American Flag at Snellville, Georgia, May 26, 2014
My son put out the American flag today, in special remembrance of America’s military veterans and in celebration of Memorial Day 2014. Putting out the flag has become somewhat of a tradition for him throughout the past few years, particularly since it was a requirement for one of his achievements as a Cub Scout. Today, he put out the flag as a new Boy Scout. Last evening, my family also watched the Memorial Day tribute celebration on television, as broadcasted by PBS. That has also been a tradition in my family for many years. This year is the 25th anniversary of the annual Memorial Day broadcast.
In remembrance of military veterans in my family, I have authored this article, having arranged photos and/or memorabilia of all of those known family members and/or ancestors who have served in the American military. I am thankful for those who have risked their lives and/or who have given their lives for the freedoms that I enjoy.
One important issue to keep in mind, however, is that our freedoms may be our right, but should also be practiced with appropriate reason and rationalization. I stated this, particularly due to interpretations of the Second Amendment of our country’s Constitution, in regard to the right to bear arms. We should all keep in mind that while we have a right to bear arms, that does not mean that we have the right to take another’s life, unless circumstances absolutely warrant it in matters of self-protection. Let us not allow the right to bear arms, as well as monetary-backed interests to that aim, to remain more important than protecting people’s lives.
May we all strive to live together in peace and harmony. Let us all remember the sacrifices of those who serve and who have served in our military forces so that not only our freedoms are maintained, but so that the spirit of democracy may infuse those in other countries, as well. May our military forces stationed in Afghanistan soon return home, and back to our wonderful democracy!
Memorial Postcard in Remembrance of the American Civil War, 1861-1865
Grand Army of the Republic Veteran’s Medal from the American Civil War, 1861-1865
Fred Henn, Civil War Veteran, Hamburg, New York, Circa 1870-1890
Harry H. Gale, Member of American Military in New York State, Hamburg, New York, 1880s
John Briggs, North Collins, NY, Soldier in World War I, Circa 1917
John Hintermister (the Elder), American Military Veteran
Funeral Card of David I. Briggs, North Collins, New York, 1968 (Killed in Vietnam War) (Wentland Funeral Home, North Collins, New York)
Funeral Card of David Briggs, North Collins, New York, 1968
Henry Curtis, World War II Veteran
Eugene Spires, World War II Veteran
James Kibbe, Korean War Veteran
Peter Krakowiak, American Navy Veteran
Arnold Bennett, Vietnam War Veteran
I am also aware that one of the Tomaszewski men (formerly of Gowanda, New York, and now of Chicago, Illinois), a cousin to my mom, was a pilot in the Air Force, possibly in the Vietnam War.
These photos, information, and memorabilia represent individuals within my family, and from my family ancestry, who have served in the American military. My former spouse also briefly served in the military. I salute you for your risks, sacrifices, and in the case of David Briggs, his ultimate sacrifice of his life, for the freedoms and protections of others. While I have taught history, and honor and appreciate our military veterans, I am not one who has the will to risk my life in possible sacrifice in the military. You all are a credit to our country for your service, and to the preservation of democracy.