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Memeorial Day Weekend Observances in San Diego

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by BFISA, May 21, 2009.

  1. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

    Nov 16, 2005
    at the Veterans Memorial Museum

    Scroll down the link to:

    Memorial Day Weekend Observances
    Saturday, May 23 - Monday, May 25, 2009.

    I'll be at the Veterans Memorial Museum on Sunday from at least 2-3PM. A friend of mine has organized a group to read names during that time frame.

    Hopeta see somma y'all there.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. SDRaiderH8er

    SDRaiderH8er Well-Known Member

    Apr 27, 2006
    Sunday I am taking my youngest to the Padre game, Monday I will be out at Ft Rosecrans.
  3. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

    Nov 16, 2005

    by Mackubin Thomas Owens

    On Monday, we will mark the 141st anniversary of the first
    official observation of the holiday we now call Memorial
    Day, as established by General John A. Logan's "General
    Order No. 11" of the Grand Army of the Republic dated 5 May,
    1868. This order reads in part: "The 30th day of May 1868
    is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers and
    otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in
    defense of their country during the late rebellion, and
    whose bodies lie in almost every city, village and hamlet
    churchyard in the land." Logan's order in fact ratified a
    practice that was already widespread, both in the North and
    the South, in the years immediately following the Civil War.

    As Americans continue to fight and die in Iraq and
    Afghanistan, it is fitting that we recur to the true meaning
    of this day. Alas, for too many Americans, Memorial Day has
    come to mean nothing more than another three-day weekend,
    albeit the one on which the beaches open, signifying the
    beginning of summer. Unfortunately, the tendency to see the
    holiday as merely an opportunity to attend a weekend cook-
    out obscures even the vestiges of what the day was meant to
    observe: a solemn time, serving both as catharsis for those
    who fought and survived, and to ensure that those who follow
    will not forget the sacrifice of those who died that the
    American Republic and the principles that sustain it, might
    live. Some examples might help us to understand what this
    really means.

    On July 2nd, 1863, Major General Dan Sickles, commanding III
    Corps of the Army of the Potomac, held the Union left along
    Cemetery Ridge south of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
    Dissatisfied with his position, he made an unauthorized
    movement to higher ground along the Emmitsburg Pike to his
    front. In so doing, he created a gap between his corps and
    Major General Winfield Scott Hancock's II Corps on his
    right. Before the mistake could be rectified, Sickles' two
    under strength divisions were struck by General James
    Longstreet's veteran I Corps of Robert E. Lee's Confederate
    Army of Northern Virginia in an attack that ultimately
    threatened the entire Union position on Cemetery Ridge.

    At the height of the fighting, a fresh Alabama brigade of
    1,500 men, pursuing the shattered remnants of Sickles corps,
    was on the verge of penetrating the Union defenses on
    Cemetery Ridge. Union commanders including Hancock rushed
    reinforcements forward to plug the gap, but at a critical
    juncture, the only available troops were eight companies--
    262 men-- of the 1st Minnesota Volunteers. Pointing to the
    Alabamans' battle flags, Hancock shouted to the regiment's
    colonel, "Do you see those colors? Take them."

    As the 1st Minnesota's colonel later related, "Every man
    realized in an instant what that order meant--death or
    wounds to us all; the sacrifice of the regiment to gain a
    few minutes time and save the position, and probably the
    battlefield--and every man saw and accepted the necessity
    for the sacrifice."

    The Minnesotans did not capture the colors of the Alabama
    brigade, but the shock of their attack broke the
    Confederates' momentum and bought critical time--at the cost
    of 215 killed and wounded, including the colonel and all but
    three of his officers. The position was held, but in short
    order, the 1st Minnesota ceased to exist, suffering a
    casualty rate of 82 percent, the highest of the war for any
    Union regiment in a single engagement.

    Memorial Day is about the sacrifice of the other units, for
    example, the 54th Massachusetts, a regiment of black
    soldiers whose exploits were portrayed in the movie Glory.
    The 54th's assault, in the face of hopeless odds, against
    Battery Wagner, which dominated the approaches to Charleston
    Harbor, cost the regiment over half its number and proved
    beyond the shadow of a doubt that black soldiers were the
    equal, in both bravery and determination, of white soldiers.

    In No True Glory, Bing West recounts the epic story of the
    battle for Fallujah. What Admiral Nimitz said of the Marines
    on Iwo Jima applied to the battle of Fallujah as well:
    "uncommon valor was a common virtue." Our troops continue
    to demonstrate uncommon valor on a daily basis.

    But Memorial Day is also about individuals we may have
    known. It is about a contemporary of my father, who himself
    fought and was wounded in the Pacific during World War II.
    Marine Sgt. John Basilone was awarded the Medal of Honor for
    his actions on Guadalcanal. Though he was not obligated to
    do so, he insisted on returning to combat and was killed on
    the first day of the struggle for Iwo Jima.

    Memorial Day is also about Corporal Larry Boyer, USMC, a
    member of the platoon that I led in Vietnam from September
    1968 until May 1969. The men of that platoon would all have
    preferred to be somewhere other than the Republic of
    Vietnam's northern Quang Tri Province, but they were doing
    their duty as it was understood at the time. In those days,
    men built their lives around their military obligation, and
    if a war happened on their watch, fighting was part of the

    But Corporal Boyer went far beyond the call of duty. At a
    time when college enrollment was a sure way to avoid
    military service and a tour in Vietnam, Corporal Boyer,
    despite excellent grades, quit, enlisted in the Marines, and
    volunteered to go to Vietnam as an infantryman. Because of
    his high aptitude test scores, the Marine Corps sent him to
    communications-electronics school instead. But Corporal
    Boyer kept "requesting mast," insisting that he had joined
    the Marines to fight in Vietnam. He got his wish, and on 29
    May, 1969, he gave the "last full measure of devotion" to
    his country and comrades.

    What leads men to behave as the soldiers of the 1st
    Minnesota, the 54th Massachusetts, the soldiers and Marines
    in Iraq and Afghanistan, John Basilone, Larry Boyer, and the
    countless others who have shared their sacrifice? Since the
    Vietnam War, too many of our countrymen have concluded that
    those who have died in battle are "victims." How else are
    we to understand the Vietnam War Memorial--"The Wall"--a
    structure that evokes not respect for the honored dead, but
    on the one hand, pity for those whose names appear on the
    wall, and on the other, relief on the part of those who, for
    whatever reason, did not serve?

    Most Americans in general and veterans in particular reject
    this characterization. But there is a tendency these days
    also to reject the polar opposite: that these men died for
    "a cause." Many cite the observation of Glen Gray in his
    book, The Warriors: Reflections on Men in Battle:
    "Numberless soldiers have died, more or less willingly, not
    for country or honor or religious faith or for any other
    abstract good, but because they realized that by fleeing
    their posts and rescuing themselves, they would expose their
    companions to greater danger. Such loyalty to the group is
    the essence of fighting morale."

    It is my own experience that Gray is right about what men
    think about in the heat of combat: the impact of our actions
    on our comrades always looms large in our minds.. As Oliver
    Wendell Holmes observed in his Memorial Day address of 1884,
    "In the great democracy of self-devotion private and general
    stand side by side." But the tendency of the individual
    soldier to focus on the particulars of combat makes Memorial
    Day all the more important, for this day permits us to
    enlarge the individual soldier's view, to give meaning to
    the sacrifice that was accepted of some but offered by all,
    not only to acknowledge and remember the sacrifice, but to
    validate it.

    In the history of the world, many good soldiers have died
    bravely and honorably for bad or unjust causes. Americans
    are fortunate in that we have been given a way of avoiding
    this situation by linking the sacrifice of our soldiers to
    the meaning of the nation. At the dedication of the cemetery
    at Gettysburg four months after the battle, President
    Abraham Lincoln fleshed out the understanding of what he
    called in his First Inaugural Address, the "mystic chords of
    memory, stretching from every battle-field, and patriot
    grave, to every living heart and hearthstone, all over this
    broad land..."

    Lincoln's Gettysburg Address gives universal meaning to the
    particular deaths that occurred on that hallowed ground,
    thus allowing us to understand Memorial Day in the light of
    the Fourth of July, to comprehend the honorable end of the
    soldiers in the light of the glorious beginning and purpose
    of the nation. The deaths of the soldiers at Gettysburg, of
    those who died during the Civil War as a whole and indeed,
    of those who have fallen in all the wars of America, are
    validated by reference to the nation and its founding
    principles as articulated in the Declaration of

    Though Lincoln was eulogizing the Union dead at Gettysburg,
    the Confederate fallen were no less worthy of praise, and
    the dialectic of the Civil War means that we include them in
    our national day of remembrance. As Holmes observed, "...we
    respected [those who stood against us] as every man with a
    heart must respect those who give all for their belief."

    Some might claim that to emphasize the "mystic chords of
    memory" linking Memorial Day and Independence Day is to
    glorify war and especially to trivialize individual loss and
    the end of youth and joy. For instance, Larry Boyer was an
    only son. How can the loved ones of a fallen soldier ever
    recover from such a loss? I corresponded with Cpl. Boyer's
    mother for some time after his death. Her inconsolable pain
    and grief put me in mind of Rudyard Kipling's poem, Epitaphs
    of the War, verse IV, "An Only Son:" "I have slain none but
    my mother, She (Blessing her slayer) died of grief for me."
    Kipling too, lost his only son in World War I.
    But as Holmes said in 1884, "...grief is not the end of all.
    I seem to hear the funeral march become a paean. I see
    beyond the forest the moving banners of a hidden column.
    Our dead brothers still live for us, and bid us think of
    life, not death--of life to which in their youth they lent
    the passion and joy of the spring. As I listen, the great
    chorus of life and joy begins again, and amid the awful
    orchestra of seen and unseen powers and destinies of good
    and evil our trumpets sound once more a note of daring, hope
    and will."

    Linking Memorial Day and Independence Day as Lincoln
    essentially did enables us to recognize that while some of
    those who died in America's wars were not as brave as others
    and indeed, some were not brave at all, each and every one
    was far more a hero than a victim. And it also allows us
    forever to apply Lincoln's encomium not only to the dead of
    the 1st Minnesota and the rest who died on the ground at
    Gettysburg that Lincoln came to consecrate, but also to John
    Basilone, Larry Boyer, and the countless soldiers, sailors,
    airmen, and Marines who have died in all of America's wars,
    that a nation dedicated to the liberal principles of liberty
    and equality might "not perish from the earth."
  4. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

    Nov 16, 2005
    From my Special Forces email List-

    Let us not forget what we have all done, and those before and after us.
    we are truly SPECIAL.

    Your cell phone is in your pocket.
    He clutches the cross hanging on his chain next to his dog tags.

    You talk trash about your 'buddies' that aren't with you.
    He knows he may not see some of his buddies again.

    You walk down the beach, staring at all the pretty girls.
    He patrols the streets, searching for insurgents and terrorists.

    You complain about how hot it is
    He wears his heavy gear, not daring to take off his helmet to wipe his brow.

    You go out to lunch, and complain because the restaurant got your order wrong.
    He doesn't get to eat today.

    Your maid makes your bed and washes your clothes.
    He wears the same things for weeks, but makes sure his weapons are clean.

    You go to the mall and get your hair redone.
    He doesn't have time to brush his teeth today.

    You're angry because your class ran 5 minutes over.
    He's told he will be held over an extra 2 months.

    You call your girlfriend and set a date for tonight.
    He waits for the mail to see if there is a letter from home.

    You hug and kiss your girlfriend, boyfriend, husband or wife, like you do everyday.
    He holds his letter close and smells his love's perfume.

    You roll your eyes as a baby cries.
    He gets a letter with pictures of his new child, and wonders if they'll ever meet.

    You criticize your government, and say that war never solves anything.
    He sees the innocent tortured and killed by their own people and remembers why he is fighting.

    You hear the jokes about the war, and make fun of men like him.
    He hears the gunfire, bombs and screams of the wounded.

    You see only what the media wants you to see.
    He sees the broken bodies lying around him.

    You are asked to go to the store by your parents. You don't.
    He does exactly what he is told even if it puts his life in danger.

    You stay at home and watch TV.
    He takes whatever time he is given to call, write home, sleep, and eat.

    You crawl into your soft bed, with down pillows, and get comfortable.
    He tries to sleep but gets woken by mortars and helicopters all night long.
  5. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

    Nov 16, 2005
    Brotherhood of Silence

    For over fifty years we’ve served to date

    Providing vigilance at freedom’s gate

    Our names are legion and kept away

    From prying eyes lurking everyday

    Our campaigns are kept in secret script

    Our deeds unknown silenced not stripped

    From cold war days across the globe

    To fields in the middle east yet untold

    Always moving swiftly in the night

    Our weapons at the ready with terrible might

    Our brotherhood speaks in deeds not words

    To rid the world of its evil scourge

    From the rice paddies and highlands of Vietnam

    To the caves of Tora Bora and well beyond

    Our deeds are spattered with the blood of time

    Our enemies defeated we remain in our prime

    Like lightening bolts striking sharp and swift

    Engaging with precision to create a rift

    Our targets, our strategy ever true and engaging

    The enemy on the run retreats while trembling

    Our swords and daggers are sharp and straight

    Carried with us always through deaths gate

    Providing swift and deadly precision

    At every turn when the battle comes to fruition

    The arrows in our quiver are quiet when sent

    Stealth of purpose our unrelenting intent

    Quietly engaged in secrecy and silence

    We execute our tasks with deep conscience

    Our charter is simple but carries great weight

    Our goal is the preservation of the state

    To keep the bell of liberty ringing true

    For all free peoples through and through

    De Oppresso Liber in Latin, our motto you see

    Freeing oppressed peoples our charge must be

    The quiet professionals are first to the fight

    And the brotherhood is always last out at night

    That piece of green felt that we hold so dear

    Is our badge of courage to abate our fear

    We carry it every where that we travel

    In combat or in peace we will not unravel

    We mourn our comrades that have fallen in war

    And prepare ourselves to settle the score

    Preparing for the battle for another day

    Our vigilance intact our minds don’t stray

    All of my brothers have carried the weight

    As we provide vigilance at freedom’s gate

    These are men, America’s best

    And proven so when put to the test

    Copyright 2005, All Rights Reserved, Thomas A. Gluzinski
  6. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

    Nov 16, 2005
    On Sunday, the Vietnam Veterans of San Diego had a ceremony at the Veterans Museum & Memorial where they "called out" the names of all San Diego County Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines killed in Vietnam. Each name read were identified by branch of service, rank, and finally their name.

    I was asked by a Special Forces friend of mine to attend and help call out names during a one hour stint, and I happily complied. Another SF friend of was calling out when he came upon a name of a man whose body he had escorted home from Vietnam so many years ago; he was overcome and couldn't continue. I went to comfort him; it was all I could do.

    They had marble slabs with those names embossed on it; I found the name of an old friend, James G. Mesa. Jim and I first met in 6th grade and were good friends all the way through high school. We lost track of each other then; I was stationed in Germany in '68 and got a letter from my mom saying that Jim had been killed in Vietnam. I still think of him today.

    I took my turn calling out names, and it was an honor that I'll remember for a long time.

    • Like Like x 1
  7. Lightning's Girl

    Lightning's Girl Mod Chick =) Staff Member Moderator

    Jan 15, 2007
    Beautiful and haunting, Toby........that could be my kid one day soon.

    Thanks for sharing.
  8. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

    Nov 16, 2005
    I thought it was very compelling, as well.
  9. EsDee_in_RI

    EsDee_in_RI Well-Known Member

    Jan 15, 2008
    I know this is a little late but I wanted to share with everyone my brothers story. I have attached the paper clipping from the LA Times. Thanks to all Vets...

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