Remember our Veterans

December 7, 1941: “A date that will live in infamy”

(Posted: December 7, 2012)

Seventy-one years ago today at 7:55 AM on a quiet Sunday morning, America was thrust into WWII when Pearl Harbor was attacked!  Approximately 2400 precious young  lives were lost and over 1100 were injured in the blatant attack!  It is “a date that will live in infamy.”  We must never forget!

Honoring Those Who Serve: Patriot Ledger Article by Suzette Martinez Standring

(Posted: November 15, 2012)

Please check out the following link:

http://www.patriotledger.com/lifestyle/faith/x2053819002/Suzette-Martinez-Standring-Honoring-those-who-serve

What an honor to have my Father remembered in Suzette Martinez Standring’s column!

Remembering Dad & Crew on Veteran’s Day 2013

(Posted: November 11, 2012)

I could not let the day pass without remembering my Father’s crew - The Cook Crew who I affectionately refer to as MY crew. . . . .

I have studied this photo and the names so many times that they are like family; they are a very special crew to me!

In the back row is:         Thomas Mikulka, Tailgunner

                                      John J. Alexander, Jr., Right Waist Gunner

                                      Milo Blakely, Left Waist Gunner

                                     Jay Joyce, Radio Operator

                                     John Kyler (Dad) Ball Turret Gunner

                                     John Booth, Top Turret Gunner/Flight Engineer

In the Front Row:          Emmett Bell, Bombardier

                                     Donald Caylor, Navigator

                                      Robert Bangs, Co-Pilot

                                      Lawrence Cook, Pilot

Veteran’s Day 2013

(Posted: November 8, 2012)

I hope that our Veterans realize just how much we appreciate their sacrifices for our freedom.  My sincere and heartfelt sentiments are sent to those who have served in WWII; to those who’ve served since then; to those who are serving today and to those who will serve to preserve the freedom that our Fathers fought for in WWII and won.  My wish is that we never forget the price of freedom and November 11 is a day that is set aside to exhibit our appreciation of our worthy heroes.  Keep in mind that every day is a perfect day to thank our Veterans!

In honor and memory of our heroes I’d like to add this poem that was taken from my Father’s radio operator, Jay Joyce’s,  notebook which he wrote in as a Prisoner of War.  He was held in the same camps as my Father – Stalag Luft VI, Stalag Luft IV and Stalag Luft I.   It is notated that it is written by “Stebbins.” . . . . . .

TO A FRIEND IN ARMS

When I depart these thinning ranks to follow

The tracks of better men “gone west” before

The pointing feathers fallen from the swallow,

The shells that litter that last lonely shore.

When I have tipped the canteen of my measure,

and, parched, must turn to life and say adieu–

Remember, I shall pack along the treasure

of marching these few windswept leagues with you. 

Underneath this poem there was a jagged line drawn and these words were written: “The War news makes you feel pretty good – if you don’t stop to think how many Americans are dying to make it good.”

Memorial Day – May 28, 2012

(Posted: May 28, 2012)

REMEMBER THOSE HEROES WHO HAVE PAID THE ULTIMATE PRICEFOR US.  THEY SACRIFICED FOR THEIR LOVED ONES AND FOR THOSE THEY DIDN’T KNOW!  OUR PAYMENT CAN BE IN THE WAY THAT WE CARRY ON FOR THEM.  THE WORLD WOULD BE A BETTER PLACE IF WE ALL LIVED OUR LIVES PROVING TO THOSE WHO HAVE LAID THEIR LIVES ON THE LINE FOR US THAT WE ARE WORTHY!   I WROTE THE FOLLOWING POEM IN MEMORY OF OUR FALLEN HEROES . . . . . MAY WE NEVER FORGET!

We gathered this morning at a little past nine;

And listened to speeches with the day’s purpose defined.

It was a moving remembrance of those who in battle have died.

With taps beautifully played, there were many who cried.

Recalling the ultimate sacrifices so we could be free;

One might ask themselves just  ”how worthy are we?”

If we can remember they did it for us; their lives down they laid;

And take nothing for granted knowing there’s a price that was paid.

Make them proud by being the very best we can be.

Then their sacrifice won’t have been in vain for you or for me.

Think of them daily – not just one day a year.

Keep in mind, they’re the reason we’re not living in fear.

With their lives cut so short, onward worthily we must live.

Our daily appreciation, is the best debt payment that we could give.

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Memorial Day Ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park in Salamanca, NY

Veterans’ Day 2011

(Posted: November 11, 2011)

I cannot let this day pass without extending a most sincere THANK YOU to all of our Veterans!!!!  You are appreciated today and every day!  God Bless You!

Memorial Day 2011

(Posted: May 30, 2011)

I could not let this day pass without stressing the importance of remembering our veterans of all wars who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their comrades and for us. In Salamanca there was Mass at the Calvary Cemetery and a Memorial Day Ceremony at Veteran’s Park on Broad Street. I attended the parade and ceremony at Vet’s Park this year and it was well-attended, as I imagine the Mass at the Cemetery was as well due to the beautiful weather. There were meaningful speeches given of the importance of this day of remembrance and of the bravery of the selfless men and women who have gone before us. They should be on our minds and in our prayers every day and we should thank those whose paths we cross who have served to ensure that they know they are appreciated and we do have an interest in their stories.

A show of gratitude should not be just once or twice a year on Memorial or Veterans Day. When you think of what these patriots have done for us in the past and continue to do for us today, it is critical that they are remembered and shown that we are grateful for what they have done and continue to do to secure our freedom. Today, as we commemorate Memorial Day, let us remember and honor the courageous men and women who have given their lives in defense of America and our freedom. From the beachhead at Normandy and islands of the Pacific, to the deserts of Iraq and mountains of Afghanistan, America’s finest have always answered the call when asked to defend our nation and her citizens. It is our duty, as the protected, to do everything we can to ensure that these heroes get the honor and recognition that they deserve.

Photo of Deb, John and Bud Crist taken at Memorial Day Service.  John served in Vietnam and Bud, his dad, in WWII.  This picture says it all.  They know well ”the price of freedom.”