Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

In Falls County, Texas the Memorial Day celebration takes place on the Court House Square. In past years I have sometimes been the Keynote Speaker. It is a great honor to be asked (not to mention the ego boost), but I have always preferred to have veterans on Memorial Day. This year we hit the jackpot.

Colonel Ralph Hodge of the United States Air Force, retired, did a wonderful job of reminding us why we were there. Hopefully he will be back.

My part this year was "The Ringing of the Bell". After the speakers finish, and before the laying of the wreath, folks line up near the bell on the Court House Square. One by one they take the lanyard, and remember a service man who is no longer with us.

Some keep the names in their hearts. Others whisper, or shout the names to the heavens. One man rang the bell five times for uncles who fell in three wars. I've had elderly ladies ask me to ring for them, saying the clapper is too heavy for them. I always assure them that with their help I can make it ring.

When everyone else is finished I rang the bell. First for my father, Dub Burnett, then uncles. Jack Burnett and Thurman Fisher. Next for my step father, William Crawford. The list gets longer every year. This year I added Richard Winters. I ended with Roy Penny, the grandson of a friend who fell in Afghanistan last year.

To quote an Admiral in an old movie, "Where do we find such men?"

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