Tom Herrington

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*** 5/27/2002

ALWAYS REMEMBER ~

Tom Herrington (1956)

 I don't look upon myself as much more than average in most respects. But, I do find myself reflecting on Memorial Day in a way that, I guess, is private to me. Part of my thoughts have to do with where and how I grew up. Part is from having served in the military.

For most, this day is a day off from work. One can play, work in the yard, watch TV, cook out, or just lounge about ... But for me:

I remember that I live in the best country ever known to mankind. We may differ in our attitudes about what (and how) our government should do for us (or, at times, to us), but we have freedom(s) that are envied by all those who do not live here and can understand the concept(s) thereof...

This freedom did not come to us easy. It may be written down on paper in the Declaration of Independence and delineated further in the Constitution, but neither of those documents gave us anything more than an intention to take charge of our own lives - and what the basic rules are for living together in this country.

Being documents, they cannot provide anything more than a framework by which we conduct ourselves.

What HAS guaranteed our way of life HAS NOT been political parties, laws, courts, etc. It HAS been THOSE who were willing to sacrifice their lives so that WE may continue on with what we do, and how we live ... I pause to remember ...   And to reflect....

A quote from President Bush at Normandy today. ''Each person buried here understood his duty, but also dreamed of going back home to the people and things he knew. The day will come when no one is left who knew them. ... The day will never come when America forgets them. Our nation, and the world, will always remember what they did here, what they gave here, for the future of humanity.''

I have been to Normandy, it is impressive. But it is not the only place where our fallen are resting. There are other sites almost literally all over the world where our loved ones gave their lives that we might live as we do. They were not selfish - they GAVE ALL THEY HAD.

I am thankful.....

When the portable "Viet  Nam Wall" was being moved about the country, I gave a good sized donation so that it could be viewed in our remote part of the country. I know some of those names on that wall. I count myself very lucky indeed that my name is not also there. It may have been an unpopular war, but those who died there did their best, and gave the ultimate - FOR US!  

I don't want to sound too "gooey," but I do understand that except for those who gave their all for us, I would not have what I enjoy

I hope that I will always be able to remember ...     

 

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