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For Memorial Day, I plan to go to a National Cemetery, where my father is buried, and visit his grave, God rest his immortal soul.

He fought in the Korean War. He worked on the hydrogen bomb project, where our Nation devised and successfully tested the first thermonuclear weapon. He was an eyewitness to an island literally being vaporized off the face of the earth. Google "Operation Ivy Mike" if you want to learn more...it is our history.

Where our Nation buried him is a beautiful National Cemetery, surrounded by brick fences and wrought iron gates, with live oak trees with moss hanging from the branches. A tranquil and peaceful place where heroes are buried.

When he was buried, the military provided an Honor Guard for the service, and two fighter jets from a local air station performed a fly-by, turning a sharp left over the open-air funeral pavilion before jetting out over the Atlantic, afterburners in full cry, as the flag draped over his coffin was handed to my mother.

I had made arrangements with the funeral home to have a state flag of where he was born, and the state flag of where he died, both of which were draped over his body while he was still alive and on his deathbed, arranged on his casket for the memorial service. The funeral director, unbeknownst to me, had the state flags delivered to the National Cemetery, and to my astonishment and great pride, the Honor Guard folded the state flag of his birthplace and gave it to my only sister, and folded the state flag of his deathplace, and handed it to me, his only son.

This weekend I will visit his grave. My mother, when she dies, will be buried in the same grave, and her name will be inscribed on the back of his tombstone, and they will be together in death just as they were in life. This is how our Nation honors its warriors and the people who have served our Nation to keep us free...and their spouses. It is in every way a profound and shining example of what makes this Nation the greatest on Earth.

When you celebrate Memorial Day, never forget the fallen. And never forget to honor the lives of our servicemen and women. Always defend the colors of the Flags of our Fathers. I know I will. God bless America, forever....

Very respectfully,

Clyde
 

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...Thank You for sharing Clyde...you and yours will be in my thoughts...

...my heartfelt condolences

...ullie
 

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Thank you, Ullie. I knew from the beginning of reading your work, and how you think, that you and I are kindred spirits. In speaking with you in person, it was like sitting down and talking with a lifelong friend. Hope all is well with you!

This...and I now know, for millions of other Americans who visit the places where the white tombstones are cared for...is why we all call it Memorial Day....

And I wanted to write a tribute to my Dad, since I was thinking of him.

Happy Memorial Day, everyone!
 
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