Monday, May 26, 2014

A Day of Memories - Memorial Day 2014

Memorial Day is a very personal day for this old sailor.  Each year my mind goes back in time as I remember shipmates with whom I sailed, but never returned to homeport with the ship and crew.  A few I knew, a few I didn't.. A few that I knew long ago, but time and age have erased the memory of their names and their faces.

   One I do remember in name and face.  I was a young sailor attached to an Attack Squadron in the Tonkin Gulf.  He was one of our pilots I had come to know as my division officer.  He was shot down over Hanoi and never returned to the ship and as far as I know, never returned to the United States and remains where he died.  During the height of the Cold War Three others I knew when attached to an antisubmarine warfare squadron .  Pilot, co-pilot and senso tech rest in their aircraft at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea, and so many I didn't know.  Those shipmates blown off a flight deck during night flight ops in the North Atlantic.  The shipmate on a fast frigate also washed overboard while on midwatch in a stormy North Atlantic.   Each one of these men made the ultimate sacrifice.  No individual died more gallant than the other.  They all died the same, in the service of our nation.  Each one had family, had life plans and career goals.  Each one died bravely and still remain at sea with no gravestone or flowers.  Each one with honor and dignity in our service.  Today I think of each of you.

  May God bless everyone and your Memorial Day weekend be filled with joy and laughter.  My shipmates would want it that way!

Fair Winds and Following Seas,
The Old Sailor

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