Today we honor those who have risked and given their lives in defense of our freedoms. We honor and remember those we love who have gone before us.
In all our fun, in all the barbecues, in all the time outdoors and with friends I hope we pause to remember. We need our history to maintain our identity.
The picture above is from our National Archives. My grandpa is the gunner on that plane (the man closest to the camera). He and the pilot were responsible for rescuing those men whose planes had gone down in the ocean. The men were in the water, and the tide was carrying them toward the Truk Islands, which was occupied by the Japanese. To save them from being captured as prisoners of war, my Grandpa and Burns landed their kingfisher plane in the ocean and taxied around to pick men up, all the while under enemy fire. When they had collected all the men and balanced them on the wings so the plane wouldn’t capsize, they were picked up by the USS Tang, the submarine assigned to this battle.
I love this picture. I love the story inside the story, the story of rescue missions planned and executed within the larger story of the battle plan and attack. I love what it says about how much these men loved those who were fighting with them. I love what it says about the worth of a soul. It is part of my history, my identity. I’m so proud of my Grandpa.
Happy Memorial Day.