Monday, May 30, 2005

Memorial Day

Today is the day we remember the dead. In particular we remember those who have died in our nation's service. This day has become one mainly marked by a day off from work and outdoor barbeques. It has become more of an annual tribute to the opening days of summer than an actual day of reflection. I don't think any of these things are wrong. I just think that while we celebrate we should take time to remember why we celebrate. For 1,647 families this and future Memorial days will take on new meaning since this is the number of soliders who have paid the ultimate sacrifice since the war in Iraq began.

Obviously, we will not have the day off nor will there be any parades of festivities. So in order to observe, and remember I took time today to visit a few of the Memoriums we have here that are dedicated to soldiers from our base camp that have fallen. I took pictures as I went along. They didn't turn out very well, but at least a few more people will remember their names today.

Specialist Daniel Paul Unger
A Compnay, 1-185 Armor
March 21, 1985 - May 25, 2004
"SPC Unger, 19, of Exeter, California was fatally wounded on May 25th, 2004 at Forward Operating Base Kalsu when FOB Kalsu came under a heavy volley of 100MM Mortar Fire. In total disregard for his own saftey, SPC Unger directed local nationals that he was escorting to safety while executing the battle drill for indirect fire. His actions saved two lives."

Corporal Darrell L. Smith
D Company, 1-152 Infantry
February 22, 1975 - November 23, 2003
"CPL Smith of Otwell, Indiana, was part of an Infantry Squad assigned to provide security around Convoy Support Center Scania, Foward Operating Base Kalsu, Camp Nakamura, and MSR Tampa. CPL Smith gave his life on 23 November, while conducting a combat patrol on the nothern sector of MSR Tampa."

Sergeant Heath A. McMillin
105th Military Police Company
May 24, 1974 - July 27, 2003

Specialist Michael L. Williams
105th Military Police Company
September 11, 1957 - October 17, 2003
"SGT McMillin of Canandaigua, New York, and SPC Williams of Buffalo, New York were part of MSR Patrols patrolling their AOR when their vehicles were engaged by Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs)."

Specialist Paul T. Nakamura
437th Medical Compnay
October 17, 1981 - June 19, 2003
"SPC Nakamura of Santa Fe Springs, California was part of an Ambulance Crew transporting an injured soldier from CSC Scania to LSA Dogwood for further treatment when his FLA was struck by an RPG and small arms fire."

Sergeant Eric Toth
A Battery, 1-623 Field Artillery Battalion
April 16, 1983 - March 30, 2005
"SGT Toth of Edmontom, KY was part of a convoy escort that was returning to CSC Scaniaafter escorting a convoy north when his vehicle was struck by a Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED)."
I attended SGT Toth's memorial service and wrote about it in a previous post titled Fallen.
I sincerley hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day full of good food and laughter. Just take time to remember.


Blogger Lexie said...

Excellent post. I linked it on my blog. (Hope you don't mind that I put a pic up.)

Your blog gives us a small window on your world. Post as often as you can with what's on your heart & mind.

6:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope that you are doing well today.
This hits us all right where it should. You and all the troops are doing the world justice, and we are all praying for the end of this war. We can think of past soldiers today that have give thier lives and made this counry stonger.We also know that you and others are doing this because it is are duty, are pride, and are freedom. We all love you for what you doing and you are in our hearts everyday LOVE YOU

9:20 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Greater love hath no man than this,
that a man lay down his life for his friends."

St.John 15:13

Thanks, Bagdaddy -- From Philadelphia.

7:29 PM  
Anonymous h said...

First of all, I would like to thank you for your blog. I have frequently mentioned your postings in my blog, and I am always anxious to read your new posts.

Your Memorial Day tribute was moving. I am one of the members of the 1,647 families, and you are right. Memorial Day holds an entirely new meaning for me and my family. In a way, it is heartbreaking, but in a stronger way, it fills a profound thankfulness for soldiers--heroes--who are still fighting for our freedom, and for those who gave everything so that I could live freely.

I close with a thank you that I cannot be completely expressed with words.

9:13 PM  
Blogger John said...


The fact that you are thanking me is humbling, and difficult to grasp.

We all owe you our deepest gratitude for what you and your family sacrificed. My main hope is that the stories I share through this blog give you a small sense of confidence that your sacrifice was for a worthy cause.

Thank you and God Bless,


10:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks! I needed to be reminded why we "celebrate" Memorial Day. I am reminded as I see the dates of birth of those fallen soldiers (several my age and younger), that this is the war of my generation. Grandchildren will be required to interview us for their history classes, when they study it. Weird huh?

11:28 PM  
Blogger Lawchick2005 said...

Wonderful post and lovely tribute to our fallen men.

Thank you and your family also for your many sacrifices for our freedoms...:)

11:32 PM  
Blogger Lawchick2005 said...

Correction: I should have said "fallen men AND WOMEN"...!!!

11:33 PM  
Anonymous judy said...

Excellent post thank you so much.

7:03 AM  
Anonymous Rachel said...

Wow, I just found your blog today and I'm going to link to it on my site because it is so important and moving. Thanks for your reflection. My husband is working security in Iraq, and I pray for him and all of the soldiers such as yourself daily.

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Shelly and Jessic said...

Hi John! I just wanted you to know we've been thinking of you! Jess and I can't wait to see Amy and the kids. We are eagerly awaiting their arrival.

On a Memorial Day note, D-town :) always has a celebration at the lake. At the beach area someone had sculpted a WW2 memorial of soldiers coming out of the water. It was amazing and a strong reminder of what we're supposed to be celebrating.

Take care and we are thinking of you!
Shelly and Jessic

11:48 AM  
Anonymous sue said...

Thank You.

One of the pics you posted is of a local hero. Very touching.

5:16 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Your post was very moving. Thank you for the reminder that as we go about our daily lives here, you and so many other men and women are fighting to keep my family safe. Thank you for all you do!

I am praying for you and your family, as well as all the men and women you are serving with.

God Bless!

7:02 PM  

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