Friday, May 26, 2006

Memorial Day 2006 - A Day to Remember

I'll post this a bit early so we can savor the meaning of Memorial Day a bit longer than a single busy day.

Time to honor our Military. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard. Each and every service has given in the form of men and women lost during conflicts over the past 200 years.

I'll center on two things important to close and personal, another a bit more general.

1st LT. Paul K. DeLand, Sr., my Father....retired with three purple hearts and a mind wounded much more than any damage the flesh wounds caused him. He fought thru much of Italy, and a part of S. France before suffering a breakdown then labeled "battle fatigue".

His military doctors retired him and told my Mother he'd never work again. He defied them and worked for many years including in his own business, a printshop. He never spoke of the war; nor did he spend any time I knew reliving it, although in quiet times I am sure he had no choice.

He did tell of the times on R&R in Italy, and awakening one morning with loudspeakers informing he and his three companions...thru the Italian Wine Fog which he said was tell him he was parked in his jeep in a mine field. They managed to walk them out. Other less-serious events also were retold. Nothing of the actual war.

He was a credit to his family, his country and to freedom we all enjoy and which was partially bought with his body and soul.

A salute to a loving father who is always remembered.

My second salute is to the United States Coast Guard....probably the most-overlooked of the services and one serving at war and peace.....As a retired National Staff Branch Chief in the USCG Auxiliary, I joined every year of my active service in the annual memorial for the USS Blackthorn, sunk in Tampa Bay with the loss of 11 Coasties. Semper Paratus!

You too are remembered.

The salute, Semper Paratus, has also been offered by David at Gratuitous Advice.

A Memorial Day gathering of salutes has been initiated by Lorie Byrd at Wizbang, her new blogging home.

Join me in reflection this weekend, my friends and fellow benefactors of the lives, limbs and hearts given so freely by our Military!