Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day

Today is Memorial Day, the holiday created for reflection and remembrance of those who fought and died for our freedoms.  It is not an empty rhetoric for me.  In my mind this holiday is also closely associated with the Victory Day, the only Soviet holiday I respect to this day.  Since I am Jewish, this day signifies the survival of my family.  Both of my grandfathers fought in the Soviet Army during World War 2.  So, I always try to visit my grandpa's grave here in San Diego some time in May.  Media tends not to report on heroic deeds of our soldiers in the current war.  But I got this link via Republican Jewish Coalition newsletter:



...This lack of reported stories of heroism on the part of America’s fighting men and women is not due to a lack of media access to the military. On the contrary, Operation Iraqi Freedom has begun a new era of access for journalists with the advent of the Department of Defense’s media-embed program. Nor has the lack of relevant reportage been due to a deficiency in individual gallantry displayed by our soldiers on the field of battle; there have been numerous cases of exceptional courage under fire to this point in the War on Terror, and there will doubtless be many more before this conflict has drawn to a close.

Every man and woman fighting for America deserves respect and acknowledgment. There are some, though, who go above and beyond even the bravery and valor shown by the “average” soldier, sailor, airman, or marine who puts his or her life on the line, day in and day out, in defense of America and in pursuit of the nation’s goals. Here is a selection of four exceptional warriors — one from each branch of service — whose names and deeds every American should know. Each of these men is a true hero in every sense of the word, having fought in defense of America and having made the ultimate sacrifice for his mission and for his fellow men.


Michael Monsoor, United States Navy
Michael Monsoor of Garden Grove, California, felt the same call to serve his country that had led his father and brother into the Marine Corps. He was pulled in a different direction from his family members, though — he was drawn to the U.S. Navy, not out of a desire to serve in the fleet, but out of a burning ambition to serve as a Navy SEAL, one of America’s special-operations elites.


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Jason Dunham, United States Marine Corps
Jason Dunham, of Scio, New York, shared a birthday (the day before Veteran’s Day) with the United States Marine Corps. A Corporal in the Corps, he was killed in Iraq in 2004, at the age of 23. Had Dunham not given his life for his comrades three years ago, he would have turned 25 last fall on the day that the USMC, which has been fortunate beyond measure to have contained men of Dunham’s quality for over two centuries, turned 231.


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Ross McGinnis, United States Army
When most young men are turning 17, they are thinking about their upcoming senior year of high school, their sports career, or their choice of college. When Ross McGinnis, of Knox, Pennsylvania, turned 17, he marched down to the recruiter’s office and joined the Army via the delayed enlistment program.


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Jason Cunningham, United States Air Force
Jason Cunningham of Carlsbad, New Mexico, joined the U.S. Navy at the age of 19, but he didn’t stay long. After just under four years in the fleet, Cunningham decided on a radical career change, setting his sights on joining an elite Air Force fraternity known as Pararescuemen. The USAF has fewer than 1,000 of these medical professionals whose job is to deploy by any means necessary — sea, air, or land — to rescue downed aircrew members and injured special operators.


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No Greater Love…
These four men exemplify a mindset that is both incomprehensible and unimaginable to all who have not been in such a situation. When faced with a life or death situation, with an escape route both simple and available, every one of them chose death, against every instinct of self-preservation. And, in doing so, they allowed the men with them, marked for death, to keep their lives.



Do read the whole thing.


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1 comment:

ClooJew said...

You have a wonderful page here. I think, lulei demistafina, that bloggers have added a special, personal dimension to Memorial Day that has been missing for too long.