Memorial Day, 2020

May this day find you all free from threats, feeling safe, and remembering the selfless soldiers who gave their lives for our great country. This is a day we celebrate and think about their lives of duty, honor, and love.

By the time the USA was involved in WWII, many a young high school lad enlisted in the Army. Our nation stayed out of the war until we experienced the attack at Pearl Harbor. It was the absolute worst thing that ever happened to our country ever. Until 9/11 happened. How could we be attacked twice on our own soil? Did we not have the best military forces in the world? We did then and still do now. We let our guard down.

We let our guard down that Sunday morning in 1941 when most of those alive went to Church that day and may have been headed to Grandma’s house for dinner. Then it happened. A day that has lived in infamy. Many, many young men found their way to various recruiting offices to sign up for the Army or Navy, they wanted to defend our country against the aggressor. So many of those that died were fresh-faced teenagers who may have lied about their age to enlist. They left to go with others and defend our country. Many never returned.

Between the battlefield and the end of their lives, many soldiers met my father, Sgt. Thomas Jewell, Jr. He was initially a young medical supply/surgical tech and helped rescue the fallen from the battlefield, applying tourniquets or pressure to wounds and prayers with frightened young men. He was with medics all through Europe in General Patton’s Army. He served in Korea, caring for North Korean POW’s. He returned home to never really talk about things. Parts of him died with each of those young men. Many who survived told him at his 1987 Blackhawks Division reunion they had prayed for him every day because he saved their lives. One described him as self effacing, one who simply went about his work dodging bullets, carrying the wounded on stretchers. He was always an extremely modest man, never boastful about his accomplishments. He has always been my hero because of his unending support, quiet manner, and experiences in life that made him a good man. I am a very lucky daughter to have had that kind of father. He passed away in 1988, six months after retiring and three months before he was set for the first vacation of his life: flying with the Blackhawks to trace their steps through Europe on the liberation of Europe operation. Our mother still made the trip.

To help us think of those young fallen soldiers, here is an excellent video and rendition of TAPS. Jimmy Weber sings. Peace. Thanks. Gratitude. Let Freedom Ring. God bless you all. And God Bless America!

TAPS by Jimmy Weber

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