Monday, November 9, 2015

War Drama ~ Vietnam

I saw 'courage' both in the Vietnam War...and in the 'struggle' to stop it.
I learned that 'patriotism' includes 'protest' ~ not just military service!
(John F. Kerry)

No event in American history is more misunderstood than the Vietnam War.
It was misreported then...and it is mis-remembered now.
(Richard M. Nixon)

Jerry Stiller stated, “Hollywood never knew there was a Vietnam War...until they made the movie!”

You're a 19-year-old-kid. You are critically wounded and dying in the jungle somewhere in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. It's November 11, 1967...LZ (landing zone) X-ray. Your unit is outnumbered 8-1 and the enemy fire is so intense from 100 yards away that your CO (commanding officer) has ordered the MedEvac helicopters to stop coming in. You're lying there, listening to the enemy machine guns and you know you're not going to get out. Your family is half way around the world...2,000 miles away...and you'll never see them again. As the world starts to fade in and out, you know this is the day!
.
Then...over the machine gun noise, you faintly hear that sound of a helicopter. You look up to see a Huey coming in. But...it doesn't seem real because no MedEvac markings are on it. Captain Ed Freeman is coming for you. He's not MedEvac so it's not his job, but he heard the radio call and decided he's flying his Huey down into the machine gun fire anyway! Even after the MedEvacs were ordered not to come! He's coming anyway!

And he drops it in and sits there in the machine gun fire, as they load 3 of you at a time on board. Then he flies you up...and out through the gunfire to the doctors and nurses and safety. And, he kept coming back!!! 13 more times!!! Until all the wounded were out. No one knew the mission was over, that the Captain had been hit 4 times in the legs and left arm. He took 29 of you and your buddies out that day.

Some, if not most, would not have made it without the Captain and his Huey.
Medal of Honour Recipient, Captain Ed Freeman,
United States Air Force, Died at the Age of 70, March, 2014 in Boise, Idaho.
May God Bless His Soul...and Rest in Peace!

I bet you didn't hear about this hero's passing, but we've sure seen a bunch about the thug, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin and other criminals in our homeland. The American government simply commented, “What difference does it make???!!! It bickered with congress over Health & Obama care! But ZIP ABOUT THE PASSING of Medal of Honour Winner ~ Captain Ed Freeman.
Shame on the Media!!!

I was terrified of the Vietnam War when I was 13.
I thought I was going...the draft was such an ominous thing!
I felt and feared as if it was going to trickle down to me.
(Dylan McDermott)

The truth is that I oppose the Iraq war, just as I opposed the Vietnam War because these two conflicts have weakened the United States and diminished our standing in the world. (George McGovern)

In World War One, they called it 'shell shock'.
Second time around, they called it 'battle fatigue'.
After 'Nam, it became 'post-traumatic-stress-disorder' (PTSD)
(Jan Karon)

IL SILENZIO” ~ Holland Remembers

About six miles from Maastricht, in the Netherlands, lie buried 8,301 American soldiers who died in “Operation Market Garden” in battles to liberate Holland in the fall/winter of 1944.

Everyone of the men buried in the cemetery, as well as those in the Canadian and British military cemeteries, has been 'adopted by a Dutch family' who mind the grave...decorate it...and keep alive the memory of the soldier they have adopted. It is even the custom to keep a portrait of 'their soldier' in a place of honour in their homes.

Annually, on Liberation Day, memorial services are held for 'the men who died to liberate Holland.'
The day concludes with a concert; the final piece is always 'Il Silenzio'...a memorial piece commissioned by the Dutch and first played in 1965 on the 20th anniversary of Holland's liberation. It has been the concluding piece of the memorial ever since.

This year, the soloist was a 13-year-old Dutch girl, Melissa Venema, backed by Andre Rieu and his orchestra (the Royal Orchestra of the Netherlands). This beautiful concert piece is based upon the original version of 'taps' and was composed by Italian composer, Nino Rossi.

The Final Inspection
The soldier stood and faced God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.
Step forward now, you soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My Church, have you been true?

The soldier squared his shoulder and said,
No, Lord, I guess I ain't...
Because of those of us who carry guns,
Can't always be a saint.
I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times, my talk was tough.
And sometimes I've been violent
Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny
That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime
When the bills got just too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times, I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.
If you've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But, if you don't...I'll understand.

There was a silence all around the throne
Where the saints had often trod...
As the soldier waited quietly
For the judgment of his God.
Step forward now, you soldier,
You've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets:
You've done your time in Hell!”

Compiled by Merle Baird-Kerr...November 1, 2015
To comment: email to inezkate@gmail.com or mebairdkerr@cogeco.ca

6 comments:

  1. FROM MEG: "Just left me in tears ~ I never understood war until
    I moved in here with Dutch and German...and many other Europeans, Vietnamese, British and Canadians (who were my age) and had suffered through the wars around the world.
    We all talked together about what had happened to the people.
    As I grew up, no one talked because not enough time had passed after WWII. I am so glad that people are talking now.
    Your blog was great, as usual. Thanks"

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  2. 'Tis said, "Every LIfe has a Story" and some are more dramatic than others.Today, recognition given to veterans and the current military is so significant as it is a sound reminder to consider those who 'place their personal lives' (and family) in the line of duty to protect us and our country!
    Thank you, Meg for your sincere words.

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  3. DAVID WRITES: " I actually met Cpt. Freeman when I worked part-time after duty hours at the Fort Sam Houston Officers Club Annex as a bar tender."

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  4. That introduction of this hero must have been a surprise meeting!
    How wonderful for you! Thanks greatly, David for your comment.

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  5. SHERRIE WRITES: "Just read your story about the Hero Captain who saved all those lives! May he rest in peace; we should all recognize that 'every veteran is a hero' in our eyes and hearts.
    Hug a Veteran today...and every day! Thank you men and women of the Armed Forces!"

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  6. Your comment, Sherrie, is so meaningful...our Veterans certainly deserve much praise and gratitude for their service to us and our country!

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