Memorial Day 2022

Today is Memorial Day and I want to give a shout out to all the veterans out there who gave us the opportunity to pursue Life, Liberty and Happiness. There is a movement to stop what we are doing at 3pm today and give a moment of silent thanks and remembrance to all the veterans out there who’ve served their country and especially those who’ve given the ultimate sacrifice. We really need more men like this.

I leave you here with this quote which exemplifies how I feel regarding freedom.

May we never forget those who came before us in the fight for freedom. “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” -Ronald Reagan

May we make every day Memorial Day.

Below I am inserting a link to 5 minute animated video created by a group called Prager U that gives remembrance and honor to Fallen Soldiers and those who have served.

I am also inserting a photo of someone in my family I am very proud of, my own grandfather, Constantino Llanes Ruiz, private first class US Army Pacific Theatre WWII. Photo circa 1945. Handsome devil wasn’t he?

He died when I was a teenager but I remember him with love. He never spoke about his service in the military. Growing up I heard no war stories. It wasn’t until I was 13 and wanted to know about my own family history that I got up the courage to ask him some questions about his time in the military.

That night it was quiet, we happened to be alone in a room in my grandparents’ house where I was playing. He had come in to check on me and I took the opportunity to ask him if he was in the army and what it had been like. He crossed his arms, leaned against the doorframe, and started talking.

He told me of how he’d never been on a ship before and been seasick the whole way to the Philippines. He told me how while there, he’d made some friends and played cards with them in a warehouse and how one night he’d left the game to head back to the barracks while several of his friends stayed and continued to play. He’d been walking along the path made of broken seashells when he heard the sound of incoming planes. He didn’t think anything of it at the time. Moments later the warehouse behind him, where he’d just been in, where his friends were still playing, was engulfed in a fireball. The Japanese Navy had sent in bombers and taken out that warehouse and several other buildings in the area.

All his friends were gone.

I remember his eyes looking so far away as he shuffled off back down the hall.

That is the one and only story he ever told of his military service.

I think about my grandfather a lot on days like this. He was really one of those quiet hero types who don’t draw attention to themselves. He just did his job, went home and chilled out, and did what needed to be done. There’s much more to my grandfather’s story, but that’ll be for another post.

A few years ago I came across this song from a music artist I love. It really exemplifies how I feel about my grandfather, his service, his life...

Enjoy here, Paul Brown Petty-

Happy Memorial Day Everybody.

Never forget the fallen.

Never forget those who’ve served.

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