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Monday, May 26, 2014

A Flag and a Flower for the Fallen...

Aloha,

On Sunday, our eldest son (6) was one of hundreds of Tiger Cubs and Scouts who met at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific for an annual Memorial Day weekend ceremony.

Like many others, we made this visit to the "Punchbowl" a family event and once in our staging area, I decided to walk a random row of flat granite markers.

Each person had died during World War II and I soon noticed a similarity.

21.

24.

22.

It was the age of the service member when he died that struck me the most.

They were so young.

Gosh, they were so young...

Thankfully, these fallen, these heroes of the Greatest Generation, are among the thousands who will never be forgotten - especially at this time of the year.

It was truly an amazing experience to see the kids, who handled flash flood conditions with aplomb and style as they quickly transformed what is already a place of peace and tranquility into a field of patriotism and pride.

These pictures speak for themselves (click to enlarge)

A section dedicated to World War II fallen (pre-event)




Col. H. W. Weir served in two World Wars. Can you imagine?




The Cubs and Scouts get to work between rainstorms



Son No. 1 stops to read a grave marker...



About 15 mins after the Scouts began...



The rain was no match for the Scouts' determination






The Scouts made sure to salute every grave marker - even the last one

No one was forgotten...






Done, Son No. 1 asked if he could write a personal note...






...and said he would like to leave the note there...






 
"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty."                                        - President John F. Kennedy
 
 
 






21 comments:

S.P. Bowers said...

Your posts on this day are always so touching and moving. Thank you.
And thanks to your son (and you for raising him well).

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

What a wonderful thing to do, not only to honor those who fell while serving our country, but for the young scouts so that they would understand and appreciate the sacrifice.

CWMartin said...

Check out the wiki article for Captain HW Cook, whose grave you showed:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvey_Weir_Cook

And a tiny headstone like that. He deserved more. They all do.

Red Shoes said...

They were kids... weren't they?

I remind my classes from time to time that the average age of an aircraft commander in WWII was 24... and that young men their age were flight engineers... gunners... navigators.

The message your son left is very touching.

I always feel that when I read a name aloud from a headstone, that the spirit of that individual hears it.

Thank you for writing this...

~shoes~

Elise Fallson said...

Yes, they were so young...
So many lives lost... ):
Hugs to you and your family.

Elephant's Child said...

Too young. Way too young. And those that came home were never young again.

Elizabeth Marro said...

Lovely post. And yes, way too young.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I've read a lot of Memorial Day posts today but yours brought the most tears.

Melanie Schulz said...

I have to imagine Memorial Day in Hawaii has to be really something. All those graves...

Karen Walker said...

This is so very special, Mark Thanks for sharing. There is something so moving about honoring those who fell trying to keep us and our country safe.
Thanks for your comment on my blog yesterday, too.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

It is so sad to die so young. That was a great generation. We totally look like whiners compared to them.

what a great way to spend the day with the kids.

Melissa said...

This is just... there are no words.
Great post, Mark. Hug those boys for me.

Mary Aalgaard said...

That note brought a tear to my eye. My Boy Scouts also helped at the cemetery yesterday, hanging flags. I posted a few pics, also, on my blog. Wonderful, meaningful experience for all involved.
Play off the Page

quietspirit said...

Your entry touched me. I live in Indiana. The Indinapolis airport was originall named for Harvey Weir Cook. I didn't know he was buried in Hawaii. Give your oldest son a hug for me. I was touched by his desire to leave a personal note.

Linda said...

Too young indeed. A lovely, touching post.

Johanna Garth said...

My son took part in a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington Cemetery and I had the same thought. Just little boys, really. Closer in age to my 9 year old than me. Heart-wrenching!

Donna Hole said...

A beautiful tribute Mark; thanks for sharing.

Tammy Theriault said...

Amazing they got to be a part of it!

Nick Wilford said...

It looks like a very moving occasion and it's so important for the young generation to understand the sacrifices that were made.

LD Masterson said...

I have had the privilege of watching my Scouts - sons and grandson - decorate the graves at our local veterans' cemetery. It always breaks my heart and fills me with pride at the same time.

Thank you for a lovely post.

Nicole said...

Sounds like a powerful way to honor and remember the fallen.

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