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Memorial Day 2013

Michael Roman - Sunday, May 26, 2013

 

A few weeks ago, I scheduled a lunch with one of my veteran friends, whose wife (also a veteran) was having dialysis problems. On my way out the door for the meeting, I got a call from another friend and business associate, Mike O’Connor, saying that he had written and recorded a song entitled “His Name is on the Wall.” He wanted me to hear it and added that I might want to share it with the veterans groups to which I belong. His excitement was infectious, so I agreed to give a listen and possibly share it with those groups. I never knew that Mike was musically inclined, so I did not know what to expect.

After I sat down at my table at the restaurant, I downloaded the song to my laptop just as my veteran friend arrived. We both listened to the song, and by the end of it, we were not the only ones with tears in our eyes. Our server and a veteran listening in at the next table were both similarly moved by the song. I think you will be moved too. Here are a few lines from the song, the words spoken by a gray-haired woman who traveled a thousand miles to see “his name on The Wall.”:

 

He was only a boy back then you see

Awkward and shy as boys tend to be

I missed my change to speak up then

Now it's gone and won't come again, won't come again

Here is the Link to the Song (click the arrow near the top of the new window to play the song) 

For me, the song has as twofold message. First, do not let an opportunity pass you by to speak with someone you love about the things that matter. That message transcends Memorial Day and ought to a part of everyone’s day. The second message is a reminder of the cost of freedom. The path of a warrior is perhaps the most difficult of all, and yet there have been so many who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom.

A few days after my lunch meeting, a veteran from the Atlanta Vietnam Business Association distributed an email with a link to a YouTube video entitled The Path of a Warrior. It has a different method for delivering its message, and its primary purpose is to educate, but like Mike’s song, it inspires us to live our lives through the tears we shed in remembrance of those who gave their lives for our freedom. Take a moment and watch the video; it is an opportunity to better understand and appreciate the path of a warrior.

And one last thing.  It is difficult to explain what veterans feel about the duties they perform.  But, maybe an experience I had this past week might help the uninitiated understand.  I was fortunate to be able to escort the Honoree and his family for the Johns Creek, GA Memorial Day picnic/lunch.  The Honoree, Sgt. Michael Doi, (93 years young) was a member of the 442nd Infantry Regiment; the most decorated Infantry Unit in the US Army.  I asked Mike to please tell me about the three Bronze Stars he was awarded for heroism in combat.  He refused saying they were not important, that was then.  He then began to explain what was important was the fact that he “won” his car keys back from his daughter.  Those simple words are inspiring.  They mean that the times make great people whose only actions are to do what is right for the greater good.  These words are truly an inspiration and in my humble opinion should guide people’s actions daily.

 I hope you have a great Memorial Day this year, and I hope you will take time sometime during the day to reflect on the freedoms you enjoy and the ordinary men and women whose extraordinary actions made it possible.

 

Comments
Anonymous commented on 28-May-2013 11:58 AM
Mike, Great blog. Informative and touching. You always impress me with your talents and views. Semper fi, Jim S. Jim: Gracious words from the Master of Graciousness! My sincerest thanks. It means a lot coming from you. Best wishes!

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