Memorial Day

I was just watching the Memorial Day Concert on the West Grounds of the Capitol, when they replayed this video, recorded a few years ago by Charles Durning, a WWII Veteran. Durning survived the first wave of D-Day landing at Omaha Beach, the Battle of the Bulge and helped liberate one of the concentration camps.  He won the Silver Star.

In case you didn’t see it, I thought I’d share it with you.

John and I visited Normandy twice, once with my Dad and with a very young Jacob.  It’s a beautiful, terrifying, moving place.  But it isn’t the only place where soldiers and sailors and airmen (and women) have fought and died.  There are many of them around the world.

To veterans and soldiers everywhere, thanks.

29 Comments

Filed under History, Mental Health

29 responses to “Memorial Day

  1. Thanks for posting this – my Great Uncle Newt landed at Omaha beach – it’s good to refocus on what this holiday is really all about.

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    • Have you ever been there? It is such an amazing place to see. So moving. We had a most bizarre experience there, though: https://fiftyfourandahalf.com/2012/06/05/a-d-day-question/

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      • OMG – that was amazing. If you ask me, any of our guys who made the landing – by air or by sea – they all are heroes. My Uncle Newt was there from Normandy through the Battle of the Bulge and into Berlin. Tank Destroyer. He never ever talked about the action, just about the guys – I drove him to a reunion in Pendelton Oregon a few times – he loved his guys right up to the end.

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        • Yes, they are — what an amazing thing to ask of scared young men. Looking up those bluffs really made me think that their generation was aptly named.

          My Dad who served in the Pacific didn’t talk about the action until he met my husband (and then he never stopped!). I could never keep up because both knew so much of the history that I could never quite get the picture.

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  2. This is a very moving video, thank you for sharing.

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  3. This is a new one for me … simple awesome!

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    • Isn’t it amazing?

      Durning was the lead in one of the first Broadway dramas I’d ever seen. He was an amazingly talented actor. And I see, having watched this video, where he got his depth of feeling from. My word.

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  4. Thanks for sharing this day. I was not aware of this day!!

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  5. You would think, with as horrible as war is, there would be much less of it. Thank you for this reminder. Reading All Quiet on The Western Front, and Night, when I was in high school, cured me of any romantic notions of war. My thoughts and prayers are with all of those who made the ultimate sacrifice, and with their families.

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    • M2M,
      Strangely, I responded to your comment last night. But it isn’t here. How odd.

      Funny that you should mention All Quiet on the Western Front — I recently re-read it. Yes, it is a powerful incentive to keep people from war. But sadly, I don’t think it will ever stop.

      But I think that it’s important to honor folks who serve.

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  6. Though the quote comes from a British military cemetery, the words inscribed on the 2nd Division’s memorial are one of my dearest sayings:
    “When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say, ‘For Your Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today”. That, and a T-shirt design both my wife and I wear, showing 3 Vietnam GIs carrying a fourth on a stretcher: “All Gave Some, Some Gave All”.
    A great tribute to those “some”, Elyse. Well done!

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  7. I can’t even imagine what it was like. Thanks for the reminder of what this day is about.

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  8. Quite the emotional piece. Thank you for sharing it.

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  9. Thank you for sharing this.

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  10. kotikojafaridze

    Reblogged this on kotiko jafaridze.

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  11. Bbq’s, beer and burgers have over shadowed the true meaning of the day. Thanks for sharing.

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  12. That was difficult. How can we continue to war, to send our children? We see this footage yet vote for more. We hear these stories, yet vote for more.

    I can only ask, when does it end?

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    • Probably never, sadly. We are humans. But I’ve always thought that there are some things worth fighting for.

      And I really believe that it’s important to separate what we think about say, Iraq, from the people who fought there.

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