We will ALL remember THIS Memorial Day! I dedicate this Memorial Day 2020 to all those souls who gave their lives to maintain our freedom. Let Us Never Forget Freedom carries with it a huge price.
This is my message for this year.
MEMORIAL DAY 2020
Good Morning and welcome to the COVID-19 version of Memorial Day 2020.
I am Doug Dawes, Commander of Georgetown’s Rene J. Gagnon American Legion Post #211. Together with the Georgetown Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #7608 and VFW Post Commander Wanda Codair, we welcome you.
I had a Memorial Day Speech all prepared then this health crisis was thrust on us. In its place a few thoughts come to my mind.
First, we are here today to honor and memorialize those men & women who served in our nation’s military forces and have now crossed over to eternity.
Second, in the last year 6 members of our combined Posts have crossed over.
Peter Whitney, Robert “Bob” Davidson, Roger Guilbault, Charles “Chuck” Margeson, Alex Bruce, & Arthur Greenberg. We will always remember your contributions to our country, our community and our Posts.
During WWII Georgetown sent 236 people off to war, 8 Died. S/Sgt. John E. Adams, Pvt. Neill C. Aiken, Cadet Edward A. Dunlap, Jr., Capt. Ralph Keeler, Pvt. Arthur E. Parkhurst, 3/c William R. Walker, P.F.C. Orin W. Woodman and Lt. Clarence E. Rice
In past years I have cited a poem by former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. That poem has had a profound effect on my being.
The crux of her message was…AM I WORTH DYING FOR? Have I lived my life in a manner that would honor the sacrifices of our deceased military men & women?
Many veterans died in combat, many more made it home, physically, BUT the war remained in them to the day they passed on. A couple of months before he died a 94-year-old WWII veteran shared with me, with tears in his eyes, and a quivering voice, that he was still having nightmares about WWII. It never goes away!
Many other veterans have passed on as the results of physical wounds, mental wounds, and diseases caused by chemical agents such as Agent Orange. These veterans live with the ravages of war and internalize it each and every day. Many have even resorted to the act of suicide just to stop their pain & suffering.
Each of us should ponder Eleanor’s question, Am I Worth Dying For? Is there something we should be doing to make ourselves worthy?
The answer is simple… Yes… nothing… but something. Why? Because the American soldier fights & sacrifices for each of us, no matter what!
As Americans, we are known to put our differences aside and pull together when there’s a cause bigger than ourselves which requires coming together as “We the People”.
For the past few months we have been under attack by a silent and deadly enemy that’s invaded our shores. Many are dying, many others are suffering from the loss. Millions have lost their jobs, schools are shuttered, businesses are gone, some are losing hope, are scared or angry. Yet, through it all, “We the People” MUST pull together, keep our traditions, our way of life, our comradeship, and even improve on it.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.”
This is how we can honor our deceased veterans.
Put our differences aside and pull together.
We are at war with a virus… continue to watch out for our neighbors, participate in our communities, support our schools, support our local businesses, but most importantly come together as Americans fight for a common cause. That’s how we can honor those veterans that have sacrificed for each of us.
Together we will thrive. Divided we will fall.
I pray that God's countenance will shine on each of you every day
Lest I continue
My complacent way,
Help me to remember that somewhere,
Somehow out there
A man died for me today.
As long as there be war,
I then must
Ask and answer
Am I worth dying for?