Remember Those Who Have Served America
Golden Gate National Cemetery
Clouds Of Though
The start of summer vacations, graduations and Memorial Day. There are rumors of warm weather throughout the US, but not near San Francisco. San Francisco Bay area is typically cold and breezy the end of May. Memorial weekend is a time for remembering, memorializing those who have died to make America great, but does anyone plan to do so.
Throughout the week I have been making airport runs, dropping off friends and family leaving for graduations, Here I am at S.F.O. on Friday morning looking for some way to kill time before I need to pick up my husband. Golden Gate National Cemetery is close to the airport. I never realized how this trip would change my life as I walk through history.
I haven't been there in years. Every year we went to this cemetery on Memorial Day when I was little. I am surprised so much of the place is exactly as I remember.
Until 1969, May 30th always found my dad driving my grandma, brother and me to the Golden Gate National Cemetery. My grandfather was buried there. In August 1970 we followed a hearse carrying grandmother to her resting place there too.
Grandfather was a German immigrant who joined the Colorado Infantry First Regiment in 1897. He fought in the Spanish American War. Until I started to write today I had never thought much about what my grandfather sounded like. He would have had a German accent. Yet he fought for the United States. Dead 9 years before I was born I know very little about grandfather. Today, I ponder the lives of men and women like him, who are represented by these headstones. I think "My grandfather came to the United States to be free. Fighting for freedom was an honor". There was no doubt that he loved America. He married a native born Californian and taught his children to love America. He may have even watched his brothers go to war. (I have a picture of his family; he would have had brothers military age during World War I.) My great grandfather forbid German to be spoken when World War I began. His family was American and they would speak English. Grandfather sent both his sons into World War II. He lived just long enough to see them both safely home.
Sometimes, remembering must be done
Sometimes, stories have to be told.
Sometimes, tears need to flow.
Sometimes, so others will know.
God Bless America
Ways To Commemorate Memorial
- Fly the American Flag from your porch.
- Place flowers on the grave of a soldier.
- Attend one of the ceremonies at your local cemetery.
San Joaquin National Cemetery
I think about our plans for the weekend. Monday there will be services at the cemeteries to commemorate those who have died. At the Veterans of Foreign Wars building there will be a dedication of the new wall that memorializes veterans who served their country.
I was looking for my parents bricks some weeks ago when a man and his wife approached,
"Have you found who you are looking for"?
Looking down at the bricks at my feet I replied "Just, Frances"...
"Did your mom ever have anything to do with the VFW.
Looking at her brick he said, "She was my vice commander".
I thought he looked familiar.
"Did you know that the national cemetery in Gustine is there because she pushed hard for it".
He went on to tell me, "The Golden Gate National Cemetery was nearly full; a new site was needed. We were looking at some locations when an Italian Immigrant, who loved his adopted country very much, wanted to do something to honor America. He wanted to donate land. He came poor and acquired lots of land and wanted to give back to America. The other sites being considered were expensive. You mother was determined we were going to build the cemetery there".
Did mom know there were other wars brewing?
She lived to see two more begin, but not the day her grandson graduated from boot camp with top honors.
Do you have any family members who have served in the United States armed forces?
Mom was always looking down the road thinking of what was needed. She had two sons, a grandson and a son-in-law plus herself that would need final resting places. I still chuckle at the day I accidentally discovered she didn't buy a plot for herself when dad died. Dad died unexpectedly years before. She considered having him moved to Gustine, but it was too costly.
She said, We will be in heaven together so, why do we need to be buried together".
The other sites being considered were not big enough. They were nearly in the middle of a town as it was. Gustine was out in the middle of cattle country. It was free,a gift of love, from a man who valued freedom. He felt those who died for freedom should have the very best. Mom did too.
She was interned Jan 5, 2006 in San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery, Gustine, California. Maybe someday we will learn how she earned her silver stars. She was a nurse with Mac Author's forces in the Philippines, Australia and New Guinea.
Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier Arlington National Cemetary
A solider keeping watch over the fallen soldiers and sailors of the United States in Arlington National Cemetery. In Washington DC the history of the United States unfolds in this cemetery. There are presidents,generals and people nobody ever heard of; all of which proudly served this country,The United States of America.
Love Of Country
My parents had a fierce love for their country. My great uncle died in WWI. My parents and their siblings fought in WWII . My oldest brother was intelligence in Europe during the cold war. My next brother fought in Vietnam. I can't imagine what it must have been like for my folks when he was in Nam. I was a basket case in the 11th grade while my brother was in Vietnam. I learned how to cope with deployments from my parents and sister-in-law. It has come in handy again and again as we have sent loved ones to war the last 10 years.
The summer four of my son's classmates from BUDS were killed was awful. The next summer when the helicopter went down with lots of SEALs aboard my son couldn't even talk about it. A friend was investigating the Wikipedia leaks to determine if that information compromised their mission. He asked if my son could help. He wouldn't. What he said about the possibility of of them dieing because of security leaks can't be printed.
Many soldiers are still in harms way; they are family, or friends, deployed and in danger. Remember them.
Remembering Our Wounded
Remembering Our Wounded
I never take pictures of people when I intend to publish, but I cried when I realized this man was a Vietnam Vet. His salute straight,crisp and alone. There were many people gathered in groups with family and friends at this Memorial Day Ceremony.. Here he stands. Alone. Like the day he came back from war. Wounded without a scratch. Brother came home from Vietnam; Dad didn't recognize him at the airport. The Vietnam war wasn't popular. The servicemen and women treated with disrespect
War isn't popular or unpopular.
War is Hell,
Those who fight wars defending the United States of America are just ordinary people. Unlike religious warriors, Americans fight for freedom. Americans show up when nobody else does.
Yesterday, coming home, a guy rode up on his bike and parked it next to the freeway on ramp. My husband said, "He's going to pull out a homeless sign". He did. The sign said "Disabled vet".
Then I saw his arm. He upper arm was scarred tapering to a mangled lower arm and a partial hand. He wasn't an old man. I can't stop thinking about him. Fisher House helps veterans and soldiers who are recovering from battle injuries. The radio host talked about Fisher House.all day. God bless those who remember our wounded.
Flags For Each Grave
God Bless America And Those Who Made Us Free
Abraham Lincoln Said It Best
The last part of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg address eloquently honors those men and women who died to make us free.
...from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
If you know a military family encourage them. Invite them to dinner. Call them. If you can, slip a gift card or a twenty dollar bill into their pocket. Give them hugs and pray for them if your a praying person. If you see a soldier tell them "Thank You for their service". It is so little for those who have given so much.
True American Hero by Au fait
- Van T. Barfoot: A True American Hero and Patriot
Van T. Barfoot, one of only 5 American Indians to be a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient during the 20th century, and all around American hero and patriot, fought his owner's association and won.
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