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Reflections from two volunteers on the 1/5 Memorial Ceremony

I wanted to share some poignant writings that came to my email box after the 1/5 Memorial Ceremony held at Camp Pendleton on November 4, 2011 upon their return from Afghanistan last fall.

From Joyce: a Marine Mom and manager of our PHHS-West outreach program:

Dear Tracy,
I don't know whether you would be interested in posting Buck's article, but he wrote it so beautifully I wanted to share.  It was a tough day, when we look back on it, it won't be the incessant rain that came down, it will be the stories shared with the Marines.  What an honor it was to be walking amongst these heroes.  Partway through the ceremony Amazing Grace started playing by the bagpiper.  The Marines began presenting the Gold Star families with bouquets of beautiful flowers.  The clouds parted, a rainbow was seen.  I will never forget that moment.  They were still with us, just giving us that small sign.  Rest in peace, 1/5 Marines.

Tracy, both Sgt Major K____ and the General thanked us profusely for the bookmarks and took several with them.  The remaining bookmarks went over with Juan G____, FRO for the 1/5 to the luncheon and were given out there.  As we were getting ready to leave the Parade Deck a little girl, appx 6 years old came over and asked if she could have a bookmark.  As she was reading through the names, I asked her if she was looking for someone specifically.  She said "My Daddy".  She showed me his name, Sgt _____, I told her he was my hero and gave her a hug.  I gave her several to give to her family, as she walked off to find her family. My friend Lottie and I looked at each other and the tears flowed.  God bless these families and the sacrifices they have made.

Joyce

 

From Buck, a Marine supporter and volunteer with PHHS-West:

Dear Joyce,

Marine Corps values ...honor, courage, commitment ! They are  not just words. They are a way of life for Marines.

I attended my second memorial service for fallen  Marines last Friday. Witnessing the sadness of a parent for a fallen son  or a young wife over the loss of her husband cannot be described in  words. Listening to a surviving best friend describe the virtues of a fellow  Marine breaks my heart.

I served briefly in the Navy from 1969-1972. I love the Navy  and I admire and respect all those who serve and served in other branches  of the military.

 

But, I must say our United States Marines hold a special place  in my heart. Perhaps my reverence comes from grade school when I learned of  the minutemen, like Paul Revere, or those cold and wet soldiers, huddled in  boats, following George Washington across the Delaware River ...those brave  men who fought the British for our independence. Whatever the source of my  admiration, I can say without reservation that the men and women in the United  States Marine Corps remind me of what's great about America.

Buck  

 

 

"The San Diego Union Tribune" link to the memorial  service:

http://www.marine-corps-news.com/2011/11/marines_remember_the_falle...

 

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Comment by Double Dad on January 4, 2012 at 11:49am

Dog-gone it! I'm a big, tough father of two big, tough Marines, so why does this computer screen keep getting so misty as I read this? Like Buck, I can truthfully say the Marines are my heroes and do remind me of what I like about this nation of ours.

One of my daughters-in-law worked for a florist on base, making and delivering bouquets to families of the fallen. It was a tough job. She said one of the happiest moments of her time there was when she saw the buses carrying the Marines of the 1/5 back on base.

It's also time for a tip of the hat to the many Marines Parents volunteers who work so hard -- not only those who keep this site going for all the parents, wives, girlfriends and children of Marines and recruits, but also those who reach out to actually support our Marines. So thanks to Joyce and those who work with her, and thanks to Tracy for starting this venture and all who work with her to keep it going.

Comment by kandy1980 on January 1, 2012 at 9:20pm

I have been raised all my life to Honor our men and women who lay their lives down so we may be free. My son chose the Marine's because he said that is where he could make the biggest difference. I cried from fear of losing him.Then I cried with pride that I could have raised a son willing to go where few have gone.I cry with every story because I know someone on the other end has lost some one that can never be replaced or forgotten. Thank God for the Few and the Proud that still watch over the USA!!

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