Memorial Day reflections

As another Memorial Day approaches, I think of soldiers whose service and sacrifice touched my life.  I was in college, shocked to hear that cousin Jackie's husband Norman Byrd was killed in Vietnam.  Their daughter Duchess had just been born.

World War II hero and actor Charles Durning died at 89.  Durning was awarded three Purple Hearts, Silver and Bronze Stars, and the World War II Victory Medal.  I was quite moved seeing Mr. Durning humbly weep at the podium for his fallen brothers during a Memorial Day celebration. 

My dear friend and patriot sister Debbie Lee lost her decorated son, Marc Alan Lee.  Marc was the first Navy SEAL to lose his life in Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Marc was killed leading the charge in a ferocious firefight against insurgents in Ramadi.

Here are a few excerpts from Marc's last letter.

I have seen war. I have seen death, the sorrow that encompasses your entire being as a man breathes his last. I can only pray and hope that none of you will ever have to experience some of these things I have seen and felt here.

The 4th has just come and gone and I received many emails thanking me for helping keep America great and free. I take no credit for the career path I have chosen; I can only give it to those of you who are reading this, because each one of you has contributed to me and who I am.

However what I do over here is only a small percent of what keeps our country great. I think the truth to our greatness is each other. Purity, morals and kindness, passed down to each generation through example. So to all my family and friends, do me a favor and pass on the kindness, the love, the precious gift of human life to each other so that when your children come into contact with a great conflict that we are now faced with here in Iraq, that they are people of humanity, of pure motives, of compassion.

This is our real part to keep America free! HAPPY 4th

Love Ya

Marc Lee

P.S. Half way through the deployment can’t wait to see all of your faces

In honor of her son's legacy of service to his country, Debbie created America's Mighty Warriors.  She provides aid and comfort to active military and their families.

Years ago, I asked Vietnam vets to participate in a musical tribute honoring their service.  While in the recording studio waiting for other vets to show up, Navy vet Gerry Millholen shared his extremely compelling Vietnam experience with me and my music producer.  Gerry lamented that unlike veterans of other wars, he and his Vietnam brothers never received a welcome home.  Gerry said, "Whenever we meet, we say, 'Welcome home, brother.'"  I was so moved that I scrapped my original idea for the recording and focused it on allowing Gerry to share his heart.  My tribute featuring Gerry Millholen is titled "Welcome Home Brother."  Enjoy.

Have a happy and blessed Memorial Day, folks.

Lloyd Marcus, The Unhyphenated American
Author: Confessions of a Black Conservative: How the Left has shattered the dreams of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Black America
Singer/Songwriter and Conservative Activist

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