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Memorial Day Tribute

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Eulogy For A Veteran

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the mornings hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds in circled flight,

I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry, I am not there,

I did not die.

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The History Of Taps

The bugle call Taps had its origins on a battle field of the Civil War. After the Union suffered a large number of casualties in a battle near Richmond Virginia. Brigade Commander Colonel Daniel Butterfield reflected with sadness upon the men he had lost. Unable to compose music, he hummed a melody which his aide wrote down in musical notation. The company bugler played it that night to honor their dead comrades. It was officially recognized by the United States Army in 1874. Accompanied by the drumbeat muffled, it is the highest honor given to those who have died in service to our country.

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Freedom Is Not Free

I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze
A young Marine saluted it, and then
He stood at ease.

I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud
With hair cut square and eyes alert
He'd stand out in any crowd.

I thought, how many men like him
Had fallen through the years?
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers' tears?
How many Pilots' planes shot down?
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves?
No, freedom is not free.

I heard the sound of taps one night,
When everything was still.
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.

I wondered just how many times
That taps had meant "Amen"
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend.

I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.

I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington

No, Freedom isn't free!!

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Normandy, France - June 6, 1944flag.gif (12532 bytes)

Now it's our turn. Men scrambled to their feet, equipment is adjusted, life belts made more secure, for all around us artillery shells are falling and already several boats have been hit. The coxswain signals me that we're about to touch down, the ramp is lowered and the Sgt. and I stepped off into four feet of water. I look behind and the men are already off the boat and scattered for protection against the bullets which are singing around us. we had about 500 yards of water to cross, we couldn't run because the water was too deep, we couldn't crouch, we couldn't do anything except just what we did, wade into shore...

Lt. Col. Alfred Birra, US Army.

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USS Arizona "That Terrible Day"

The battleship Arizona served with pride and distinction in the U.S. Navy from 1916 until 1941. Among the many duties the ship performed was service with the British Grand Fleet at the end of World War I, taking President Hoover on a cruise of the Caribbean in 1931, providing aid after the 1933 Long Beach earthquake and serving as a location for the filming of the movie Here Comes the Navy. Tragically, the ship is familiar to most people because on December 7th, 1941 the USS Arizona was sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor with the loss of over eleven hundred crew members.

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A Bad Day At Bu Dop

In March 1967 two Special Forces soldiers sacrificed their lives in an obscure battle that could have changed the course of the war in Vietnam.

By Major John F. Mullins, U.S. Army (ret.)

In 1965, in response to the near collapse of South Vietnam's army, the United States began committing ground combat troops to the war. By 1967, nearly 400,000 troops were in-country, with more to follow.

The American military consumed prodigious amounts of supplies. Added to the normal needs for ammunition, food, clothing and fuel were the luxuries considered necessary to keep the citizen-soldiers happy.

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