Friday, May 22, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend - 2009

It is right and it is our duty to remember our fallen warriors

It's going to be beautiful here in Oregon this weekend, clear with temps in the 70s. I'm hoping for some time in the shop and garden. I'll watch the Indy with a good friend and my darlin' wife will occasionally look in on us. Maybe we'll barbeque. Monday I'll be a designated driver as we tour the local wineries for their annual tasting events.

Larry Swarbrick won't be able to make it.

On Memorial Day every year, and on most other days, I remember him. Fellow student, brother officer, fishing buddy, friend. Above all and forever, friend.

This seems so inadequate:

b. 4/8/1945
kia 8/13/1970

Larry was a big guy, huge really, a powerful Small-College All-American football player back in the days when there was such a thing. Funny, smart, handsome, loving … all the things we all want to be and too often fall short of. He was going to be a wonderful teacher and coach someday. Someday.

From a “Remembrance” of Larry on The Virtual Wall:

When Larry died, the NVA put up a poster: "We killed the giant." Larry was a big man in both size and character: a giant. We won't forget him.

Neither will I.

* * * * *

"If you are able, save for them a place inside of you....and save one backward glance when you are leaving for the places they can no longer go.....Be not ashamed to say you loved them....

Take what they have left and what they have taught you with their dying and keep it with your own....And in that time when men decide and feel safe to call the war insane, take one moment to embrace those gentle heroes you left behind...."

Quote from a letter home by Maj. Michael Davis O'Donnell
KIA 24 March 1970.

Larry, I loved you.

Keep the light on.

* * * * *

Through many dangers, toils, and snares
I have already come.
'Tis Grace hath brought me safe thus far
And Grace will lead me home.

Do you remember someone on Memorial Day, someone who gave his or her life so that others could be free? Would you like to say something to or about them here? "I remember. Thank you." would be perfectly fine.

Larry, I remember. Thank you.

And although I have no conscious memory of him, it would be remiss of me not to remember my father, Charles Eugene Stromme. He was a WW II bomber pilot, killed on a routine flight the day before my fourth birthday in 1950, shortly after he had been recalled to service.

Dad, I may not have known you well but I know who you were and what you did. Thank you. Say hello to Larry for me.

From "Teach Your Children" by Graham Nash:

Teach your children well
Their father's hell did slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picked, the one you'll know by.

No comments:

Post a Comment