Reflections: A Veteran's Remembrances!
A Veteran's Remembrances!
By William L. Bulla
Memorial Day is a very important day to me. It is the day to honor the dead of all of our wars. For me, it is a very solemn day because many of my schoolmates, and men with whom I served during World War II, are among those honored dead.
Memorial Day (May 30), or as called in the past, Decoration Day, began in 1868, when members of the Grand Army of the Republic heeded the request of their commander, General John A. Logan, to decorate the graves of their fallen compatriots. It has since become the day on which the United States honors the dead of all its wars and is observed as a legal holiday in most states. National services are held at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington, Virginia. In 2000, President Bill Clinton asked the nation to endorse a humanitarian organization's addition of a moment of silence to the holiday, designating 3pm local time for a minute of quiet reflection on the meaning of America's war dead.
I was a youth of 18 years when Pearl Harbor was attacked. Several of my friends were already in the service. A dear friend was in the Navy Band aboard the USS Arizona when Pearl Harbor was attacked. The band members were in the ship passing up ammunition when the ship was sunk. My friend did not survive. Upon hearing that, I got my parents to give their permission for me to enlist in the Air Corps, as it was called in those days. Over the years of the war, many other High School friends, and fellow service men, fell to the onslaught of enemy troops.
As I, a survivor of that war, move into my later years, I reflect on my friendships with those youths who lost their lives in that terrible holocaust. I remember the good times I had shared with them, and the sorrow I felt upon their demise. Each year, on Memorial Day, I still recall those brave individuals who gave their lives that I, a survivor, could be here among my family and friends.
I was fortunate. I came back from the Pacific Theatre of War unscathed, was able to re-enter civilian live, achieve an education, get married and have a great life. This was all possible because my friends had given their all, their life, to make it possible.
Yes, Memorial Day is a very important day to me. It is a day to thank those friends of my past and ask God's blessing upon them.
William L. Bulla is a freelance writer residing in Washington County.