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May 28, 2023 at 1:45 a.m.

No capes are needed

I saw this the other day and want to share it with you on this special day: "Heroes don't wear capes; they wear dog tags."

Thank you for your service.



Worth of sacrifices

I read in the paper the question "What does it mean" in reference to Memorial Day. It would be hard for me to put it into words, but fortunately an editorial writer, most likely Paul Greenberg, did it better than I ever could.

He wrote an editorial titled "A New Arab Street." It was published in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on Feb. 1, 2005. It was a letter that I had sent my wife a few days before that date. Somehow Paul got it, and well, you can read the rest. (I'm sure you can find a copy).

The last paragraph of the letter read: "Later in the day I thought about our sacrifices that we have made. I wondered if the three men that my unit has sent home in flag-draped coffins was worth what I saw today. I am still not sure if that is the case, but when a grown Iraqi man thanks me with tears running down his face, it made me feel better about what we have accomplished."

The last paragraph holds true today as it did 18 years ago, with this one change due to 18 years of hindsight: At the strategic level, yes, the sacrifices were worth it. At a personal level, even with the passage of time, I'm still not sure.



With single purpose

We approach another Memorial Day, and I once again think of all who have served and those who do so today. I think of my father, flying F4F Wildcats off carriers in World War II. I still see the photos of the one he lost off the side and the magazine article about his rescue by a British destroyer in open water following another ditching. And yet he survived and returned to Magnolia to start his family and another life.

And I think of his brother Jimmie Red in his B-24 over the beaches on that fateful day and how he honored every Memorial Day for the remainder of his life.

I think of the sacrifices they all made, men and women, with a rare unity and commonality and singularity of purpose so lacking in today's world. I think of them, often.


El Dorado

Taps Across America

The National Moment of Remembrance was proclaimed for Memorial Day in May 2000. It was put into law by Congress in December of that year, to be observed at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day.

In 2020, CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman (the "feel-good story" guy) teamed with retired Air Force bugler Jari Villanueva to promote "Taps Across America," inviting buglers and musicians around the nation to sound "Taps" from their front porch, all at the same time, to coincide with the Moment of Remembrance.

With the world shut down from covid, more than 10,000 musicians joined in this nationwide salute to honor fallen service members, and it continued on to become an annual event, with bugles, trombones, saxes, even bagpipes participating.

Taps Across America brings together Blue, Red, and Purple, Black, White, and Brown, in the true spirit of Memorial Day, offering everyone the opportunity to reflect, remember, and honor those heroes who gave their lives for our freedom.

This year, again, thousands of musicians, myself included, will stand at attention and sound "Taps" at 3 p.m. on Monday. I have the special honor of playing on my grandfather's World War I bugle, stamped with the date 1918.

Please join me and others in honoring America and observing this Moment of Remembrance.


Little Rock

Print Headline: Letters


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