Monday, May 25, 2009
My cousin Brian sent me a note this weekend reminding me of my dear great uncle who I never met but had heard so much about. PFC Tom,my great uncle, the baby of the family, "was a courageous young Marine killed in action storming the beaches of Guam." He was 18 when he died for our country. Here is part of what my cousin Brian,a major in the USMC, and an Iraq veteran himself, had to say, which I could never say as eloquently...
"... I made a promise to myself that I would never forget him (Great Uncle Tom) after my time in Iraq. I knew more than a few young men that were killed in Iraq. Some had very little family to speak of. Some from the inner city that only knew their mom, and sometimes not even knew her that well. The Marine Corps was a way out for many of them. The memory of these young men is easily lost to the ocean of time and lack of family to remember them. I try to keep the memory of them alive by first and foremost keeping the memory of Great Uncle Tom alive. He is fortunate to have such a large family that makes honoring his memory and sacrifice easier and, thereby, through him, remembering the similar sacrifice others have made that may not have as big a family as ours..."
I have been surrounded by "great" people my whole life. People who I proudly am linked to through blood and through love. I was blessed to have known and loved many great aunts and uncles. My Great Aunt Margaret had a special gift for my cousin Brian after she passed away-Great Uncle Tom's Purple Heart Proclamation
God Bless all of our troops, present and past, on this Memorial Day, and every day. A big THANK YOU to all of them for making America what it is today. They are the HEART of our country.
flag photo courtesy jcoleman, flickr.com