There is an episode of NCIS entitled “Call of Silence” in which Charles Durning plays a World War II Medal of Honor recipient who arrives at NCIS claiming to have killed a marine with his handgun.

Special Agent Gibbs is determined to prove that it was not murder, to keep Durning’s character from being prosecuted and losing his Medal. During the course of the investigation, the team reconstructs the Battle of Iwo Jima to figure out what actually happened.

It is eventually decided that Durning’s men were only feet away from the Japanese when his best friend stepped on a land mine, losing both legs. He was screaming in pain and Durning’s character had hit him over the head to try and knock him out. He hit him too hard, however, and the friend died as a result.

Durning’s character is still so traumatized by this incident it is as if it had just happened; and as they make him go over and over his story, his anguish is heartbreaking.

This episode always reminds me of all the men and women that have served this country and have fought for our freedoms.

My heart breaks not only for those that died defending this country but also for those that have returned home wounded in body and spirit. It breaks for those that have to fight the memories for the rest of their lives.

My dad was an ambulance driver in Africa and Europe; his best friend died at Anzio. He could not talk about the horrors he encountered. The one time I asked him about it, he broke down and sobbed, pulling on his hair at the memories, much the same way Charles Durning’s character does in the NCIS episode.

My father-in-law suffered permanent frostbite damage to his feet during the Battle of the Bulge; and one of my husband’s brothers was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago from being exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam.

As I watched this episode of NCIS recently, it hit me that all those men and women that have suffered and died, all of them that will suffer emotionally and physically for the rest of their lives deserve to have the rest of us stand up and fight for the freedoms that they fought for.

We need to make our voices heard throughout this country and stop the rampant assault on the very things that we hold dear. We need to stop the few from taking the rights away from the many.

Otherwise, what have all of those men and women been fighting for?

© Drusilla Mott and https://drusillamott.wordpress.com, 2013

MEMORIAL DAY – Let Us Remember

Memorial Day is not a day to celebrate the beginning of summer.

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, was born in the years following the American Civil War to remember those that had died during that bloody conflict.

There are about two dozen places that claim to be the originator of Memorial Day, including Waterloo, New York; Columbus, Georgia and Columbus, Mississippi.

Columbus, Mississippi was a hospital town and burial site for both Union and Confederate casualties from Shiloh. On April 25, 1866 four women held a procession to decorate the graves of the dead soldiers in the Friendship Cemetery.

In the spring of 1866, a woman from Columbus, Georgia wrote an open letter suggesting that a day be set apart each year nationally to decorate the graves of the fallen soldiers.

In May 1866, the people of Waterloo, New York held an annual townwide commemoration honoring those that died.

In 1868 Maj. Gen. John A Logan, commander in chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, a group made up of Union veterans of the Civil War, issued an order for the annual decoration of graves.

Waterloo was officially designated as the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966.

There is really no way to know just which town is the real originator of the day.  They seem to all have had the same idea to honor the dead soldiers.

Regardless of its origin, let us remember to pray for our active military troops on this day and throughout the year.

Let us remember that Freedom Is Not Free – that it was paid for with the lives of our fellow Americans.

Memorial Day Tribute

Memorial Day 2012 – Freedom Isn’t Free

Some Gave All

** The historical information came from articles at Albany Times Union  and Memorial Day History  **

© Drusilla Mott and https://drusillamott.wordpress.com, 2012