Memorial Day

A letter my dad wrote to a sibling of a fallen soldier, Maurice

Thanks for being so understanding when I called. My intent was not to bring up past tragedies but to let you know that there is someone else that shares your great loss. That night has haunted me for the past 22 years. It was a turning point for me (for the worst). I had seen many men die & many wounded. But that night brought it all home to me. I remember the next day when the three were loaded on the chopper I was unable to help; all I could do is stand there and watch. I remember it so clearly. My thoughts at the time were, Is this it? Is this all there is? They won’t even let me grieve. Maybe that’s why I called; I was denied the relief of grieving. And they were denied life & you were denied joy.

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Memorializing Those Who Served

Actor Graham Greene shares the healing journey of Vietnam veteran Sgt Bill Rider during the 2018 National Memorial Day Concert.

Actor Dennis Franz tells the story of a young Marine who served during the Battle of Khe Sanh during the 2012 National Memorial Day Concert.

I expected PBS to do a great job of honoring the men and women who have served our country. But I didn’t expect PBS to allow such raw and honest stories to be told. Listening to what these veterans were made to give and sacrifice in the service of their country was heartbreaking and, in many ways, paralleled my dad’s own experiences of war. My hat’s off to PBS for giving these veterans a platform where they can be heard in such a dignified manner.

Watch the National Memorial Day Concert on Sunday, May 26 at 8/7 Central on PBS. And, you can share your memories of friends or loved ones who served in the Vietnam War on their Wall of Remembrance.

Happy Memorial Day.