Always Remember ...

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Thomas Henry Herrington, Jr.

 

It was Memorial Day of 2002 ... some time before I fell in love with a schoolmate of mine, whom I had never dated.   I think some time in 1999, when he was looking for his friends on Classmates.com ... he saw my name and sent an email asking ... "Are you the same Beverly Smith who directed the Albany High School "DroopyDrawers"?"  He signed it "Wisconsin"!  But I looked at his email address, put 2 + 2 together, smiled and responded ... "We would certainly be considered the AHS DroopyDrawers NOW ... but back then we were the Albany High School Troubadours!"  I signed off, "Buckhead"!!!  Tommy had sung in the ensemble I directed in 1955, and honestly I didn't know him well enough then to know the marvelous sense of humor he possessed.  We became email buddies for several years and he and Tommy Pattison (Albany GA), were a big help when I started a website, within my personal website, for Indians of Albany High School (Albany GA).  The two Tommy's scanned, they proofed, and were part of the reason the website took off.  When I decided to establish a stand alone, official website for AHS, called Albany High Times, in order not to lose any "hits" in the transfer, the three of us signed on and signed off hundreds of times to return the "hit" number to its original value!  I've learned since, we didn't need to do that - but don't tell them!  Anyway, in those buddy emails, I was reminded  of his unique sense of humor quite often.  I was also to learn of his depth on that Memorial Day in 2002.  I was enjoying the ocean at Sunnyside ... he was in Wisconsin ... when he emailed his thoughts on Memorial Day ...

*** 5/27/2002

ALWAYS REMEMBER ~

Tom Herrington

 I don't look upon myself as much more than average in most respects. But, I do find myself reflecting on Memorial Day in a way that, I guess, is private to me. Part of my thoughts have to do with where and how I grew up. Part is from having served in the military.

 

For most, this day is a day off from work. One can play, work in the yard, watch TV, cook out, or just lounge about ...

 

But for me:

I remember that I live in the best country ever known to mankind. We may differ in our attitudes about what (and how) our government should do for us (or, at times, to us), but we have freedom(s) that are envied by all those who do not live here and can understand the concept(s) thereof...

 

This freedom did not come to us easy. It may be written down on paper in the Declaration of Independence and delineated further in the Constitution, but neither of those documents gave us anything more than an intention to take charge of our own lives - and what the basic rules are for living together in this country.

 

Being documents, they cannot provide anything more than a framework by which we conduct ourselves.

What HAS guaranteed our way of life HAS NOT been political parties, laws, courts, etc. It HAS been THOSE who were willing to sacrifice their lives so that WE may continue on with what we do, and how we live ... I pause to remember ...   And to reflect....

A quote from President Bush at Normandy today. ''Each person buried here understood his duty, but also dreamed of going back home to the people and things he knew. The day will come when no one is left who knew them. ... The day will never come when America forgets them. Our nation, and the world, will always remember what they did here, what they gave here, for the future of humanity.''

 

I have been to Normandy, it is impressive. But it is not the only place where our fallen are resting. There are other sites almost literally all over the world where our loved ones gave their lives that we might live as we do. They were not selfish - they GAVE ALL THEY HAD.

 

I am thankful.....

When the portable "Viet  Nam Wall" was being moved about the country, I gave a good sized donation so that it could be viewed in our remote part of the country. I know some of those names on that wall. I count myself very lucky indeed that my name is not also there. It may have been an unpopular war, but those who died there did their best, and gave the ultimate - FOR US!  

 

I don't want to sound too "gooey," but I do understand that except for those who gave their all for us, I would not have what I enjoy

 

I hope that I will always be able to remember ...     

 

 

 

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