Memorial Day thoughts from veterans

  • Fri May 24th, 2019 3:17pm
  • News

The North Coast News asked several local veterans to share with our readers their thoughts about Memorial Day. Here is a sampling:

WWII veteran, 95-year-old Arnold Samuels: “I think of my dead friends and all those young people that are in the grave, with their sacrifices. Oh my God, it’s sad — the cost of war.” He added, “Don’t just vote. Think of who you elect. That’s what I told the students in the high school.”

Korea veteran Bob Howell: “Memorial Day, to me, is a time when everyone, particularly the young folks, should be made aware of what the veterans have given – up to and including their lives. I’d like to see every person in town fly an American flag over the weekend.”

Vietnam veteran John Link: He noted that the local VFW Post will put up over 100 American flags in Ocean Shores and the North Coast this weekend. Then he asked, “What do I think about? This list right here (he offered a list of over 1.3 million American war deaths). All the people that didn’t come back. And the list is still growing.”

Afghanistan veteran Jay Tighe: “I have the opportunity to teach young people how disrespect for the flag in this country currently, is disrespectful. People need to be aware of how much has been sacrificed so they can stand here and complain.”

Vietnam veteran Bill Vandenbush, who survived multiple wounds and a near-death experience in combat, offered a brief essay, writing in part:

“Throughout the history of our country, men and women have fought and died for what is now the United States of America. They fought with the belief that all men are created equal and that liberty and justice are entitlements for all people who come to this great land. They fought and died for the belief that we are one nation, indivisible, governed by the people, for the people. Men and women of all races, religions, cultures and sexual orientations have given their lives to establish this country and uphold The Constitution of the United States of America with the firm belief that we are the land of the free and the home of the brave….

“On this Memorial Day it is our duty to honor all those who have sacrificed themselves so that we can live free under the ideals that made this nation great, and on this day and every day it is our duty to uphold the values and laws established by The Constitution of the United States of America, so that all those who have died in service to their country will not have died in vain.”

— Compiled by Scott D. Johnston