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•   Joanne Crotzer (Rusk)  5/31
•   Lynn Marie Harris  6/8
•   Marilyn Miller (Michael)  6/10
•   Paul Anthony Zielinski  6/13
•   Nettie Lee Crawford  6/16
•   James F "Jim" Gill  6/16
•   Steven W Smith  6/21


•   Ronald Hay  2018
•   Patricia Ann "Patti" Lackey (Waldrip)  2008
•   Devie Russell  2017
•   William David "Dave" Moore  1974
•   Johnny Lowe  2016
•   John De Los Santos  2016
•   Susan Michels (Frazor)  2016
•   Carolyn Tedrow  2014
•   Michael E. McNulty 
•   Judy Lynn Shows (Brown)  2012
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•   C. M. (Chuck) Parham (Parham)  5/21
•   Bill Leggett  5/15
•   Karen McCarty (Fink)  5/15
•   Louise Ybarra (Christensen)  3/23
•   Brenda Day  3/17
•   R. E. Herky Veatch  3/9
•   Rhonda Berning (Zinn)  2/11
•   Margaret W. "Peggy" Ware (Koger)  1/6
•   Donna Birkenbuel  1/3
•   Barbara Dell Buzbee (Thompson)  1/2
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Americans have lost an understanding of the significance of Memorial Day. Memorial Day is not about the start of summer, the end of school, getting 10% off at the hardware store, or hanging out at the beach. Memorial Day is absolutely NOT about veterans; please don’t thank us for our service, and Do NOT tell us to have a Happy Memorial Day! Memorial Day is supposed to be a somber day where we remember those whom we have lost so that this nation might live.  

May 5th, 1868, General John Logan, the Commander in Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic (a predecessor of the veterans organizations we know today), called for a nationwide day of remembrance. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed. His goal was to unify the various decoration days celebrating those lost during the Civil War into a single day of remembrance. Originally designated to remember those lost in the Civil War, after World War I the day came to memorialize all those who died in the service of the United States in all wars dating back to the Revolution, and in 1971 was changed from the 30th of May to the last Monday in May.

On the 19th of April, 1775 Private Abner Hosmer and Captain Isaac Davis led the vanguard of militia and Minutemen as they advanced on the British Regulars amassed near the Concord North Bridge. This bold step in the birth of this nation cost them their lives as they were struck down in a volley of musket fire. Their sacrifice was the launching pad towards eventual American independence.

July 18, 1863, Colonel Robert Gould Shaw led the charge of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment against the ramparts of Fort Wagner. During the attack, Colonel Shaw was struck and killed along with 29 of his men. While Fort Wagner was never taken, Colonel Shaw and his men showed that men of color were just as brave and dedicated to preserving the Union as their white counterparts.

On October 6th, 1918, 2ndLt Erwin Bleckley and 1st Lt. Harold E. Goettler, US Army Air Service, returned from a mission searching for the “Lost Battalion” with an aircraft full of holes from accurate German fire. Determined to find, and resupply, their beleaguered comrades, they borrowed another aircraft and headed out again. Warned by squadron commander Capt. Daniel P. Morse that a second sortie would be exceedingly more difficult and hazardous, Bleckley was quoted: "We'll make the delivery or die in the attempt!" They both perished on that mission, but the Allied armies persisted and rescued the “Lost Battalion.”

November 29 and 30, 1943 near Cerasuolo, Italy, outnumbered, outgunned and outflanked, Private Mikio Hasemoto and his Squad Leader Sergeant Allan Masaharu Ohata, of the 100th Infantry Battalion (Separate) repeatedly repelled the assaults of German infantry. Continuously exposing themselves to withering fire, the two soldiers held the line for two days, repelling every assault and killing more than 50 enemy soldiers before Private Hasemoto was struck down.
June 2nd, 1951, during a battle for Hill 543 near the village of Chipo-ri, Sergeant Cornelius Charlton took command of his platoon after its commanding officer was injured, leading it on three successive assaults of the enemy hill. Charlton continued to lead the attack despite mortal wounds until Chinese troops occupying it were destroyed, saving his platoon.

September 4, 1967 in Quang Tin Province, RVN, LT Vincent Capodanno, the Battalion Chaplain for 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, left the relative safety of the company command post and ran through an open area raked with fire, directly to a beleaguered platoon where he disregarded intense enemy fire to administer last rites to the dying and give medical aid to the wounded. Wounded and losing a portion of his right hand, he refused medical aid. He directed the aid of the wounded. Lt. Capodanno was struck down by a burst of machine gun fire while rushing to aid a wounded Corpsman.

On December 6, 2006, Major Megan McClung, head of public affairs for I Marine Expeditionary Force in Al Anbar Province Iraq, was in charge of embedded journalists. While escorting a crew of Newsweek journalists into downtown Ramadi, a massive improvised explosive device (IED) destroyed Maj. McClung’s vehicle, instantly killing her and the other two occupants. Maj. McClung became the first female graduate of the United States Naval Academy to die in combat.

May 12, 2015, Capt. Dustin R. Lukasiewicz; Capt. Christopher L. Norgren; Sgt. Ward M. Johnson IV; Sgt. Eric M. Seaman; Cpl. Sara A. Medina; and Lance Cpl. Jacob A. Hug of Task Force 505 were executing disaster relief operations in Nepal when their UH-1Y crashed returning from a mission in bad weather. They perished in service of others.

On this Memorial Day, take time to remember those who have fallen in every war, operation, and exercise so that you have the luxury to live in this great country. If you must thank someone, thank the family members who are left behind for their sacrifice. 

David Erik Andersen, USMC (ret.)


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