Thoughts on Veterans Day 2010

A number of images and events come to mind on Veterans Day. Watching the Vietnam War play out nightly on the family’s  Zenith television set in our basement is one.

Gary Schemel 1946 – 1965

Gary Schemel was one of Central High School’s first casualties in the Vietnam War.

A fellow vet posted this 1932 poem on The Wall in his memory:

Do not stand at my grave and weep.

I am not there; I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow,

I am the diamond glints on snow,

I am the sun on ripened grain,

I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush

I am the swift uplifting rush

Of quiet birds in circled flight.

I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,

I am not there; I did not die.

Posthumous Medal Presentation

A father an mother leave the Athens County Courthouse with a box of medals awarded posthumously to their son in 1969.

Homemade memorial to this generation’s dead

Missing from this handmade memorial to this generation’s war dead was the name Liz Jacobson, my son’s 21-year-old former girlfriend, who was killed by an IED while on a convoy in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Adam got permission to add her “stone.” On it, he wrote some lines that she had sent him: “We’re only on this earth for a little while, so live life to the fullest and carry a smile.”

This photo was taken in 2007. I wonder how many more Liz Jacobsons there would be there in the picture today.

Support our boys in Vietnam

I don’t agree with all of the political sentiments this woman is wearing, but I can get behind the Support Our Boys in Vietnam button she sported at a pro-war march in Washington, D.C., in the fall of 1971.

Civil War Memorial Statue

Pigeons show no respect to this Civil War soldier in Washington, DC.

9 Replies to “Thoughts on Veterans Day 2010”

  1. Here is a list all Vietnam casualties: http://www.archives.gov/research/vietnam-war/casualty-lists/

    From there one can select a state and get a pdf of names listed alphabetically. Here are the soldiers, Marines and airmen from Cape Girardeau:

    BENTON, CARROLL JOE
    BROCK, TERRANCE LEE
    BURFORD, JOHN SHELBY
    BUSCH, ELWIN HARRY
    FINLEY, CHARLES RICHARD
    GREGORY, ROBERT RAYMOND
    HOGAN, BILLY JACK JR
    MCCALLISTER, ROBERT LYNN
    MCFALL, ROBERT DALE
    PEEL, STEPHEN BLAKE
    PRICE, GARRY OWEN
    SCHEMEL, GARY LEROY
    STEPP, WILLIAM D
    TAYLOR, ROBERT LEE JR
    THARP, EARL WATSON JR

  2. It seems, for political gain, our nation now remains in a permanent state of undeclared war. How unfortunate for us and the families whose young members have become cannon fodder!

  3. On this day as on many others that trigger the memory bank, I remember and give thanks for my classmates Earl Tharp and Robert McFall. Though neither was in a group of my closest friends, I knew them both and have touched their names on the Wall in Washington, remembering them. There, those of us who came of age during the Viet Nam war are encouraged to offer silent gratitude as well as more tangible memorials to those who are frozen in time as the images in their respective senior pictures in the 1968 Girardot. I offer a salute to fine men whose lives were too brief.

  4. Drive out to Cape Rock Park and look by the flag pole. You will see a picture of ERVIN J. EMRICK JR. He was killed in VIETNAM during his third tour of dudy. Awarded the Silver Star….Ray Boren

  5. @Paul and Ray, I re-checked the Missouri records mentioned earlier. Marine Corps SSGT ERVIN J. EMRICK JR. is definitely listed. I missed him the first time since it shows St. Louis as his home of record.

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