My ancestors paid the ultimate sacrifice in the Revolutionary War (1775 – 1783), the Civil War 1861 – 1865), World War 1 (1914 – 1918), World War 11 (1939 – 1935) and the Korean Conflict (1950 – 1953). To my knowledge my family members escaped death in Viet Nam, Desert Storm, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
I entered the first grade at Haw Creek Elementary School in Asheville, N. C. in the fall of 1951. I think it was in mid 1952 when the word came that my mother’s brother Warren Fox had been killed in the line of duty. And then just months before the war ended, and one day before he was to begin his journey home to Cleveland, S.C., the word came to my grand parents that my father’s brother, L.G. Ogle, had been shot in the head by a sniper as he walked guard duty on his last duty assignment.
War is hell for those who answer a knock on the front door and see two uniformed military men, nothing needs to be said at that point. The only question is “When?”. It is hell for young wives and small children who after the military funeral have a few pictures and a neatly folded American flag to replace a husband and daddy.
So, on this Memorial Day let us remember the fallen heroes and their loved ones who paid the most precious price for our liberty. My family is typical of most American families. Our ancestors reached the shores of America swept along with the dream of a better life, a life of liberty, a chance to make their own way, to worship their God as their hearts dictated, and to have peace and happiness. They fought to the bitter end to keep that liberty and to pass it to the next generation, and the next, and the next, and…every month young wives get the dreaded news, another loved one is gone.
There are some things worth dying for. There are some things so precious that families are willing to see their precious children get on a train and go off to war to defend them knowing well it might be a one way trip.
We must never forget those who paid for our liberty in blood and tears. On the beach at Normandy France, in the fields of Germany, in the waters of the worlds oceans, and the sands of the middle east, American blood blotted out tyranny and oppression and gave promise that our shared dreams will not become a night mare.
God bless our brave men and women from the lowest grunt to the Commander-in-Chief. Please God, bless America, and bless the memory of our fallen heroes.