My grandfather, Wilbur C Arrington in 1944
June 6th is the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings on the coast of France. The amazing thing is that the whole operation was kept secret and it was a huge gamble. It was such a gamble that General Eisenhower wrote two letters to announce the landings – one if it was successful and the other one if the landings failed. At least 4,000 allied soldiers died on that day.
My Dad was a US Marine in Vietnam and my grandfather served in the 100th Infantry Division during World War II. Much to the chagrin of my mother I was interested in military service growing up. I thought the uniforms and equipment were cool and I like to camp, right? I had no idea about the mental and physical costs to paid serving in the military. It is nothing like the Hollywood version of war (Platoon, Saving Private Ryan, and Band of Brothers excepted). I tip my hat to all those who serve or have served in the military.
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 the guns fell silent across the Western Front in Europe. That’s why we mark November 11th as Veteran’s Day to honor not only our war dead (like my father, pictured on the right) but to celebrate the living men and women who put themselves in harms way. Raise a glass to honor and thank them all and hope, one day, no other sons and daughters, moms or dads, or brothers and sisters have to go to war. Here’s a classic poem about war titled “In Flanders Fields”:
Today is Memorial Day when we honor those who have served and/or died for this country. One of those military members was my Dad. He was killed in Vietnam in 1968. To those members of the Armed Forces who answered their country’s call, I tip my hat and say thanks.
I created a memorial page for my Dad so I can honor him every day of the year not just on Memorial Day. He was killed in action in Vietnam in February 1968.
Memorial Day Tribute to Michael John Kelly KIA 2-15-1968