Tomorrow will be Memorial Day and unlike last year I will not be able to attend my couisn's annual Memorial Day picnic. Gas prices are soaring and with DJ's work schedule we have to bow out this year. But as I think of memorial day, and watch the news reports of the Iraq War my memories go back to almost 40 years earlier.
In 1967 a young man just out of high school enlists in the U.S. Army. He is the oldest son of four children, three boys and a girl. His family has lived in a small midwestern Ohio village called Seven Mile most of his life. A very good looking young man, with hopes and dreams, that he can make a difference. Within a year he has died in Vietnam. He became almost like an icon in our family. I had three uncles that also went to Vietnam, but it is he our family remembers. My youngest brother was even given his name. Gary Dean.
When I read the Sunday paper this morning, on the front page was a picture of a young good looking high school senior that will soon leave for Iraq. It made me think of my cousin Gary who 40 years earlier probably had many of the same hopes, dreams and fears that this young man has. I pray that this young man comes back home to his family and is able to realize his dreams. Unlike my cousin Gary Bowling who came home in a flag draped coffin. A family hero. A family icon. I thank and honor that young man I saw today in the front page of the paper, sitting with his parents. I thank and honor my cousin, Gary Bowling who gave his life for what he thought was right. I also thank and honor all thos on this another Memorial Day, and pray our men and women soon can all return home.