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Patriotic Article
Military
By ITC Lee Crowson, USN

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Memorial Day 2008
(May 22, 2008)

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I would like to share some words from a dear friend of mine, PSC (AW) Brian Tomlinson, that I think are very relevant to Memorial Day.

Brothers, Sisters, Shipmates:

I received a phone call at 0145 this morning from a very close friend of the family. She was crying uncontrollable and the only word my wife could understand was "died". Fear struck our hearts because we just sent her husband back to Iraq last Sunday. 

 ITC Lee Crowson, USN

After some deep breaths we finally got it out of her that was not her husband but a friend of theirs. I only know her as Jessica; she was an it Army Medic and our friend's partner when she was on active duty in the Army. She died on Sunday (MOTHERS DAY) after an IED went off near her vehicle. Shrapnel hit her in the chest and her fellow Solders and medics did everything they could to save her. I am told she was a fighter and she did so until the very end.

We attempted to comfort our friend this morning but I am not sure how good a job we did. It made me think about my son, Leo. He came to me one day and said "Dad, when I grow up I want to join the Navy." Now nothing could make me prouder but on the other hand I do not want my son in harms way so I replied "Sure son as long as this war is over." He turned and looked at me and said "What war daddy?" It made me think, that's what we fight for, that's why we have to make the sacrifices, so our children might never know what war is.

We take the fight to them because if we do not, the fight will come to us and that is something I never want to see. There is a saying "ALL GAVE SOME AND SOME GAVE ALL!" the "some gave all" part has always been clear to me but the "all gave some" part has never been clearer than this morning. You see Jessica's death does not only affect her family and friends it affects us all. We lost a sister, a daughter and a friend but most of all we lost a Patriot.

Someone willing to give all for our country, someone willing to take the fight to them so our children may never know what war is. I did not know Jessica but she is my hero and I will never forget her.

Please put Jessica, her family and our country in your thoughts and prayers.

God bless us all.

Brian

When I read Brian's words I knew that they needed to be shared and he graciously allowed me to do so. Memorial Day is so much more than a three-day weekend and a chance to fire up the grill.

Originally called Decoration Day it was started as a day to remember and honor the fallen of the Civil War . . . on both sides. It is not known for sure where the practice started (though many claim the honor) but it was meant as a day of reconciliation. First officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, it was celebrated on 30 May when flowers were placed on the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. After WWI the holiday's focus was changed to honoring the fallen of all wars where Americans paid the ultimate price.

It is very sad that the observance of the holiday has dropped off considerably in recent years and many towns and cities no longer even have a service or parade. Today our children are grossly ignorant of what the day means other than old war movies on TV (especially with our public education system downplaying the importance of anything like this). It is important, no it is imperative that we remember and teach our children that our Freedom was hard won and paid for by the blood of Patriots.

In December of 2000 a resolution was passed calling for a "National Moment of Remembrance". The resolution asks that each citizen of this great nation voluntarily pause at 1500 (3 PM) local time to have their own time of honor and reflection either by a moment of silence or the playing of Taps. I pray that you will observe this with me.

Why do we continue to fight? I simply look at my children and I have my answer loud and clear. Let us join together and not forget.

ITC Lee Crowson, USN
Copyright 2008

About Author:
Chief Crowson is an Information Systems Technician for the Navy Reserve who is currently serving on active duty at Commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command in New Orleans, LA. During his career in addition to his role as a communications operator he has functioned as an instructor for personnel entering the Navy Reserve with no prior military experience. His other duties included serving with Navy Coastal Warfare, a part of Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, and with Navy Expeditionary Logistics Group deploying both to the Middle East and to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

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