Stop To Salute On Memorial Day

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by Palatka51, May 23, 2008.

  1. Palatka51

    Palatka51
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Messages:
    3,724
    Likes Received:
    0
    STOP TO SALUTE ON MEMORIAL DAY


    EAGLE BASE, Bosnia and Herzegovina (Army News Service, May 22, 2002) -- It was raining "cats and dogs," and I was late for physical training. Traffic was backed up at Fort Campbell, Ky., and was moving way too slowly. I was probably going to be late and I was growing more and more impatient.

    The pace slowed almost to a standstill as I passed Memorial Grove, the site built to honor the soldiers who died in the Gander airplane crash, the worst redeployment accident in the history of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). Because it was close to Memorial Day, a small American flag had been placed in the ground next to each soldier's memorial plaque.

    My concern at the time, however, was getting past the bottleneck, getting out of the rain and getting to PT on time. All of a sudden, infuriatingly, just as the traffic was getting started again, the car in front of me stopped. A soldier, a private of course, jumped out in the pouring rain and ran over toward the grove.

    I couldn't believe it! This knucklehead was holding up everyone for who knows what kind of prank. Horns were honking. I waited to see the butt-chewing that I wanted him to get for making me late.

    He was getting soaked to the skin. His BDUs were plastered to his frame. I watched as he ran up to one of the memorial plaques, picked up the small American flag that had fallen to the ground in the wind and the rain, and set it upright again. Then, slowly, he came to attention, saluted, ran back to his car, and drove off.

    I'll never forget that incident. That soldier, whose name I will never know, taught me more about duty, honor, and respect than a hundred books or a thousand lectures.

    That simple salute -- that single act of honoring his fallen brother and his flag -- encapsulated all the Army values in one gesture for me. It said, "I will never forget. I will keep the faith. I will finish the mission. I am an American soldier."

    I thank God for examples like that. And on this Memorial Day, I will remember all those who paid the ultimate price for my freedom, and one private, soaked to the skin, who honored them.

    (Note: The author, Capt. John Rasmussen, is now a chaplain with Multinational Division North in Bosnia. Story courtesy of Army News Service.)

    today'sTHOT============================

    The bravest thing you can do when you are not brave is to profess courage and act accordingly.

    =======================================

    PASS IT ON!
    Yeah, you can send this Funny to anybody you want. And, if you're REAL nice, you'll tell them where you got it! www.mikeysFunnies.com

    ===============================

    http://www.mikeysFunnies.com

    MIKEY'S FUNNIES is a clean humor email list, sent every weekday...brought to you by Mike Atkinson @ http://www.uneekNet.com ... helping organizations succeed on the web
     
  2. David Lamb

    David Lamb
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Messages:
    2,982
    Likes Received:
    0
    The action seems very honourable and respectful, but how was the saluting soldier to know whether one of the vehicles he was holding up was taking a desperately ill person to hospital, a person for whom just a few seconds might be a matter of life or death?
     
  3. NiteShift

    NiteShift
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Messages:
    2,034
    Likes Received:
    0
    Good troop!

    Morning traffic on military posts is always bad. Anyone hauling a desperately ill person would be out of luck regardless.
     
  4. David Lamb

    David Lamb
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Messages:
    2,982
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sorry. I assumed that "Fort Campbell, Ky" was a town or city, like Fort Worth, Texas.
     
  5. NiteShift

    NiteShift
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Messages:
    2,034
    Likes Received:
    0
    No, it's still a functioning post.
     
  6. ktn4eg

    ktn4eg
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,517
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ft. Campbell straddles the TN-KY border and is located between Clarksville TN and Hopkinsville KY. It is the home of the famed 101st Airborne Division.

    For many years I worked on a bus route that ran through the housing areas on Ft. Campbell. One precious little girl that came on my bus was the daughter of a soldier who was on that ill-fated airplane that crashed at Gander.

    Although it's been almost 25 years since that incident, I still remember the shock and grief that gripped the entire Ft. Campbell community at that time. I can still recall how excited little Krissy was because Daddy was coming home for Christmas after being away for almost a year. She never got the only present she ever wanted that year.

    It still continues today. It's rare for a month to go by without Ft. Campbell losing at least one soldier in the war in Iraq.

    Regardless of how one feels about the current situation in Iraq, we must certainly honor the sacrifices of our fallen military heroes--an amazing legacy that extends from Bunker Hill to Baghdad.

    And, while doing so, let's not forget the sacrifices of those other real heroes--the loved ones they left behind.
     
  7. David Lamb

    David Lamb
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Messages:
    2,982
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've had another thought about this whole situation. Is it not a strange kind of "respect" that depends on being stuck in a traffic jam near the memorial?
     
  8. NiteShift

    NiteShift
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Messages:
    2,034
    Likes Received:
    0
    Aw come on Dave. The private noticed that the little memorial flag had fallen, and took a few seconds to correct the situation. He was on a military post, the traffic behind him was service members or their families. But if one is determined to find fault here, one certainly can.
     
  9. David Lamb

    David Lamb
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Messages:
    2,982
    Likes Received:
    0
    You're right. I know nothing about you Memorial Day. I also seem to have misunderstood the point - that the main purpose of his stopping was to pick up the fallen flag, rather than, as the headline said, to "STOP TO SALUTE ON MEMORIAL DAY".

    I apologise. I will try to stick to things I know at least something about in future. But rest assured, it was a misundestanding, definitely not a determination to find fault. Sorry!
     
  10. NiteShift

    NiteShift
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Messages:
    2,034
    Likes Received:
    0
    No problem sir. Feel free to comment at any time!
     

Share This Page

Loading...