Earlier while on the Classmates web site I posted on a thread about Memorial Day. I titled my post "Just another day" knowing that would get the attention of many! Eddie was somewhat shocked when I told him what I had done until I told him what I wrote...while it is a very special day set aside to honor those who have served...for me it is just another day to remember because I REMEMBER THEM EVERYDAY! Freedom is not free, it has come with a very hefty price tag in the lives of so many of our brightest and best!
I wrote in my post that I think of so many by name when ever I hear our National Anthem play...I remember their names and the tears fall.
Today I want to copy an article I wrote for the Salute newsletter in September 2006.
I WILL NOT FORGET
It is with a heavy heart that I write this...and whisper once again, I will remember ALWAYS...I WILL NOT FORGET.
I will not forget.
We were at Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) today to visit our Marines there...Marines because those are the contacts that we have. We are trying to find contacts to reach our other wounded men and women. At 0730 we were there as the Marines gathered for formation. We had not had a chance to talk to anyone yet so the news we heard hit us hard. I am thankful for my parents and the lessons they taught me, "Bad things happen but we must be strong, we must handle every situation as it comes with strength." In other words no "cry babies". I remember at Dad's funeral how each one of us, his seven children stood tall and proud and no crying there! That lesson helped as the Gunny told the Marines that they had to carry on though they had recently lost two of their own here at BAMC...the only name I heard was Cpl B (I am only using names where I have received permission or know it is fine with the person or family) and it stabbed at my heart. We had met him on our last visit and had been praying for him every day. (his story is in my journal and I will one day tell it here on our blog.) I looked at my husband and took a deep breath. I wanted to turn around and cry but I did not. While I did feel the "sweat" in my eyes I willed myself not to cry, not here, not now. I could do that later, would do that later. and forever I will remember him.
I will also forever remember LCpl S, a young Marine I never met but wrote to while he served in Iraq. I will never forget the day that I sat at my computer and opened an email from a Marine Mom I know. She had given me his address and that of her son, they were serving together. She told me that LCpl S had been killed on November 9th (2005). As I read her note I said "OH NO!" And it must have been louder than I thought because Eddie came quickly to the computer room to see what was wrong. We were alone so I could cry as he comforted me and we prayed for his family. I will keep the letter he wrote to me...I will always remember him.
The number of those lost to us grows and each death hurts. I wish there were no people out there who desired to hurt us, no terrorists who attacked us viciously on 9/11 and still want to kill Americans. There have been and may be more wars we will have to fight. The price of freedom is high. It has been purchased with the blood of those who have fought to protect us. Let us always remember those who fight to protect that freedom for us. Each time I hear our National Anthem or any patriotic song, I think of many of those we have lost; My father, Charles Gaudette who died in Okinawa while serving our country; Lt Mitchell and Cpl Duffy who were killed when my husband was wounded; and many others whose names are on the Vietnam Memorial; LCpl S and Cpl B from our current war...(and others who have been killed since this was originally written...
Cpl T from our Fox battery Marine Reserve unit and Cpl Steven Szwydek
whose parents we met in Washington DC.)
I will always remember them and their families, I promise I WILL!