Print this story

2012 Year in Review...May. Memorial Day: Take time to say thanks.

POSTED December 25, 2012
BY Rick Wilson
Twitter: @scribewilson


                                          Memorial Day: Take time to say thanks 

            Did they ever shoot a basket, toss a football or belt a baseball? Probably. Somewhere along the line they grew up and did what most kids do even if they never pursued it as the years passed. Maybe it wasn’t their thing.

            Does it matter? Not one little bit, especially this weekend. They gave it all up so you could do it all and more if it is your thing. And they’re not around to see you do it all, they knew that was a possibility. But they knew it was worth it.

            They knew it wasn’t just about their today but your tomorrow and they were willing to fight for it. And, they died for it. For some it was a choice, for others not so much. But they didn’t shy away from it all.

            So we should think about this Memorial Day weekend and verbalize a thanks or whisper it but let them know. In between bites of the grilled hamburger think about it. In between innings of the family whiffle ball  game think about it.

            While having the cocktail with conversation, think about Thomaston’s Tom Reeves who died at Pearl Harbor on the USS California and earned the Congressional Medal of Honor. The hardest of ways. Say thanks to former Shepaug baseball great Steve Reich who died in a helicopter crash while serving his country and left a young family.

            While watching the Red Sox or Yankees, think about it.  Say thanks to Pat Tilman, who gave up millions of dollars and a football career to serve in the military and never made it back home.

            While watching your parades march through town Monday morning, think about it. Say thanks to all the veterans who fought and shot and saw men die to we could do our thing. Even in tough economic times think about what we have and somehow say thanks. .

            When Taps is played and maybe some doves are released, depending on your ceremony,  say thanks. Think about those who have come and gone and served gallantly. Those on the beaches of Normandy for D-Day, many cut down in the water by merciless German gun fire.

            Those at Pearl Harbor who went to the bottom with Tom Reeves. The fighters at Anzio and the Battle of the Bulge in Europe and Iwo Jima and the Solomon Islands in the Pacific.

            Those in Korea, the war that got more publicity in recent times from the TV show M*A*S*H  than any other medium. Think about the more than 50,000 that were lost there.

            Say thanks to the Vietnam vets who fought an unpopular war were not welcomed home yet did their duty because they were asked to with more than 57,000 giving up tomorrow.

            Iraq and Afghanistan. Say thanks, think about them. Don’t forget the Civil War, we all lost its share  out of the 620,000 who died in a battle for our country and our soul with slavery the major issue.

            Do yourself a favor and listen to the roll call of those who served and have died in all wars when it is read at your Veterans Parks  Monday. Instead of going home after the ceremony, go to the park and listen and say thanks.

            We will ask for good weather and eat, drink and be merry this weekend. We will gather with family and friends and watch and play our sports. It is a holiday weekend.

            But, we will do all that because of those  who gave up their tomorrows so the future could enjoy its todays. Think about that, say thanks. It is the very least we could do. Smile and shed a tear, that’s okay too.

For more from Rick Wilson click here