilone's story....

And you'll just have to read all about it in Cpl. Fredericks short read.  (No spoiler alert needed)

Fredericks does a pretty darned good job telling the story and that's just how I wish for you to hear it.

America's first celebration of this day occurred in the year 1868, on May 30th  -- after the ugly and contentious Civil war; and it was called Decoration Day.   It was not until 1971, before it became a federal holiday, and was modified to be observed on the last Monday of May, giving all federal employees a three-day weekend and a good excuse to ring in summer and barbecues galore.  But we best all know by now, that it is so much more.

Here's good context from the first Decoration Day.

"I am oppressed with a sense of the impropriety of uttering words on this occasion. If silence is ever golden, it must be here beside the graves of fifteen thousand men, whose lives were more significant than speech, and whose death was a poem, the music of which can never be sung...
...And now consider this silent assembly of the dead. What does it represent? Nay, rather, what does it not represent? It is an epitome of the war. Here are sheaves reaped in the harvest of death, from every battlefield of Virginia. If each grave had a voice to tell us what its silent tenant last saw and heard on earth, we might stand, with uncovered heads, and hear the whole story of the war...."
The thing is -- Garfield's inaugural Decoration Day address needs to be read in full, with a moment of silence immediately following, not kidding; so just stop what you are doing right now, and just do it already, k.  It's beautiful. [that guy was president not long enough, in my book, just sayin']

My flag is waving in the breeze...

The sun is shining bright...

And all I know is, I have a nation of honorable men and women to thank for this freedom and this liberty, in which I live all of my days; it is my duty and honor and promise to remember the whole story, forever and ever.

And so, as with all my days here, when things come to the end and when this girl has no more story to tell...I must bid you farewell.

Make it a Good Day, G

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