I would like to thank all the Veterans who have been willing to put their life on the line for our country, All Gave Some, Some Gave All.
A few people have shared my blogs, I know many people have at least clicked on the video and I am sure a few have read some or maybe even all of the posts. For some reason this video seems to say it all for me. For those of you that have taken time out of your day to see what I am doing next, thank you and if you share just one blog or video, I hope it is this one. This mission I am about to speak about is the one mission I know I will never forget but if you don’t want to pass my blog on to your friends, that’s cool, all you have to do for the video is youtube search “Awesome Number One”. That is the name of the video you will see at the end of the blog.
World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” – officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.” The following year in commemoration of veterans who fought in The Great War, Veterans Day began on Nov 11, 1919, and was called Armistice Day. President Wilson proclaimed the first Armistice Day with the following words…
“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”
Congress officially recognized it in 1926 as a memorial to those who died in The Great War and made a legal holiday in 1938. Then in 1954 it was changed to Veterans Day to honor all the fallen veterans from all the wars.
Why I chose this Video
I am not sure how everyone will perceive this video but when I saw it, I knew I had to share it and I had to do it today. This is what Veterans Day is all about, remembering those who gave the ultimate sacrifice and celebrating those who are willing to stand up and fight for the USA today.
I had never seen this video until a couple of days ago but when I did, it had the same effect on me as the movie Taking Chance did the first time I saw it (it still does actually), I remembered a couple specific missions I was on. One specific mission was from Germany to Dover DE, we had 6 fallen warriors on the aircraft. We picked the aircraft up from another crew and the remains were the only cargo on board. It is a very quiet flight across the pond when you have 6 fallen war fighters on the flight and the realities of war are with you for 8 or so hours, right there, every time you come down to the cargo bay.
When we left Germany we were told what to expect in Dover and what we were expected to do. When we landed, it was the Loadmasters job to put the flags over the transfer cases and we were given instructions to put the field of blue and stars over the forward right (facing the case from the foot end) part of the case, the side of the heart. We always fly our fallen members head first into the aircraft. I have seen a few different displays on the aircraft but this is what we were told to do.
As we were taxiing in, I and the other Loadmaster put the flags on each transfer case, he on one side of each one and I on the other, placing them on as we were instructed. As we were doing this a different sense of feeling went though my body, I can’t describe it, I am sure it would be different for everyone. We did not have to clear customs right away, we were allowed to remove the members before we cleared.
I knew we were going to have a ceremony of some sort but I had no idea what was about to happen. I was expecting a team of Aerial Porters to come out and remove the remains as this was about 4 years into the war and the news media had pretty much forgotten about the military members coming home for the last time. That was not the case at all, I opened up the back ramp and there were about 30 people and 6 vehicles, one for each of the remains. Honestly, I was a little embarrassed that I thought there would be anything less.
We had 3 Army, 2 Marines and 1 Air Force member on the aircraft, there was a ceremony team for each branch dressed in their service dress uniforms. They knew our cargo and already were in place ready to go. In order to do it with the most respect, all three teams marched in formatin onto the aircraft and stood by a set of remains of their respected branch. One vehicle backed up and the Army went first, they removed their soldier and came back onboard, then the Marine team did the same thing followed by the Air Force team. The Army again, then the Marine, then the last Army soldier was removed.
I remember watching the ceremony as we were standing at attention on the back ramp and would salute as each body passed and thinking how professional this was even 4 years into the war. It is a mission I will never forget and though the circumstances were what they were, I am proud to say I was a part of it and I learned a lot about the respect we should have for our fallen comrades. I thought I had respect before but after witnessing that, I honestly was a bit ashamed that I thought there would be anything less than what was done.
The teams that perform these ceremonies do a great job of representing the United States, their branch and the people they fight next to who are returning home for the last time. I was able to witness what this video depicts and the respect we should give each of our fallen members. Today is a day of remembering those who chose to defend our great country and paid for our freedom with their blood.
Need Some Help
I am asking if you would help me choose the last video to play on Veterans Day at 1900 (Non Military types can ask a Vet what time that is). I was going to play the Star Spangled Banner (All verses) but as I was going though, I came upon a couple other videos that are very good and would do very nicely as the ending video to my tribute to the Vets.
There is a very good story narration about Francis Scott Key (The Accurate Story Behind the Star Spangled Banner) and what happened on the night he was inspired to write his poem. I also found a great rendition of Taps (The Final Playing of Taps) and the Star Spangled Banner. So the choices are those. You can vote as many times as you would like and tell your friends about it and let them chime in. I will even let you vote on which version to play of the Star Spangled Banner. Truth be told, I like all of them but I only have one blog left to write and it will include the video with the highest votes.
A Marine Comes Home
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