Monday, May 31, 2010

In Memoriam Wells L. Brady

We keep the day. With festal cheer, With books and music, surely we Will drink to him, whate'er he be, And sing the songs he loved to hear.
In Memoriam A.H.H.

I'm back in Orem for a few weeks helping the fam with the move and today, as we amassed enough giveaways to stock DI for the next year, Tay and La introduced me to some of the quality American television I've been missing for the last few months via Hulu. Throughout the day, these two commercials from American Airlines deservedly got a lot of air time.

My grandpa served in the U.S. Navy before, during, and after WWII and I welcome opportunities like today to remember the sacrifice he and others like him made for our country.
My cousin Kevin is third generation navy, and he reverently keeps my grandpa's uniforms in pristine condition. Recently, he posted some pictures of them along with explanations of the different ribbons and markings:

'Ribbons in WWII were just that....ribbons! Handsewn on. From top left to right then bottom left to right:
- Navy Good Conduct medal (2 awards) - 8 years of 'not getting caught' as we used to say
- American Defense Medal (with star indicating overseas service) For service in the military PRIOR to December 7, 1941 (Pearl Harbor)
- American Campaign Medal - For service in the US during WWII
- Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (with thre
e bronze stars indicating specific actions in the Pacific)
- WWII Victory Medal - For WWII service'

Grandpa died over 11 years ago, but our family never fails to reminisce about the good memories we have of spending time with him and learning about his life. His military service was only one small part of who he was, but it helped shaped him, it help shaped this country, and it helps shape us.

I sometimes forget that veterans don't always qualify for senior citizens' benefits, so it helps to have these reminders that there are men and women out serving their country today who will be the heroes of future generations, as my grandpa is to me. In fact, they are already heroes. And I salute them.