Friday, May 27, 2005
This weekend, across the fruited plain and on both coasts, summer will officially start. Back yard BBQ's (even the one at Cordeiro Manor - if I can get it to work) will be fired up. Much carousing and festivities will take place.
It is all together fitting, proper, and American that this should happen.
Never the less, dear reader, in the midst of steak grilling, yardwork, and bargain hunting, take some time this Memorial Day to remember why it is we as a nation set aside this day from all others.
It is to remember those men and women who, in the prime of their lives, went forth to the shores of a nation and people they knew not and gave the last full measure of devotion for their country - in the service of their fellow man.
I often say I spent the first 20 years of my life in the US Army. Growing up I lived mostly on bases, both in the US and abroad. When my family finally got around to buying a house, I felt strange when my address didn't include "Presidio", "Fort", "APO" or some other military designation.
Most people I know can claim to have a hometown - someplace they grew up, went to school, and can always go back to. I don't really have that. I can claim hometowns in California, Arizona, Washington, Georgia, Utah, Colorado, and Missouri. Some years ago when I was an under-grad student, I finally found my answer to the ever posed question "Where are you from?"
My answer? "I'm from the US Army."
That, dear reader, is why the men and women of the Armed Forces are, and always shall be - to me anyway - family.
They died hard, those savage men-like wounded wolves at bay. They were filthy, and they were lousy, and they stunk. And I loved them. - General Douglas MacArthur