Today is the day that the United States has chosen to honor those men and women who have selflessly served, fought, and sometimes died to preserve the freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution. In peacetime and in our wars, men and women went where the Commander-in-Chief and the Congress has asked them to go and to do what was asked of them to keep the borders and their families secure. It is to honor those people who have diligently completed those tasks and their stories were often written in their own blood.
My father, Edson Carl Beck, served in the Army during World War II. He was in the Philippines driving truck and assisting the chaplain there. Later, I found that he had visited Hiroshima in Japan. Like many soldiers, he didn’t talk about what he saw, but occasionally showed us a piece of shrapnel that injured him from an exploding bomb.
My father-in-law, Elmer “Bud” Morrison, serve d in the Army as well, during World War II. His battle station was in Germany and because of his skills, helped to build the Can-Am Highway, connecting the state of Washington with the state of Alaska through Canada. Because of the dedication of these workers, it was finished in record time.
I want to remember and honor the many friends and relatives who served, but I won’t mention them by name lest I forget one and make them think that I don’t respect them and what they did.
Although I served as a Naval Corpsman during the Vietnam War, I did want to remember one young man among the many who died there. Dewayne Barkley. As I grew up, he would visit his grandparents and we would play together as kids and became good friends. One thing left in my bucket list is to visit Washington D.C. and locate his name on the wall of the Vietnam Memorial.
Last Friday, I went to a service prepared and presented by Mt Carmel Christian School. It was remarkably well done, poignant, and represented each war the United States was involved in and honored each branch of our military. They also honored each service member in the audience by calling their name and personally thanking them.
I wish I could do the same and thank each and every member of the armed forces who are still on active duty, each one who have served who are living, and for those who have died. God bless each and every one of you.