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Memorial Day

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My grandfather, who I was named after, was born in Paris, Arkansas.  I’m honestly not sure what year.  I never paid much attention to that sort of thing.  It was somewhere around 1920. 

He moved to St. Louis and met my grandmother, a second-generation Italian.  They conceived my father in 1941 and my grandfather shipped off in the Army before he was born. 

Although his military records were lost in a fire, we know a little bit.  He was a radio operator in the infantry.  He was in North Africa, Sicily and Italy which means that he may have served under General Patton.  We don’t know.

When the war in Europe ended, he was marching through northern Italy toward Berlin with the intention of finishing the job.  After Hitler committed suicide in his bunker, my grandfather turned toward the French coast with orders to get on a ship and head to the South Pacific to help finish off the Japanese. 

Before he boarded the ship, Truman authorized the dropping of two atomic bombs on major Japanese cities and the Japanese surrendered soon thereafter.  My grandfather still climbed on board the ship but this time it was to bring him to the United States. 

Ships and trains brought him back to his wife and child in St. Louis.  My father was now three years old and remembers meeting his father for the first time.  Seeing him walk down an alley, still in uniform, carrying his duffle bag. 

Sixty plus years later, my son (also named after my grandfather) and I stood at the same spot, in the same alley in St. Louis talking to my father on the phone.  The third and the fourth talking to Junior where he first met Senior.

After the war, my grandfather worked for RCA in St. Louis.  He used to talk about having built a projection TV in the late 1940’s.  They used to test it at night by projecting images on the GE building across the street.  He also said that it probably produced so many X-Rays that it wasn’t safe to be in the room with it.

RCA took him and his family from St. Louis, to Jackson, Mississippi, to Albuquerque, New Mexico installing radio towers.  They had two more kids a long the way.  My Aunt Betty and my Uncle Fred.  Their last move took them to Somerdale, New Jersey in 1954.  He worked at RCA’s broadcast division in Camden until he retired in the mid-1980’s.  Their fourth child, my Uncle Dave was born in 1960.  Just 10 months before I was born myself.

My grandfather went to work every day.  Took his family on long vacations around the country and filled the family room in his house with books about World War II.  He also had a penchant for Southern Comfort and obscene limericks at family gatherings.  Usually after the young ones went to sleep.

He never talked about the war with anybody in the family.  Maybe with some of his contemporaries but we don’t know. 

One of my great regrets is that I never sat down and made him tell me about the war.  What he saw there and what he did there.  He passed away in 1994.  I was 33 years old and should have known better.

I’m sure that some in my family could correct things in this story but this is the way that I remember it so this is the way that I tell it.

I always cry when I tell this story and this time isn’t any different.

We all have great-grandparents, grandparents, parents, children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and other family members who have served.  We all have our stories and our memories.  

I would like to wish everyone a happy, healthy and, most of all, thoughtful, Memorial Day weekend.  Remember it isn’t all burgers, dogs and parades.  It’s much more. 

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Received this email from Rocky Mountain Reloaders (RMR).

"Memorial Weekend is here.  I'm not ever really sure what to do for Memorial Weekend.  We have customers that always want to see a sale and we have customers that think we should stop selling out of reverence.  This is one of those times where it is hard to please everyone.  I personally choose to believe that those who have passed wouldn't want us to stop life for them.  In so many cases, those we remember on this day offered themselves as the sacrifice needed to ensure that our lives go on.  While they didn't want to die, they summoned their courage and their love for their fellow man enough to go and do the job that needed doing in order to preserve our freedom and our lives.  How humbling it is to me, as a father of 6, to think of those children offered up on the altar of freedom.  I can only imagine the pain their parents and family went through knowing their once giggling babies were being offered up and that their bright futures would never happen.  So many have hung a gold star in their window.  So many are not here so that we could be.  I thank God that they existed.  I pray that we don't take their sacrifice lightly.  Our country is at a breaking point and I fear that our liberty is at stake.  There are wispers and rumors of wars to come.  I only hope we can stop for a moment and remember those who have already fought so that we don't have to do it again.  Our ancestors have already sacrificed enough.  We need only remember.

My wife and I (and a few of our children) watched some great documentaries on Amazon Prime last night.  I highly recommend these titles for anyone who wants to know a little about what we are trying to remember this Memorial Weekend.  "Dick Winters Hang Tough" "D-day at Pointe-Du-Hoc" and "The Battle of Chosin." 
If you watch these shows you may want to have some tissues on hand. There are a lot more on Amazon or Netflix to watch, but I also recommend that you get out and spend time in our wonderful America.  They gave it to us for us to enjoy.  Let's not waste it."

Spot on.  If you a reloader or are thinking of getting into reloading they are a great company to deal with.     

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16 hours ago, Displaced Texan said:

Seems to be lost on too many people these days. 

Including this person.

On Memorial Day weekend, Kamala outdoes Obama’s self-centeredness - American Thinker

I for one have not forgotten why this is a 'long weekend'.

I'm cross posting this on the VP thread.

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1 hour ago, 45Doll said:

That's heartbreaking. 

Thats a little morbid and looks a bit staged. Saw another photo where the woman was laying on a blanket on the grave with a baby, not sure if its the same person or this is a thing now.

On another note the display in front of the local PD has a message "Happy Memorial Day because of the brave". :slap: 

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9 hours ago, 45Doll said:

Including this person.

On Memorial Day weekend, Kamala outdoes Obama’s self-centeredness - American Thinker

I for one have not forgotten why this is a 'long weekend'.

I'm cross posting this on the VP thread.

Compare to the previous VP's (Pence) tweets (from 2018)

https://mobile.twitter.com/vp45/status/1001102204969897986

"It is Memorial Day in America..the day when we remember those who served and did not come home. Their duty was to serve. Our duty is to remember. God bless our fallen heroes and their families. "

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1 hour ago, leahcim said:

Compare to the previous VP's tweets (from 2018)

2018 - Running for office.

2021 - In office.

QED

5 hours ago, Bomber said:

Thats a little morbid and looks a bit staged.

Staging crossed my mind. But in the absence of any other information, I took the photo at face value.

Regardless of the photo's authenticity, I'm quite sure there are widows in the country who feel exactly that way.

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13 minutes ago, 45Doll said:

2018 - Running for office.

2021 - In office.

QED

Sorry that was unclear, the 2018 tweet was from the previous VP (Pence), not a previous tweet from current VP. I doubt she has ever said or thought anything good about our fallen soldiers.

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10 hours ago, Bomber said:

Thats a little morbid and looks a bit staged. Saw another photo where the woman was laying on a blanket on the grave with a baby, not sure if its the same person or this is a thing 

Not staged.  Woman was the soldier's fiance.

https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/mary-mchugh-mourns-her-slain-fiance-sgt-james-regan-at-news-photo/74345338

 

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17 hours ago, Bomber said:

Thats a little morbid 

I didn't think it was morbid when my mother went to my dads grave and sat there after cleaning the site and talked to him. 

Took her a while to deal with his death. 

I'm sure there are plenty of Moms, dads and families that feel that way. 

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