Long weekend ahead . . .
Isn't it interesting to see people we haven't seen in years? We almost always do a double-take. Until we see them again, we remember people as they were the last time we saw them.
I first heard about this phenomenon over twenty years ago when our First Sergeant ("Top") returned from a reunion of his
infantry unit. I asked him how it went. Top said he was surprised - he'd "figured everybody'd look the same." He said "man, those guys are getting old." Vietnam
Then, Top got somber. A faraway look came into his eyes. He told us some of "our guys never got a chance to get old.”
Monday's the day when we are obliged to remember
’s young men and women who "never got a chance to get old." America
The sons and daughters of rural counties and small towns have always given of themselves for our Country.
and Watseka are not exceptions. Young men and women from our neck of the woods have served during every conflict in which our Nation has engaged. Iroquois County
This Memorial Day, please join me in remembering young people from
who gave their lives in the service of our Country. Iroquois County
An email doesn't give me room to provide you a list of all the names of locals who “never got a chance to get old.”
Accordingly, I’ll give you the names of two men from Watseka (two of many from
) who died in Iroquois County : Charles Michael Evans (age 22 when he died in 1967) and Rolland Leon Durflinger (age 21 when he died in 1969). Vietnam
Most of us will have Monday off; we'll be with family and friends. While we are relaxing, there will be young folks from
in faraway places sweating out their day in the face of unimaginable danger. Hopefully, they'll get home safely to their loved ones. Iroquois County
Have a good weekend. While you do, please keep all members of our military (living and dead) and their families in your hearts this Memorial Day.
Tom* * *
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate - we can not consecrate - we can not hallow - this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain - that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
President Abraham Lincoln,
* * *
Here lie officers and men, Negroes and whites, rich men and poor . . . together. Here are Protestants, Catholics and Jews together. Here no man prefers another because of his faith or despises him because of his color. Here there are no quotas of how many men of each group are admitted or allowed. Among these men there is no discrimination. No prejudices. No hatred. Theirs is the highest and purest democracy.
Whosoever of us lifts his hand in hate against a brother, or who thinks himself superior to those who happen to be in the minority, makes of this ceremony and the bloody sacrifice it commemorates, an empty, hollow mockery.
Rabbi Roland Gittlesohn
Iwo Jima, 1945