A Memorial Day Reflection: Thank You Grandpa


I just received an e-mail from my mother inviting our family to take a moment of time to reflect on her father who was a Marine killed in the Pacific during WWII. My mother never knew her biological father because she was so young when he went off to war.

I never knew my maternal grandfather, but I am proud of his voluntary service and of his supreme sacrifice to our country. RIP.

To my paternal grandfather, who was a pilot in WWII, and a career Air Force officer, thank you for your service. RIP.

To my father who was a Marine--once a Marine, always a Marine--thank you for your service. To my niece, currently a Marine, may God's protection and blessings be upon you in the service of your country.

The image above is from the Punchbowl National Cemetery, where my maternal grandfather is buried. The image below is from the National Archives of my grandfather's service record. If one of your relatives was KIA during WWII, you can visit the National WWII Memorial website and look up their information. Their, you can also find where your loved one is buried. Perhaps, like me, you will be able to visit their grave someday.


Posted by: Rusty at 03:09 PM


1 An excellent tribute. I've been annoyed all day by radio commercials pushing Memorial Day as a time to plant gardens, paint walls, and grill out.

It's a time to reflect, first and foremost.

A prayer for your grandparents and tell your dad and niece thanks from me.

Posted by: Vinnie at May 26, 2006 03:50 PM

2 I haven't read a more meaningful and beautiful tribute all day. May I extend my thanks to your grandfather and all the brave soldiers that truely understand the value of our freedom.

Posted by: heroyalwhyness at May 26, 2006 05:37 PM

3 The people in the military are awesome. They're the best of the best. And the guys who fought in WWII were over the top. If you've ever read accounts of the fighting in places like Iwo Jima, it'll make your skin crawl. Lucky for all of us, they did what they had to do. I'm forever in their debt.

Posted by: Richard at May 26, 2006 07:58 PM

4 I too lost my father in WW2. He was a pilot in the Army Air Corps. KIA in 1943 in the Pacific. I served as a Marine in Viet Nam. My son Scott has completed two tours in Iraq as a Marine Corps Captain. My uncles and grandfathers all served during war time.
I lonely hope those coming here now to reap the rewards of others deaths and labours realize what a sacrifice American families made to make this country so attractive to them.

Posted by: greyrooster at May 26, 2006 08:53 PM

5 My late father was in WW II in the PACIFIC THEATER and was in the BATLE OF THE CORAL SEA and had his ship USS LEXINGTON sunk i well be bring some flowers to our cemetary

Posted by: sandpiper at May 26, 2006 10:04 PM

6 A very thought provoking post. As I sit here working lineups for a Memorial Day baseball tournament, I realize nothing I’m doing is very important. I’ll be sure to tell my son what this tournament and weekend is all about on our way up to the fields tomorrow.
I grew up on Army bases, but never served. I appreciate the ultimate sacrifice your Grandfather made for our country. Obviously this is a much more important holiday to your and yours than someone like me.
I’ll try to pass this on to my kids this weekend.

God Bless

Posted by: Brad at May 26, 2006 10:29 PM

7 Many thanx from our family to yours, Rusty. And to my Uncle Percy whom we lost in the Battle of the Bulge. To my grandfather who was shot in the neck, but survived. To my father who served in the Air Force in Vietnam. To my father-in-law, who served for the Army, three tours in Vietnam.

And finally to my husband ... thanx for keeping your head down in Korea, honey. That's hard for him to do being 6'7" ;-)

Posted by: Oyster at May 27, 2006 05:04 AM

8 "Go and find a soldier's grave.

Put some flowers there. Or just pause and say a prayer. Nothing elaborate. "Thanks" will do.

Or just stop and think about what it means; what it really means to give your life, in its prime, for your country. Look at that name there on the stone. Think what might have been... and what was.

Some of these men and women were in uniform by choice. Some because they had no choice. Some were heroes. Some were not.

But they were there where all hell was breaking loose. They probably had no idea they were giving "the last full measure of devotion." They just had some instant, desperate job to do. In a cockpit or a turret or a hole in the ground.

Did they grasp the "policy implications" of their presence on the high seas, in the air or on some foreign soil? Did they have time for a curse or a prayer when they saw the muzzle flashes or heard that rushing sound, or when the bomb sent the Humvee into the air?

Go and find a soldier's grave."



Posted by: Jesusland Carlos at May 27, 2006 08:30 AM

9 I have just returned from a visit to my family cemetary. I laid a wreath on the grave of Aquilla Brasher, a sargeant in the 33rd Arkansas Infantry, Army of the Trans Mississippi, CSA. I also laid a wreath on the grave of George Washington Burchfield, a private in the 26th Alabama Infantry, Army of Northern Virginia, CSA; and put flowers on the grave of my uncle, who was killed in action at the Battle of Normandy, 82nd Airborne, US Army; and last but not least on the grave of my father, a sargeant in the US Army, who served in Korea, retired from the US Army and passed away recently.

All you liberals and leftists out there who constantly berate us, the blood of our fathers, grandfathers, great grandfathers, uncles, and other ancestors shout from the grave for us to stop you, so that their blood would not have been spilt in vain. And so I shall. Or die trying.

Posted by: jesusland joe at May 28, 2006 11:46 AM

10 Thank all of you for your comments. God Bless and happy Memorial Day.

Posted by: Rusty at May 28, 2006 05:37 PM

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Posted by: yjzspecm at May 29, 2006 09:55 AM

12 I was watching Band of Brothers last night and all that kept going through my head on this memorial day weekend is what heroes those boys were. Brave, courageous heroes. I could barely express it out loud without choking up about it. I wanted to run into a war vet and tell him thanks for his service, but alas I never saw one. If you're a vet and you're reading this, please know that the people of America salute your courage and your service. I lift my mug of marmite tea to you, and to Rusty's grandpa. God bless you, and God bless America.

Posted by: Jesusland Carlos at May 29, 2006 08:59 PM

13 My son took his R and R from Iraq in Europe, rather than return home. His visit to Normandy was the most moving part of his military life.

"What those men did at Normandy makes what we do in Iraq pale by comparison. The incredible courage, determination and discipline under fire required to take Omaha Beach or ascend Pointe de Hoc is unimaginable." This from a veteran of over 100 firefights.

God has already blessed every man and woman who defended or defends our freedom. Meager though it is, I add my gratitude and blessing to them all.

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