We are at liberty to enjoy such occasions, thanks to those service men and women who gave their all, so that we could and can. It is not too much to ask that Memorial Day be spent primarily to honor them.
The other day I went to the VA Medical Center in The East Bay where I would take a shuttle bus to Mare Island. Signs on those shuttles say, "All gave some--Some gave all."
Waiting for the passengers and the driver, I noticed a white van pull up slowly to the front entrance of the care center. I knew instantly that it was the coroner's van, to pick up a veteran who had died.
When he was brought out on the gurney there was no member of his family or any friends to be with him. Perhaps he was the only one left in his family, or maybe he had been set aside and forgotten. He died alone. He was one of the 2,000 WW II veterans who died on this day. I saw them put him in the van, close the back door and slowly drive away.
Bugler Plays Taps at Arlilngton
As my shuttle pulled out on its way to Mare Island, tears began rolling down my face as I thought, 'An old soldier died today. And he died alone. Whoever he was, he had put his own life, future and goals aside so that we could have ours.'