|Bataan Death March reading.|
For all of the families (children, parents, wives, and husbands) who have lost a loved one in service to our nation, you are in my thoughts today and every day.
Bataan Death March
During my history classes in high school I remember learning about the bombing of Pearl Harbor by Japan. I never heard about Japan also invading the Philippines and the war atrocities that took place there. It was only last year, while channel surfing, that I caught part of a documentary about the Bataan Death March in the Philippines. How was it that I had never heard of this!
Also last year, I was seeing clips of a 75th anniversary Memorial Bataan Death March. This memorial march occurs annually at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. And I saw video of a Bataan Death March survivor walking the memorial march in Mexico.
As a result of seeing bits of videos, I made it a point to teach myself more about what occurred in the Philippines to both Americans and Filipinos. And to remember the thousands who were held as POWs from 1942 to 1945 and the thousands who lost their lives during that time.
Operation Redwings and the Lone Survivor
In 2005, a special reconnaissance mission was occurring in Afghanistan. Four Navy Seals were sent to the mountains on this mission and only one returned. Lone Survivor is ultimately the story of Marcus Luttrell and how he survived. He was saved by an Afghan village and a man in that village who hid Luttrell from the Taliban. Even though that story is about Luttrell's survival, it is also about how others gave their lives. Murphy, Dietz, and Axelson you are remembered. As are those 16 people on the Chinook who lost their lives when it was shot down during a rescue attempt.
I prefer the book over the movie because the movie is so condensed. You do not get the feel for the amount of time that passed as Luttrell was fighting for his life in the mountains. But both the movie and the book are a good way to remember those lost during that mission in Afghanistan.
Practicing Mindfulness on Memorial Day 2017
Last year, I read World Changer: A Mother's Story: The Unbreakable Spirit of US Navy Seal Aaron Vaughn. You can see what I wrote about that story and about Memorial Day here.
When someone makes the ultimate sacrifice, they leave families, friends, and battle buddies behind. I am always amazed when those left behind find a way to turn that loss into strength and good things. Karen Vaughn works tirelessly to honor her son's memory and is a dedicated spokeswoman for the current defenders of our nation.
|photo courtesy via creative commons CC0|
I hope that you are able to take a moment today, no matter your thoughts on politics and military, to think of those who have died in the service of our country.
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