Respect for the butcher’s bill

Respect for the butcher’s bill

Of all the federally observed holidays on the American calendar, the one slated for the last Monday in May has for me always been the most somber and sobering.  I’m sure most people who have sustained the loss of a loved one regardless if their lives ended on active duty in the armed forces or not share my sense of gravity related to observing the sacrifice of the nation’s war dead.  I was a teenager when I became aware of why a day was set aside specifically to honor those who did not survive hostile action during their military service.  In my junior enlisted years I was acutely aware of a select few whose lives ended on active duty, stateside in homeport due to illness, accidents or from physical anomalies which contributed to their demise.  Being...

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I remember Pearl Harbor

I remember Pearl Harbor

I can never think about Pearl Harbor, the December 7th, 1941 attack, any book or movie about it or any story an old veteran ever told me regarding it without vividly remembering my time serving on or near that hallowed body of water and the ground surrounding it.  Today, the 75th anniversary of the attack which propelled the United States into the Second World War as an active combatant, is likely going to be the last major timeline milestone where survivors of the attack will be alive to attend its commemoration as breathing eye witness testimony bearers of living memory.  As such I am reminded of my time as an active duty sailor on a U.S. Navy ship of the line in Pearl Harbor.  That was nearly two thirds of my lifetime ago. Years before I found myself actually...

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Goodbye Leon

Goodbye Leon

Last Sunday morning when I was still smarting from the election results with thoughts flashing through my head about things not being able to get any worse, I got jolted back to reality with more sobering news.  When I read in my social media news feed that entertainer Leon Russell had died in his sleep, my heart sank yet further.  As I have stated more than once before, music forms the tapestry that is the backdrop of life.  Among the songs and musical works that form mine, Leon Russell is responsible for a respectable portion of it. Claude Russell Bridges was born in Lawton, Oklahoma.  When he was a small child his family moved to Tulsa.  He was attending Will Rogers High School at the time Yours Truly was born in 1959.  Starting his career in the mid-1950s,...

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