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May 25, 2009

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Comments

ryan

yes! i was sitting in the back of a car on a 9-hour drive and thought about thinking of memorial day seriously. thanks irwin.

Helge

What branch of the service were you in, Irwin?

Irwin Chusid

Why do you ask, "Helge"?

michael C

Irwin was in the branch of service called saving fmu's ass.

Greg

Nice work, Irwin.

Richard

I liked Doonesbury this weekend. A nod of thanks to those in the various secret/special services who gave their lives in service to our country, and who, because of the nature of their service, will never be able to get their name on a public memorial...

Dale

I'd like to see Decoration Day recognize civilains who have been injured or lost in wartime as well.

As an aside, Elton was the finest yodeler there ever done was.

Curtis Woodbridge

Thank you for your quiet but very eloquent post on Memorial Day. "Lest We Forget" is an all but forgotten phrase which few people give any thought to nowadays. Your picture of the plaque means a lot to me, especially in light of my brother's extraordinary service in Iraq and around the world.

Yesterday morning outside my home in Brooklyn I met a biker who was drying the night's raindrops from his splendid gold Harley. We began talking and it turned out he had won the bike in a $100.00 raffle and that he was traveling cross-country, about to pack up and head down to Florida, his first destination on a zig-zagging journey west. I asked whether he was a veteran. He had served in the Navy, and we were the same age. He also told me that his father had been a Marine in WWII. He had lied about his age at 16 to enter the service and was sent to the fleet in the Pacific. The date was December 5, 1941 and two days later, he was on one of the ships just outside of Pearl Harbor. In the two years that followed, he had fought in some of the bloodiest battles in that theatre, including Okinawa and Iwo Jima. Not long after, he was issued a medical discharge with tuberculosis and told he had less than six months to live. The biker, Jim, said that he had just buried his dad at 86 last year on his birthday.

It is stories like this which characterize not only that generation but those special people who consistently serve their country and a greater cause. We must remember them and honour them always and I only hope that the readers of your piece take note of what matters in life.

Thanks once again and all my best.

Chris Woodbridge (posted by proxy with permission)

Very well put and thanks very much for the sincere sentiment. There are small plaques like the one Irwin refers to all over the country and indeed the world.

One of my favorites is in the middle of E 7th Street just down the block from McSorley's Ale House--heading east, away from Cooper Union. There is a bronze plaque on the side of the apartment building with about 50-80 names on it dedicated to "the men of this block who served in the Great War, with the gratitude of their neighbors." That several names have stars next to them indicating that man made the supreme sacrifice is not so remarkable given the nature of combat in the First World War--neither is the mix of Irish, Russian, Jewish, German and Italian names given the immigrant history of the city. What I find most remarkable is that so many men from one city block all served and that their neighbors took it upon themselves to create a lasting memorial to their service. That was certainly a different time in America.

Wally

Not quite sure how I stumbled on this old thread, but we should take the guns and melt them, like Andy Partridge says. I one wants to argue that, 'wait, if I don't have a gun, then how can I combat someone else with a gun', I say, just suck it up and take the chance of getting shot and perhaps killed. And if some frigging pathetic animal does shoot you, take it like a fucking man. What's the use of having people doing the wrong thing if there aren't any defenseless victims to prove how frigging lame people that shoot folks really are. Of course, there are other methods of killing.

I think we have always had the right to bear baseball bats.

Just stay still.

Irwin Chusid

"Wally" considers Memorial Day -- an occasion dedicated to those who have sacrificed their lives defending his liberty and his right to express himself freely -- nothing more than an opportunity for immature sarcasm. He evidently believes himself morally superior to US military personnel, who he implies are "lame people that shoot folks." Thanks, "Wally." Always nice to receive safely anonymous feedback from some twit on the internet.

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