On this Memorial Day, my thoughts go to those who have served their nation. I, of course, think of my shipmates on the USS Greenwich Bay (AVP 41), USS Enterprise (CVN 65), and the Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay. I especially think of Martin Brown, a shipmate on the Greenwich Bay, who died recently. Martin was a perfect sailor and a close friend. I also think of relatives who served in the Revolution at Kings Mountain, the Civil War at Gettysburg, World War I on a battleship, World War II on Hawaii, and Guam and Korea, at Pork Chop Hill.
The Korean War veteran, Uncle Bub Niven, was a Sergeant in the Army Medical Corp. He wrote to me and said,”If you ever join the Army, make sure it’s the Salvation Army,” After the war, I asked how he made Sergeant, and he said, “I was the only one left.”
What this means is that we all have a duty to serve our country in some way, and the most poignant way is in the military service, where we risk life to protect our fellow citizens. This willingness to sacrifice has a life long effect on veterans and makes them great and responsible citizens.
I have walked the ground over which my relative, Malcolm Niven, attacked. It was a moving experience and we should all, on this Memorial Day, walk in the shoes of those who have gone before us and share their commitment to our country. Happy Memorial Day, remember.