September 2023
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Memorial Day – A Time To Remember The Cost Of Freedom

Once again Memorial Day weekend is upon us. As we celebrate with friends and family this weekend may we all stop for a while to reflect upon and honor those who have paid and are today paying the price for the Liberty and Freedom we all enjoy.


Thoughts To Ponder: While you’re celebrating Memorial Day, grilling and flipping burgers at your family BBQ – stop and ask yourself this: “What are our soldiers doing today!?!” Then ask yourself, “What am I doing to protect Liberty and Freedom?”

The True Meaning Of Memorial Day

Never Forget

As always, you are welcome to leave your comments below.


9 comments to Memorial Day – A Time To Remember The Cost Of Freedom

  • David Kotzebue

    I’ll be placing flowers at my cousin’s grave at the AFA on Monday. He was shot down over Laos, and his remains only returned last year.

  • Steve Gregg

    I will thank you for this very moving tribute as soon as my eyes clear.
    My son a LTC (AF) SOF pilot is continuing our service for a third generation as a career soldier training for his 3rd mission to Iraq having served at the opening of the war in Afghanistan. It often seems scarier when it is your kid going into harms way.
    Thanks for the reminder

  • Mary Lou Berven

    I will be thinking of my parents who are buried at Arlington and of my son who is a 1LT training at Fort Hood, Texas. He departs on June 20th for service in Ramadi after having four days leave here in Corpus Christi with his family. For those of you with family in war zones, you might consider sending washboard kits from the Columbus Washboard Company in Logan, Ohio. Their phone number is 740-380-3828. I have no affiliiation with their business except for plans to send kits to my son and everyone in his platoon. They cost $25.00 each and I learned about them from the New York Times. Laundry facilities are scanty at best and these kits are supposed to be quite useful. Thank you for sending the video. It brought tears to my eyes.

    Admin Note: Thank you Mary Lou – what a great idea and way to support our troops letting them know the folks back home are thinking about them.

    Here is a link to Columbus Washboard Company web site for anyone that is interested in checking them out. They only take phone orders (no online orders).

    Here is some information from the web site:

    In response to recent emails from our servicemen and women presently deployed in various locations overseas. The Columbus Washboard Company is proud to be sending shipments of laundry supplies to help our troops as they strive to fulfill the tasks before them. God Bless all of them!

    We are accepting donations for these shipments, and all donors will be sent an invoice to show where their donation has gone and whom it has been shipped to. All the other laundry supplies we purchase from a local hardware store at their cost. We package everything here at the factory and deliver the shipments to the post office. Postage is expensive, but we are only responsible for the shipping to the APO address.

    The troop kits containing one washboard #2033-F, one washtub, clothesline, clothespins, bar of lye soap. Total cost for these items is $25.00. Shipping in most cases is paid by The Columbus Washboard Company from donations from our visitors, tours and the loving families of servicemen and woman.


  • Ken Y

    I guess I am fortunate in that I never lost a family member or a friend to a war, that I am aware of. That does not mean, however, that I cannnot mourn those that have passed away in the service our country -military and civilian and those foreign nationals who have worked for the U.S. Government and lost their lives on our behalf. We owe all of them more than a holiday or a day of remembrance but how do you repay someone who has made the ultimate sacrifice? Peace. Ken

  • Mike Gutter

    I have asked my sister who lives in Lincoln, NE to place the roses and one poppy on our Dad’s grave. We will be remembering how he attempted to stop the fighting in Middle East as an UN advisor in Pakistan in 1951-52. He again hoped he could help stop the loss of American lives by making the South Vietnamese Army more able to fight for themselves from 1957-59. My sisters and I wish that he and the others who worked with him could have been successful. We would not be putting so many flowers on graves on Memorial Day. The tears of so many would not be flowing.

    I will also remembering the friends whom I have lost in Vietnam and in Iraq. I do not look forward to Afghanistan war. I have grandkids too close to the fighting age. But what God wills, I also will accept. But don’t talk to me about the politics of it. That is a different topic all together.

    This nation needs to remember its fallen heroes and not let anyone besmirch their service to their country in the name of the greater good of the “people”.

  • frank

    My father, Silas C. Stoddard, was injured when a Kamikaze plane hit his ship in waters off the Philippine Islands during WW II. He spent several months in the hospital and was finally discharged with a 30% disability. Over the years he started having more difficulty because of these injuries. By 1962 he was having a lot of pain and could hardly use his right arm. He went to the Hospital at Clark Air Force base for a check-up and they decided to operate. He died on 20 August 1962, four days after he turned 52. He is buried on a hill over looking the small town of Anaconda, Montana. It was very hard on us kids, but I know my Mother suffered beyond believe. “Riches to Rags” overnight! She had been a housewife her whole live and now a war widow at 45. Within a year she was working in ankle deep water at the “Spud House” (Potato Processing Plant), a far cry from that wonderful life of Saigon. In 1970, when I went back to College on the G.I. Bill, my little sister Mary Lu became a freshman. She got the same funding as I, but she was under the WW II War Orphans Bill. …even though she was born in 1952. I still have the paper “Thanks From A Grateful Nation” signed by JFK and just a bunch of memories of those days. I’ll always remember the “Taps” on that hill.

    My wife’s father, Julius B. Asbridge, was at Hickam Field on 7 Dec. 1941. From there he went to Arizona where he received his pilot wings and commission. He was shot down over Holland (and shot in the leg when he tried to evade the Germans on the ground) and spent almost two years in Stalag Luft 1. (His wife did not know if he was alive or dead for almost a year.) In the mid-sixties, he had a complete “break-down” which was diagnosed as PDSD from his POW days. For the next 20 years he spent a lot of time in and out of VA hospitals while receiving a huge amount of drugs. He just sat around in a stupor all the time. His wife, who had been a housewife her whole life was forced to work. She would work for several years in super markets. About a year before he died, his medication was changed to where he became more able. He did spent time back to “breaking” and training horses. He was very proud of the POW Medal that he got presented that year. He had no uniform so he pinned it on his cowboy hat. He is just buried south of here near the Mexican Border. Just as a note: His P-47 had a Grimm Reaper painted on it and it was named “Hell’s Angel”. You don’t suppose that some other Airman borrowed the name for a future club!?

    On June 1st, my friend Carlos and I are taking a small group of students to Europe. We will be attending the 65th Anniversary of D-Day. Carlo’s brother Francisco (Frank) Mazariegos (google his name) was killed by a sniper’s bullet on Hill 689, near Khe Sanh in 1967. I have asked Carlos if he and his wife would go to Vietnam when Susan and I go. He said he would think about it because for years he would not have anything to do with Vietnam…not even eat the food! Just as a note: Carlo’s family emigrated from Spain when Carlos was very young. Carlo’s Dad retired from the Air Force, but always suffered from the loss of his oldest son. He never got over it. Carlos himself retired from the Air Force and is now a high school teacher. When the family still lived in Spain, Francisco was picked as a young kid to be in a movie with Jane Mansfield called “The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw”.

    I will be thinking of others on Memorial Day, tomorrow! But my mind will probably spend more time thinking of the mothers, the brothers and sisters, the friends, the fathers, the wives, the children of the fallen ones. They suffer so much and there is nothing glorious about it.

    I will always remember, the night before I shipped out for Vietnam, my mother had me put my uniform on and we drove up to Rigby to say goodbye to Jimmi Nakiama’s parents, Frank and Socks. We found them in their usual place at Don’s Lounge…. where they went almost every night since their son was killed the year before. They yelled at me that I was throwing my live away, they hugged me, they told me they loved me, they shed tears on my uniform, they begged me to come home safely. Just a note: Jimmi is depicted in “We were Soldiers”.

    Before my trip to Vietnam this year, I told Carlos that maybe when I came home I’d have some answers. When I got home, I told him that I did not have any. I guess “stuff just happens”…that’s all!!!

    Yes, tomorrow, I’ll remember others that I knew. I’ll also remember those that I only knew by playing a part in their burial detail. Perhaps more then those that loss their life, I’ll remember the suffering from those that buried them. Tomorrow Susan and I will take Sue’s Mother, Marie, out to where her husband it buried. I, myself, have never visited his grave before. We’ll plant a little flag.

  • Tom Hanna

    I remember two high school friends that are dead due to the Vietnam War, Chip Cummings and Terry O’Brien.
    Terry was a medivac helicopter pilot. He was killed in the summer of 1970 while on a mission. He was 23 years old.
    Chip was in the Navy. He joined the Navy rather that be drafted into the Army. He as in the CBs and had two tours in Vietnam. He had taken an assignment on a water purification barge in the Indian Ocean. He was to receive an early out as a result. In the winter of 1970 the barge he was assigned to blew up and scalded him to death. He was 22 years old.
    I miss both of these guys terribly and think of them often. Terry’s name is on the Vietnam Memorial wall, but Chip’s is not because he did not die in Vietnam. The war was the cause. He would not have died otherwise.

  • Mimi

    It seems we are all orphans of a war or another. My father died the day before I turned six, from various diseases he had contracted in a japaneese concentration camp. My father was an engineer, not a career military, who was drafted as every french man during ww 2 and he chose to go to Indochina rather than the german front. From what I have been told, he never said a word of what he had seen or suffered in the camp, except that the craziness of men had no limits, and that war was the craziest thing men had invented.
    One would hope that rulers of the world would learn lessons from others but they don’t. Hitler thought he would succeed where Napoleon had failed. The french thought they would succeed in VN where the the chineese had failed for centuries. Americans thought they would succeed where the french had failed. Russians thought they would succeed in Afghanistan where the british had failed, now Nato think they can succeed where the russians failed…and so on. An endless story of broken lives, tears and sorro- always in the name of an honorable cause- wich profits only go to the industries of war, while we pay the price.

    Big hugs to all
    xxx mimi

  • frank

    I am not totally sure why I’m writing so much about this topic…. Is it because I’m now on Medicare? or something else!!!!!
    Susan and I took her Mom to the cemetery this morning. Even though her Mother is 88 she got right down and started cleaning the grave of her husband. It was such a beautiful day in southeast Arizona.
    I came home and started working on the roof of our new entrance (I’m totally redoing our house) by carrying concrete tile up on the roof. I got hot and came down for some terrific scotch (that my nieces husband gave me for Xmas) and started thinking…ho ho dangerous!!!
    Story #1
    In the summer of 1964, I got a job at the Copper Smelter in Anaconda, Mt.. On my time off, I often met Henry Lussy and Ronnie Moe in the alley behind Henry’s parents house. (They lived out in the new addition…although the new addition was built in 1950 and it still goes by that name.) Henry was working and building a 1932 Ford pick-up, Ronnie was always working on his cherry 1934 Dodge Brother’s coupe, and I was trying to get my 1953 Willies car to run (Yes, Willies made cars at one time). It may have been the first and only time I felt like a true American kid…being from that outcast society of a Third Culture World. We always had music blaring and one of the songs that was popular in that part of the country at that time was by a French-Canadian singer called Lousia Starr. It was called the French Song! I would tell Henry and Ronnie that I was reminded of a girl call Mich… (MiMi) that I knew in the Paris Of The Orient….and if Saigon was the Paris of the Orient …MiMi was the Brigit Bardot of the Orient. Well anyways, that summer was good.

    I would eventually get my B.S. in 1972, Henry would never get his degree, and good looking, very intelligent Ronnie Moe would shortly get his degree and go and step on a land mine in South Vietnam! When Henry called me and told me about Ronnie, all I said was that is too bad. I had no glue on what else to say! …….I wondered how long his parents (Ronnie was an only child) kept his Dodge Brother’s Coupe.
    In 1969, I was stationed 13 miles from Las Vegas, Nevada. It was terrible duty…guarding several hundred atomic bombs. Very spit and polish! (What happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas I suppose!!) Every 8 days we would get a 48 hour pass,,,….unless there was a funeral detail. On one beautiful Saturday several of us got picked for just such duty. We did not want it.
    I got assigned to be in the salute squad, which I thought was better than carrying the gasket. That particular day we were given permission to drive our POV’s to the cemetery and our weapons (we were issued M-1) would come in a Van. On the way, we stopped at a seven/eleven type store and bought some Ripple, which we all shared out in the parking lot.
    The Chapel was on small hill and the sidewalk would wind down from the Chapel to the grave sight below. The squad I was in was off to the side so that we would not be too close when we fired the salute. The fellow we were to bury was a young Marine killed in Vietnam by the name of Gary Judd. Well as the procession started from the Chapel down the hill…someone in our squad started saying “Here Comes The Judd” (Do you remember the comedian Flip Wilson and “Here Comes The Judge”?) Well we all started singing it. Fortunately, no one else could hear us. I know we did not mean disrespect…all of us were Vietnam Vets at that time…I think it was our way of coping… I would like to think that Gary Judd would have felt honored on how his fellow Marines handled it!!! I’ll always remember his name!!

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