Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day...To REMEMBER!

Lots of pics, very little commentary by me. There is so very little that could possibly be added to pics like these.
Petty Officer Michael Monsoor, USN (Seal) in Iraq

The *incredible* tribute to Petty Officer Monsoor at his funeral. He saved the lives of his 3 Seal team members by choosing to absorb the blast from a grenade that landed among their position. At his funeral, the many Navy Seals in attendance removed their own Seal Tridents and hammered them w/ their fists into Monsoor's casket as it was brought toward the gravesite. (There's a *great* Youtube clip about him showing memorial services in Iraq and this...but I couldn't make it load here. Check it out...10 minutes of your life well spent.

Yorktown Battlefield from the Revolutionary War.

And again.

See the name "Carl Drake" on the left just above the image of the photographer? Maj. Drake was shot down over Cambodia in 1970, and as far as I know, remains were never recovered.
His younger son was a friend & fraternity brother of mine in my UF days. Actually, Randy was literally the first guy I met on campus when we were attending the same orientation.

On patrol in the central highlands, Vietnam.

The Wall in DC

Larger image of the Wall.

Fredericksburg right after the Civil War conflict.

Gettysburg today.

Gettysburg right after the Battle.

Iwo Jima, 1945

Coming ashore @ Iwo Jima

Iwo Jima as it is today. Hard to believe that this little rock in the midst of the Pacific was the scene of a month-long nasty battle. You're looking at the entire island.

Coming ashore @ Omaha Beach, Normandy, France, June 6, 1944.
My mind has absolutely no category for what these guys were thinking & feeling.

Omaha Beach today. This is actually one of the draws that was key to getting off of the beach on DDay. The American Cemetery is right behind this photographer.

An unknown soldier's grave, U.S. Cemetery, Normandy, France.

Medal of Honor winner's grave, U.S. Cemetery, Normandy, France.

"Merci" is "Thanks" in French. (Also from the U.S. Cemetery, Normandy, France)

U.S. Cemetery, Normandy, France

U.S. Cemetery, Normandy, looking out toward English Channel

It shall come to pass in the latter days...
He shall judge between the nations,
and shall decide disputes for many peoples;
and they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war anymore.

Isaiah 2:1a, 4

What a promise! Until then, though, may we always remember and honor those who have paid the ultimate price for the freedoms we enjoy today. Note: it matters not one whit what one's political persuasion & foreign policy convictions are. The freedom to have those convictions have been preserved for over 200 years by those willing to stand in harm's way on our behalf.

If you are able, save them a place inside of you
and save one backward glance when you are leaving
for the places they can no longer go.
Be not ashamed to say you loved them,
though you may or may not have always.
Take what they have left
and what they have taught you
with their dying and keep it with your own.
And in that time when men decide and feel safe to call the war insane,
take one moment to embrace those gentle heroes you left behind.

Major Michael Davis O'Donnell
1 January 1970Dak To, Vietnam

On March 24th, 1970, Michael O'Donnell along with crew mates Berman Ganoe, John C. Hosken, Rudy M. Becerra, John Boronski, Gary A. Harned and Jerry L. Pool went Missing In Action. Although remains for all crewmen were not recovered, this crew is now considered accounted for.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mike, I'm glad I clicked on your site today! What a beautiful tribute to those who have fought for our freedom--really thought-provoking!
My father served for 2 years in the Pacific during WWII--he talked about all the landings they made in those boats--made me think of him on this day & remember how proud I am of his service to our country.
Anyway, good job! Thoroughly enjoyed this posting!

Janice Martin