Memorial Day – <BR>A day to remember and to say 'thank you'
Many people reading this today were not even alive during World War II. I was only a baby turned toddler. But I remember my dad, Army Private Edward Webber, Jr. of the 47th Infantry Regiment, coming home from the war, and the stories that he, along with his friends, told that held even my childish mind in awe.
But I no longer have a childish mind, and have become even more awestruck by the truths of the men and women who were there, and have written down their own personal remembrance. My brother is a professional historian, and the details he shares from his years of research are fascinating. It is such a major part of our history...we must not forget, nor allow our children and grandchildren to go through life not knowing about the brave men and women of WWII and other recent wars.
There is a memorial in Washington, D.C., to honor our heroes, but I learned to honor them many years ago. It may seem strange from a woman, but I enjoy watching WWII movies with John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, and others. A picture is worth a thousand words.
The men and women in the Army, Navy, Marines, and the Air Force…we salute you today. It was teamwork of the finest kind. I know my then 25-year-old dad, in an Army foxhole somewhere in Germany or France, was thrilled beyond words to see the Air Force planes flying overhead, probably piloted by another 22-year-old.
Now that I am older, I am more keenly aware of the young age many of our fighting heroes were – 19, 20, 23, etc… Because of their young age back then, many are still alive today. I would love to hear your personal stories, also. Now, they tell us that WWII veterans are dying at a rate of a thousand a day.
Yes, we remember those who crossed both the Pacific and the Atlantic. We remember Pearl Harbor, Normandy, Remagen, the Philippines…and so many other far away places. It was truly a world affair to remember. There were ships and planes, trucks and tanks. All of which carried our brave soldiers off to battle. There were doctors and nurses, and chaplains; the bravest and the finest.
How can we possibly say thank you for what you did for us? And, to all the wives, parents and families of those who said good-bye to loved ones in all the wars, we salute you, also, on this very special weekend coming up. We are all where we are today, because of what you did yesterday. And, for what you are doing today.
There have been other wars since WWII – Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm and now the War on Terrorism. Many of us have had family members in every war following "the big one." I know I have. My historian brother was in Vietnam. My husband and I saw our son go to Desert Storm. And now, many of you have loved ones in the Middle East. We honor all of you. God bless you for what you did…and for what you are doing. They say "war is hell" wherever it is fought. No doubt about that.
My eyes leak when I see a big American flag flying somewhere, or hear the wonderful songs, "America the Beautiful" and "God Bless America."
Thirty-one years after WWII was over, a beautiful American flag draped my dad's casket...just the way he would have wanted it to.
The Apostle Paul wrote so beautifully in Second Timothy 4:7,8, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the Righteous Judge, shall give me in that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing."
You did fight a good fight. And today we say to all of you veterans everywhere, "Well done, soldier! Thank you, God bless you, and welcome home!"