Memorial Day.....it means so much to so many. My grandfather, my husband, & my brother have all been in the military. None have seen action. For that I am thankful. For those that have.....I AM THANKFUL!!! So many have given their lives for what we believe in. To those families, I am so sorry for your loss, but celebrate the bravery & honor that your loved ones possessed. Below is something my husband wrote several years ago in honor of Memorial Day. I hope you enjoy.
I began to meditate on the meaning of Memorial Day which will be remembered soon. The date may appear to some as just another day on the calendar; however, the significance of this day is contained in the sacrifices made by the men and women of this nation. The tombstones of American military service personnel scattered throughout the world stand as silent witnesses to this fact. This letter is dedicated to those both dead and alive. Your display of character, courage, and heroism on behalf of your country is unparalleled and second to none.
Although the years have gone by and time may cloud the focus of your deeds, I am compelled to read about and remember the places you have served. There were many theaters of war, but a few particularly stand out in my mind. “Bloody Ridge” on an island named Guadalcanal where 1600 men were lost. Iwo Jima, that after 26 days of heavy fighting, the enemy was overcome at a loss of 6800 dead. Anzio, with a German victory at hand, the weather cleared and the tide of battle was reversed. These scenes would be repeated again and again at Omaha Beach, Cassino, and a conflict called “The Battle of the Bulge”.
Korea, a small frozen country, may be forgotten by some, but not by me. I have read with amazement, the accounts of places like Inchon. After 40 days of hand to hand combat, your spirit could not be broken. At Chosin Reservoir, outnumbered 8 to 1 in subzero temperatures, you fought your way out of the trap set by the enemy. Finally, at Heartbreak Ridge and Pork Chop Hill, you refused to be overrun by an experienced army. The war may be forgotten, but you are not. You were very young and green; however, you became a force to be reckoned with as the conflict continued.
The places you have gone are numerous. I watched with tears in my eyes at the horror that Vietnam had become. Young men doing their jobs at places like the Ia Drang Valley, Hue, during the TET Offensive, and Khe Sanh during the enemy’s 70 day siege.
I have read and heard the complaints and charges made against you. They are untrue. You are American and you are mine. If it were possible to change the way in which you were treated when you came home, I would do it. You have a special place in my heart.
There have been and will be other places that you will be sent to serve. It would be wise for all Americans to reflect on this day and give thanks for those that have gone on behalf of this nation. Personally, I cannot begin to thank you and your families for the sacrifices you have made. The freedom that I enjoy today is a direct result of what you did yesterday. You are not forgotten and with a great love for you, I say “THANK YOU”!
Herb Gossett – MM1(SS)
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